Friday, April 23, 2010


Like all kids, Isabella loves to draw. Sometime last year, Harold came home from school one day and I showed him the latest family picture that Isabella had made and hung on our fridge.

"She's always smiling - that's a real good thing," was Harold's response.

I'd seen so many drawings that I hadn't really stopped to pay too much attention to them but he was right. All of Isabella's drawings were always happy ones.... all her figures had big crooked smiles. I found a drawing she made once of me screaming with a big slash across it. She had hung it in her room to show that "no screaming was allowed." Even in that picture, I had a huge smile on my face. Obviously, I don't scream with a smile on my face but when I thought about all those crooked smiles it made me feel good. It feels good to know that your child feels loved and happy.

Yesterday, Isabella drew the following picture and it just broke my heart. Her first sad face, a picture of her moving away.
It's a letter to her friends and says, "Dear friends, sorry I couldn't tell you that I was moving to Dallas. Love, Isabella 9 Jimenez" (the number 9 is her student number). She asked that I make lots of copies so that we can mail them out. When I asked her what she meant, she said that it made her too sad to tell anyone she was moving so she decided to write a letter instead.

For the most part, Isabella seems to be excited about the move but like the rest of us, she's going to miss her home and friends. And while I know that there are millions of kids who have drawn sad faces for reasons much worse than a family move, this first little frown just makes me sad.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In One Week

Where does the time go? Or more specifically, where did my week go?

This past week has been a blur of mortgage documents, appraisals, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Well, not really cleaning as much as keeping things tidy... which is near impossible around here. We had near daily house showings this week. This is a great thing if you are a "seller" but a horrible thing if you are the person who still calls this house your home and has two small kids. And a dog. Don't forget the dog!

Every time the agent called, I'd get excited, rush home to open blinds, turn on lights, straighten up the beds, turn on music, spray Glade air freshener and pick up my dog. It was horrible but I can't deny that it felt great coming home to a clean house every. single. day.

We accepted an offer on our house yesterday. Thank God... and God help me. I need to pack and keep from crying at every sweet memory that comes flooding in when I think of our upcoming move. Sigh.

For now, I will be praying for a smooth closing and working on my New Orleans wish list. So much to do and as usual, never enough time!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coffee, Ciao And An Update

Today is the 14th!! Time for another Ethiopian adoption update - I know at least one of you who has been anxiously waiting an update! (Thanks, Maureen, for your support and excitement! xoxo.)

Before I tell you the latest with our paperwork, let me tell you about two things that I learned about and have fallen in love with. Yes, I fall in love with all things Ethiopian pretty quickly these days. Is there a problem? ;) I recently read a post by a family that just adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia, named Mica. She spoke about the traditional farewell coffee ceremony as well as the Ethiopian farewell. I just felt as if this post had Harold and I written all over it.

Harold loves, loves, LOVES coffee - and that's probably an understatement. Decaf, regular, black, mocha, etc. He loves it all! I, on the other hand, can't stand any of it. Once in Ethiopia, parents are invited to participate in a final coffee ceremony before leaving to come home. It's also the caretaker's last chance to say farewell to the children they've taken care of before they go home with their forever families. I can't wait to experience this farewell ritual even though I'm hoping no one will notice if I barely take a sip!

Isn't the women's dress pretty? You should see pics of the children in their traditional attire - to darn cute!

Now for what I recently learned about Ethiopia and their good-byes. Those of you who know me personally, know that I sometimes say good-bye by saying "Ciao!" I close all my emails with that farewell. In Peru, we say "Chau" or "Ciao" and I always figured it was purely a Hispanic or Italian way of saying farewell. Not anymore. That's how everyone say's good-bye in Ethiopia! "Ciao!!" Is that not hysterical? Love it!

Here's a pic of sweet Mica telling you all "ciao!"
And now for the update... I spoke with our caseworker today! She asked that I email her an updated info sheet with our new address in Dallas. Once she receives that, she'll sign us up for our first orientation class! She's pretty sure she can squeeze us in at the end of June. Yay!!

I know it's not much of an update but it's a step forward and it's so exciting!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A New Orleans Wish List

I started a mental list of what we needed to do in order to move to Dallas pretty much as soon as Harold opened his envelope on Match Day - find a house, find a school, pack, update insurance, register cars, pack, open new bank accounts, get new drivers licenses, find a church, pack, etc. I think all these thoughts ran through my head before we walked out of the stadium! ;)

We still have a lot to do but are also working on a fun "New Orleans Wish List!" Just yesterday Harold sent me a text with another item to add to the list. Some will happen and some won't, but we can wish anyway, right? Here's the list - in no particular order. I hope I haven't missed something!

