Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby Picture of Kaylee

This is an earlier picture of Kaylee. I can't tell how old she is in this picture- it's so hard for me to judge age when it comes to...well anyone...but she's much younger than she is now.

Look how happy and smiley she is. As it says in the description on her page, "she looked so joyful in an earlier picture, but now she looks like she just wants to get home". I think that's an apt description. In her earlier picture she does look joyful. Full of life.

In her current picture she just looks...weary. Like she wants to get home- just like her description says.

I know that there is a family out there missing a little girl- because she's living in an orphanage waiting for them. The costs of international adoption are so high that any family, even those we would consider 'very comfortable', would have a hard time coming up with the amount in the *relatively* short time frame required for adoption.

That is the purpose of Reece's Rainbow and the purpose of my project- to raise money to make the financial burden easier for a family that wants to bring Kaylee home. To her home.

She has a birthday coming up in a few months. She will be five years old and as it says on her page: "Judging by her age, she is probably facing imminent transfer away from the baby house to the institution".

This little girl already looks so sad and weary. I can't imagining how disheartening it would be for her to be taken from the only place she's known and the people that now care for her in the baby house to an institution.

If you have a few extra dollars- please send them Kaylee's way. No amount is too small- as even $1.00 is $1.00 that wasn't there before. Five people giving $1.00 is $5.00. One hundred people giving $1.00 is $100. Dollars add up.

I know the economy is horrible and so many people have so little, I truly understand! but if you can spare anything to support my project and help Kaylee, that 'anything' will help her more than we know.

February: Week Four- Yoga Breakdown

Day 1: Yoga for Stamina

Day 2: 15 Minute Results Yoga: Upper Body

Day 3: Yoga for Strength

Day 4: AM Yoga

Day 5: 15 Minute Results Yoga: Lower Body

Day 6: 15 Minute Results Yoga: Upper Body

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I received a significant donation this week from a family who wishes to remain anonymous. This was my first major donation and I was unprepared for how I would feel receiving it in the mail- let me just say that it is unbelievably humbling to have someone send you their hard earned money (of any amount) to help you help someone else. Very sobering, but in a good way. It made this project seem very real- it was a little scary too- but again, in a good way. It made me really not want to let anyone down- least of all the little girl in Eastern Europe who needs a family badly before she is transferred from the baby house into the much less nurturing environment of the house for orphans over 5 years old.

Thank you so much to the very generous family who sent me this donation, I know who you are and it was so encouraging and touched my heart to receive it. I have submitted the payment to Kaylee's adoption fund, and you should see it reflect your donation in the next day or so after it's processed by Reece's Rainbow.

Thank you also to everyone reading this for your support.  It means a lot to me, and more importantly, to Kaylee.
P.S. If someone donates through Reece's Rainbow directly, I won't know who you are (but you are appreciated whether or not I know who you are!) if you would like me to know that you donated, please let me know! I'm happy to know of all support big or small and I don't need to know amounts if you would not like to share that information. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I Can Do It...

Since I'm on my fourth month of yoga, but just started this particular blog, I am going to be posting some things that I wrote during the first three months of my Year of Yoga as well as my current posts. Here is one I wrote December 27th.
For any of you out there that think that yoga is just for flexible, skinny people with lots of time and money, I would like to tell you otherwise. I am none of those things, but for two months I've had a very successful renewal of my yoga practice from long ago.

First: Flexibility

Flexible I AM NOT. I never have been. For example, in college I was in my dorm room stretching as far as I could go, when my roommate came in. "What are you doing?" she asked. "Stretching." I said.

She LAUGHED at me. "You can't even tell!" That was in college. When I was supposedly young and supple. Yeah, things haven't improved in that area as I've aged. You don't need to be bend-y. Just bend as far as you can. The benefits will still be there.

Second: Skinny

Lets just say sometimes my belly schlub gets in the way. We'll leave it at that.

Third: Money

I ain't got much. Funny how kids and pets suck all the extra funds out of you. This means that I can't really get to a 'real' yoga studio and practice very much. I have videos. I do one of them everyday. Do you need a lot of them? Not really. When I first started my practice way back when I was a poor grad student...I only had one Rodney Yee video with two 20 minute practices on it. (I also had to walk to school uphill both ways.) I did one of these two every day for months. Did it get a little boring? Sometimes, but the benefits were so great- even with just one video, that I kept it up. I'm glad I did.

I still have that video. I still use it. Thankfully now I have a few more, but you don't need a lot. There's also a lot of resources on the web. Look for don't need a lot of money.

Fourth: Time

I have very little time for my practice, but since I committed to my 'Month of Yoga' in November, I had to MAKE time. Every day. Most days that meant rolling out my mat in the living room, next to the dogs, kid, and Little People farm and zoo sets and taking the time to practice. Here's a visual for you. This is from directly after today's practice:

Dog one wants to help!

