Tuesday, January 27, 2009

With thanks from the academy (well...okay...mostly just me!)

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Today marks the one year anniversary of Livin' La Vida Lia. I have been thinking for a few weeks how I might mark the occasion. So odd....to have so much to say...and so few words feeling "right" about it all. So in the end, I just decided that I would use this post to thank so many of you who have made a difference in my life in the past year.

I started reading adoption blogs after we returned home with Lia. To begin with, I stuck with the members of my Yahoo DTC group. Colleen's blog was one of the first I read. I also fell in love with Terrye's blog and Margie's blog and Amie's blog. They felt oddly like my extended family...and after sharing so much with them all during our wait...they really WERE like family. During the past year, I have been overjoyed to watch two of these families bring home another China miracle. To these bloggers...thank you for being my extended "virtual" family...even if you didn't know you were.

You can imagine my delight when I discovered the genius of the "link lists". I soon found a world of inspiration just waiting for me. I began to follow a few "big" blogs that continue to be some of my favorites. On the occasion that these authors take time to leave comments on my blog...I am so touched...and always always starstruck. In Kim, Shana and Kristi, I admire the ability to tell a story, take a pretty picture and have a sense of humor . To these bloggers...thank you for sharing your story with me and for reminding me to celebrate the small moments that make up our lives. You are all an inspiration.

Along the way, I have made new "virtual" friends that I know I can count on in thick and thin. My husband used to shake his head and roll his eyes when I spoke of my blogger "friends"...but now he truly "gets it"...that you all are true friends in every sense of the word. Missy, Jan, Jodee, Deb, Lucy and Bridget and Heather...thank you for letting me share in your lives, and for sharing in ours. My day wouldn't be complete without checking in on you all.

Love in real life: I am so insanely blessed to belong to an active local adoption group. These women are truly my sisters. I love each one more than I could say (there are actually more and they know who they are...they are just not bloggers). Jen, Deb, Laura, Lisa, Kellyann...and my new friend Ivy...what can I say??? You rock in every sense of the word. My life would be so different without you all...I can't even imagine. Thank you for your generosity, caring, friendship and love. I am fortunate to call you all "friend".

During my year in blogdom, I have been so inspired. The next category are those blogs which have helped me get in touch with my creativity...whether it was parenting, decorating, photography or just the art of writing, I regularly turn to Lori, Paige, Debbie and Tonggu Momma and Danielle for a dose of inspiration. Thank you to these bloggers for helping me look for the beauty, create the beauty...and laugh at the (lack of) beauty that is all around me.

This last paragraph has been floating around my head for a few weeks...and I'm still a bit apprehensive about sharing it...but I wanted to, needed to share a little bit about the reason I began blogging one year ago. We had just moved into our new home. I was extremely overwhelmed with unpacking and settling in. It was during one cold Sunday morning in early January that Lia had an "accident" for which I did and still do feel responsible for. I have said it time and again...but angels truly were at our doorstep that morning. Lia was...and is perfectly fine and had no residual effects. She is vibrant and healthy...and I don't take that for granted for one moment. I have spent a good deal of time the last year learning to forgive myself, trying to watch over Lia without smothering her with attention and over caution (with varying degrees of success) and assimilating the events of that morning into my psyche. And trying to move on. It's not been easy. But in those early days....I reached out to two women who were really strangers to me. They both responded in such heartfelt ways and helped me more than they could ever know. I will be eternally grateful to both of them. Truly grateful.

Erin...you inspire me. You are so beautiful and full of grace. You live your life in a way I aspire to. Your intelligence and sense of humor, your artistic and aesthetic sense are true gifts. Thank you for sharing them with me. Your words and understanding made a difference in my life. Thank you for your friendship...and for not thinking I was a crazy stalker. You are a blessing in my life...and I wish you nothing less than sunny days...for you certainly deserve that.

And finally...sweet Lisa...what can I say? Your friendship...your perseverance in sticking with me...your guidance...your brilliance...your understanding...are not deserved. You "took me in." It means more than I could ever explain. I feel a kindred spirit with you. Thank you. Just thank you. Please know how much you mean to me.

Of course there are so many more blogs that I read...so many more...and I don't want to slight anyone by not mentioning them. I just wanted this post to relflect my gratitude in being part of this community. Thank you all for sharing in our lives.

23 comments:

Jodee Leader said...

First, I love this picture of Lia! It is just adorable and perfect for this post!

Second, thank you so much for including me in this sweet post! I, too, must have my daily dose of Lia! I enjoy all of your fabulous photography too!

Here's to many more fun years of blogging!

Laura said...

Thank you so much Kate, what a "pick-me-up" post.

We are truly blessed to be able to call you our "true" friends.

Congrats on your first year and I am looking foward to many more years, posts, pictures and happy times with you, Jim and Lia.

Love Ya!!
Laura

Jboo said...

Happy Blogversary!! Yours is such a special wonderful blog -- definitely one of my favorites! Take care!

Janet

Felicia said...

Happy 1 Year "Blog-iversary". There are so many special blogs and folks in the blogging community and you are definitely one of them.

Love the image of Lia...so pretty!
Look forward to what your next year brings!

PletcherFamily said...

Happy 1 year anniversary!!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Kate, that was so beautifully written and heartfelt!!

Happy one year blogiversary!