1. Beignets at Cafe du Monde
2. Mass at the Cathedral
3. Walking in the French Quarter/Flea Market
4. Crawfish every Friday
5. Ride the streetcar
6. Roast beef po-boy at Short Stop
7. Sunday brunch at the Royal Sonesta
8. Corks-N-Canvas night with my best girlfriends (Nola themed art)
9. Jazz Fest
10. Go to Zephyr's game
11. Order a daiquiri at a drive-thru window (can't do that anywhere else!)
12. Girls night with Emily, Claire and Aunt Mary
13. Snowballs at Plum St, Casey's, Sal's or Hansen's (so not picky!)
14. Picnic at Audubon Park
15. Afternoon at the zoo
16. Watch street performer's in front of Jackson Square
17. Check out NOMA and the Sculpture Garden
18. Ride the City Park carousel
19. Hurricane's at Pat O'Briens

(Items in red have already been accomplished and probably more than once!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ethio-utopia... and My 100th Post!!

I have been wanting to go eat at an Ethiopian restaurant for months now - if not over a year. Today was our last day in Dallas and the perfect day for Harold and I to sneak off to dinner. Now that we're officially adopting from Ethiopia, I've been dying to try their foods and learn their customs. Not to mention that an offer we submitted on a house was finally accepted today (more on that later) so we had plenty of reasons to celebrate!

We ate at Addis Abeba, which means "New Flower" and it was delicious! Our appetizer was an order of Sambussa - seasoned lentils wrapped in pastry dough and deep fried. It was so good... too bad I had to share with Harold!
They brought out some Injera which I was really looking forward to trying since I've heard so much about it. Injera is a staple bread in Ethiopia and it's used to eat with, you tear off a piece and use it to scoop up your food. It was a lil more spongy than I expected but still pretty good. I forgot to take a pic of it but you can see it a lil in the next pictures - it's served warm and rolled up.

My entree was Yebeg Alitcha - a lamb dish. When the waitress took my order she pronounced it properly since I butchered the name and told me it was a lamb stew. I was a lil disappointed because I was looking forward to eating with my hands and using the Injera as my utensil. As soon as she set my food down and walked away without offering me a spoon, I knew I had nothing to be disappointed about.
Harold ordered a meat dish that was served with spinach and cottage cheese, called Kitfo ____. (I can't remember the name! Do any of you know?) Kitfo means ground beef but I can't remember the other part of the name. Oh, well. Either way, it was pretty good but not as good as mine! ;)
The restaurant was a lil far but not enough to keep us away especially once our adoption is complete. As we learn more about Ethiopia and it's customs, I'm sure we'll be itching to eat there as often as we can. We always go eat at the local Peruvian restaurants in Dallas so now we just have one more restaurant to add to our list!

PS: This is my 100th post!! Can you believe it? And it all started because of my friend Katy, who first got me hooked on following blogs, and encouraged me to start one. Thanks, Katy, it only took almost two years to get this far!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rising Again A Better Person

When Harold & I were preparing to get married, I remember speaking to our priest about an arguement we were having. Honestly, I can't remember what it was about (no, it wasn't about my messiness!) but I do remember his response. He said that I needed to focus on Jesus' Death and Resurrection. Huh? He said that I needed to die to the situation and rise again.

That advice has always stuck with me even though I haven't always practiced it. Trust me, you can ask Harold. ;)

This past week, Isabella and I had a rough morning. This whole daylight savings thing still has thrown a wrench in our routine. As I was on my way to school, I looked at the clock and realized that it was less than 90 min. into my day and I was already so angry. It was then that those words from long ago came back to me. Die to the situation and rise again.

Today being Good Friday and being stuck in a car for 8+ hours as we drove to Dallas, I couldn't stop thinking about what a great example we have in Jesus. This is not anything new to me or any of you, I am not claiming to be the one to have figured this all out for the very first time. However, I had a personal "aha" moment and it consumed my thinking for the majority of the day.

I can't stop thinking about what a better person I would be, if I really would focus on Jesus' Death and Resurrection in all aspects of my life - not just a silly argument with my husband. I am given daily opportunities to "rise again" a better wife, a better mom, a better sister, a better friend.... and for that I am very grateful.

(Painting by artist named Revery, found here. Isn't it intriguing?)