Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap-Up...

Where to start…

Cayuga Creek - Williamsville, New York
I was ambitious last January and signed up for both real estate classes and the Hello Soul Hello Business online course. I did pretty well keeping up with both at first, but I just could not keep up the level of attention needed in the Hello Soul Hello Business course. I am so happy that a small group of us will be repeating the course again in 2013. After quite a few court dates my divorce was finalized. I hit my 6 year of cancer survivorship. I participated in my first Balboa Island Art Walk, finished three Real Estate courses and passed my CA Real Estate test. I now have my salesperson license. I entered the dating world, that could be another blog in and of itself! I have been going country line dancing and learning the two step… I love it. My work was published in the OC Register. I collected my 6th strand of pink beads at the Komen Race for the Cure. I joined the group Women Helping One Another and I have met an amazing group of creative women. I completed 20 hours of continuing education credits for the renewal of my California Interior Designer Certification. I went to my first Medium… so interesting. I have met so many new people and many have become good friends already. I have reconnected with some old friends that either I lost touch with or we drifted apart. My tumor markers are still normal… a big cheer for that news. My son has adjusted to middle school fairly well.

The biggest and probably the most positive experience of the year has been finding and meeting Nina’s Birth Mother. Nina and I had a wonderful trip back East in October. I was so happy to be back for the Autumn colors and a chance to meet up with some friends. Eat the great Buffalo food that I miss and visit Williamsville and our old home there.

Our former home circa 1900...

So many people expressed how nervous they were for both of us. There are so many bad stories of children meeting their Birth Parents. I was nervous about finding her Birth Mother until I read that she had never forgotten about her and had been searching for a few years to find Nina. Literally at that moment all my fear subsided and it was just pure excitement.

The Honorable Judge Mattina and our Attorney Joe Matteliano
The day we went to court to sign the adoption papers and take an oath before Judge Mattina, he told us that Nina’s Birth Mother was a beautiful sweet girl. He was so right. Melanie is a beautiful sweet woman now. She made a difficult, self-sacrificing decision to place her baby for adoption… I am so thankful she chose us. I will leave you with the first meeting of Birth Mother and Birth Daughter after 19 years… Enjoy and bring on 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

I HeArt Fridays!

This is a special heart that I received in a note from Nina's Birth Mother. We share such a bond and as we get to know each other it is amazing just how many similarities we have with each other.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas...

 I saw this in a shop window. Guess where? Yes, you guess it... my favorite Island...Balboa!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I HeArt Fridays...

I was on my way to my work Holiday party and I saw this on the stairs in the parking structure. So bright and cheerful!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

After the Rains...

I love the day or so after the rains in Southern California. We get these amazing views of the snow-capped mountains. 

The smog had already set in but you can see Los Angeles in the distance below...

 I took this shot in a reflective surface enclosing some equipment...I thought it was kind of creative! 

I have a long drive, but I see Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm everyday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I HeArt Fridays...

You never know what you will find when you clean the crumb tray in your toaster!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Connection...

Do you know that feeling when you meet someone or see their work and you immediately connect with them? That is the feeling that I had when I first saw the work of Belinda Fireman. Jenny Doh had posted here about Belinda. I saw her work, her use of color and I felt it was so similar to my use of color. When I read her bio there was another connection… she grew up in Toronto and I grew up outside of Buffalo, NY. Literally right across the US/Canadian border from each other. Could this be one of the reasons we both like color? Who knows? I started following her on Instagram.  I noticed her bags packed for California. She was coming to Southern California, to Studio Crescendoh. She was so close; I just could not pass up this opportunity to meet her.
My daughter and I went to Studio Crescendoh a few Saturdays ago for the Santa Ana Artwalk. When we walked into the studio, even my Nina said “Mom is that one of your hearts?” Both Jenny Doh and Belinda were so gracious to us. Nina purchased a great journal, Jenny signed it, Belinda painted inside of it. I had to purchase one of Belinda’s paintings. I loved them all, but I was drawn to this one in particular:

Nina loved a smaller piece that said “Dream Big”.
Belinda had heard Nina and I talking about all of her pieces and the one we liked best. 

 After I made my purchase and she took it off of the wall, she asked Nina if she wanted the Dream Big piece? Nina politely said “I am on a budget, but I will save up and look on your Etsy site.” Nina barely finished her sentence and Belinda turned around and walked away. We both stood there wondering what was happening. Belinda walked over to the piece, took it off of the wall and gave it to Nina. “I want you to have this.” What a kind and generous act, it brought Nina to tears.

When your kids have gone through heartache and tough times, there is no better way to try and tell your children that there are good people in the world than to experience it firsthand. Thank you Belinda for showing Nina and reminding me, that there are good, kind people in the world. We LOVE Belinda Fireman!

Friday, December 7, 2012

I HeArt Fridays...

I found this Teenie Tiny heart on my desk today... I needed this little bit of love. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Creative Teachers...

One of my jobs is for the California Alliance for Arts Education as the local advocate in the Newport Mesa School District. The Local Advocacy Network is a statewide network of local coalitions working to advance arts education in public schools. I am lucky to be the advocate in this District as the Arts are well supported. You never know what will happen when you get a bunch of creative individuals together...

I don't remember my teachers creating something like this... but I will blame that on Technology!


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