I am so glad our paths crossed here in bloggerworld, you were the first blogger who really reached out to me and made a personal connection.....and made me realize that our little blogs were more than a place to vent, to tell stories, and post pictures.....it was a place where many deep friendships would be formed. I am so grateful to you for showing me the way and am touched to be part of your special post!!

My day wouldn't be complete without some of your humor and beautiful photos of the lovely Lia....you have pointed out many people that inspire you....know that you inspire me...you are very talented and someone I am so happy to call friend.

Here is to many more blogiversaries!!

Luv Ya,

Lisa

3 Peanuts said...

Congratulations on your first year of blogging. I am glad that Lia is fine and that you have forgiven yourself. I think in some way, we have all experienced a bit of what you describe. I know there are things that have happened with each of my kids that have caused me much self doubt.

I am honored that you mention me here although I hope to become more like a friend than a big blogger:)

You are a special person Kate and I hope ti meet you someday.
Kim

Casey said...

Beautiful post...

And a beautiful photograph too....

Now you inspire others (me).

Lucy said...

Wow, I'm completely flattered you mentioned me. You are so sweet, so good with words and I just love coming to see your blog. Not only because Lia is adorable but because of your always interesting posts and beautiful photography. Congratulations on your one year anniversary!
Lucy

my4andnomore said...

Happy One Year Anniversary.
I know what you mean about following blogs and how they help you. I love to look at Lia and know that there is a light at the end of this long road to China. All of you who have been there inspire me. Thanks, Amber
PS. I love your photography.

Missy said...

Happy One Year Anniversary!!! I absolutely loved your post. You are such a dear, dear person and I don't think of you as a "blogger buddy", but yet, a friend.

You and I have the same sense of humor and I can't wait for the day that we can sit back and just laugh with each other.

I may be coming to PA for the workshop as I had to miss this one. I have mono : ( And ya know what really stinks?... I didn't get it from kissing some hot guy...just from being exhausted and stressed. Man, why couldn't it have been from kissing a handsome guy? : )

Love you!!! Here's to many more years of beautiful Lia pics, funny anecdotes and great times!

Heather said...

Happy Blogoversary, Kate!

Beautiful, beautiful post. You may be inspired by others, but so many are inspired by you!

Thank you for sharing Lia with us, it is a blessing:)

Hugs,
Heather

brooke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle said...

Congratulations on this one year milestone. I have loved working with you on your blog. Getting to know you has been a pleasure, and I can say that you have been a wonderful friend and support to me. For that, I am truly grateful.

I cannot believe you mentioned me in this post. Feeling pretty special right now :)

I am amazed by your photography. You are a natural. And Lia, well...the girl is just gorgeous.

Erin said...

I've not read this until now... and it brought me to tears. Thank you for being my friend. And---go have a look at my blog... you will be happy!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Kate, I once dropped the Tongginator on her head. No lie. I wonder if... LOL.

Anyways, I wanted you to know that you truly touched me with this post. Thank you. And happy one year blog-iversary.

Kam said...

Oh, Kate you are a beautiful soul. I'm so glad to know you. This pic of Lia is "Award Worthy" and so are you my friend! You articulated this so well and I appreciate your heart! Have a fantastic day!

Shelly and Family said...

I love the photo too of Lia...it is just beautiful! As for the post...it speeks for itself! Great job!

Kellyann said...

Kate you never fail to impress me with your ability to put your thoughts and feelings into precious words. You are brave to really share a part of you and your life with those in the blog world.
I am blessed to personally KNOW you, not just in the blog world but in real life. We have share a lot in person and via email and I will never forget the support you have given me during the time we've known each other. Thank you for mentioning me and our 'group' in your post.
You are so sweet. I envy your photographic abilities and hope to someday be half as good as you. You really are creative.
mud e me??? That was my word verification. Hmm.... :-)

Chris and Deb said...

Congratulations on your 1st year of blogging Kate! You are MY inspiration! You ALWAYS inspire me with your thoughtful or humorous text and gorgeous photos!! I feel so honored to be one of your cyberspace friends and truly hope that we will meet someday! I think we need a blogger summit somewhere/sometime! Here is wishing you another wonderful year ahead of blogging! I can't wait to see what this year brings!

Ivy said...

Kate,
You are such a beautiful person, inside and out! I am completely in awe of your talents, your passion for your family, friends, and the ability to stay true to yourself.
This is such a touching post and I am honored that you included me:))
When I started up my blog again, yours immediately became one of my favorites and little did I know we would soon meet! I am glad to be one of your friends and just know that comes from my heart!
Happy 1 year blogoversary (is that really a word LOL)?
I so look forward to more wonderful posts, pictures and happy times with you and your adoring family.

You're incredible lady!

Hugs,

Ivy

Jennifer said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for listening to me when I need to talk. We were meant to find each other in cyberspace and become friends. I just finished my 100th post that is all about me. I had no idea that it was your year anniversary of your blog yesterday. I mentioned how it was you that inspired me to blog.

I enjoy your blog as much as I enjoy your friendship Kate.

Thanks for being you!

Jen

Bridget said...

Oh Kate -

I am so behind and just checked this sweet post! I am so touched that you mentioned me - you're too sweet! Every time I read a post about your sweet Lia I can just tell how much you love her and what a great mom you are too her. For that you should be proud! Perhaps one of these days we will actually be able to "meet" in person. Hope you are enjoying a great weekend!

- Bridget