Dog two wants to help!

The Little People Animals want to help!

Is it pretty? Not really the adjective I'd use. Is it peaceful, well...I've realized that peace comes from your MIND.

Take today for example. I'm sitting on my mat, trying to bend forward as far as my lack of flexibility allows, and the Sweet Baboo figures out that if he blows on the back of my neck, it makes a fantastic fart noise. That's right. There I am, trying to do a relaxing yoga sequence, and my son is making snotty fart noises on the back of my neck. Peace comes from your MIND.

Yesterday, this same kid decides that when I'm doing relaxation pose at the very end of my practice, it would be hilarious to stick his finger in my belly button. So, first of all, I am distracted by the fact that he can stick his finger ALL THE WAY into my belly button. Like, so it disappears (See point #2). Second, I have some one's finger stuck to the hilt into my belly button. Peace comes from your MIND.

So if you're interested in yoga but held back by various worries or concerns, don't worry!  I am the perfect non-flexible, non-skinny, non-money and non-time having example. So if I can do it, you can definitely do it.

The benefits are so, so worth it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Listening to Your Body: Going for the Long Run Instead of the Now

For the last week and a half, my yoga practice looked, on paper, very boring. During the past week and a half, I did Rodney Yee's AM Yoga. Everyday. For a week and a half. And it was just what my body was asking me for. I just had to listen to it.

AM Yoga is what I call a 'Relax-y Stretchy' practice. Not too physically taxing, probably doesn't burn a lot of calories, but very beneficial nonetheless.

One day about two weeks ago, I was feeling really drained. The thought of doing any kind of yoga was not really what I wanted to think about. Was I burning out? Would I be able to continue this project? I wanted to sit on the couch. Rest. Sleep. Anything but Downward Dog or Push-up Pose.

So I did what I usually do when I'm feeling that way. I did AM Yoga. Most of AM Yoga takes place while lying down. It's so non-taxing that I can keep a heavy hoodie on the whole time. And thick socks. There's only one downward facing dog and you only stand up once. Perfect. Thank you Rodney Yee!

The next day, I felt the same way- so AM Yoga made a reappearance. Same with the day after that. Once I regained more energy, I was ready for something new, but then I pulled something in my shoulder (not yoga related) and couldn't lift my arm over my head without pain- so AM Yoga it was again. At that point, with more energy, I wanted to do something more athletic- I had calories to burn after all!

"You're going to get out of shape!", my brain told me. "All you eat is- as we speak- GOING TO YOUR THIGHS!"

I quietly listened to my brain...and then told it "to not be silly...doing too much right now would be detrimental" and again slipped AM Yoga into my DVD player. I really did want to do something a little more challenging, mostly because I felt like I needed to be burning calories (that is a hard mindset to re-set as a female, I think). BUT...I also needed to heal my shoulder. Pushing myself could mess it up more, and could put a major damper on the rest of my Year of Yoga. So despite my "I need to burn calories NOW" mentality, I went with the "I need to heal for the long run" reality. So I kept playing that AM Yoga DVD day after day until my shoulder felt better. Then I did it one more day for good measure.

I'm glad I did. Today I was able to do the more athletic (and aptly named) Yoga for Athletes by Baron Baptist. That's one of my faves and I've had it forever. Tried and true. Tomorrow I'll probably do Yoga for Stamina with Rodney Yee. Also tried and true.

My week and a half of "easy" yoga had not caused me lose strength or flexibility. It healed my shoulder fully and I was downward dogging it up on the mat today- just as strong and actually MORE flexible than before (thanks Relax-y Stretchy yoga!).

The moral to this experience: Listen to your body. It's usually smarter than you. :)


I am so excited to report that Kaylee's adoption fund is a little bit bigger today!!! Thank you to anyone who has donated based on this project, and thank you to all of those who are keeping Kaylee and this project in your thoughts and prayers! It's working!

Since the donations go through Reece's Rainbow, I don't find out who donates and that is ok- but if you'd like to let me know privately of your support, or if you'd like your name to appear on the right of this blog as a sponsor (first name only is ok), please email me! I'd love to get a list of sponsors going! If you'd like to be anonymous...that's ok too, though. :)

Thanks again for all the support! It means a lot to me, but it means even more to sweet Kaylee.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Year of Yoga

In November 2010, I gave myself a goal to do yoga six days a week every week for the month of November. This was an attempt to breathe life back into the 'once in awhile' yoga practice that I had not-so-much-going. When I completed the month of November, I realized how much I really enjoyed the daily yoga practice and was starting to see some benefits, so I decided to do one more month. Then I decided to do a whole year.

Since then, I completed one and a half more months of yoga and discovered Reece's Rainbow. I spent every night for a week pouring over the faces of the beautiful children who need families, wishing there was more that I could do. One little girl's face kept coming back to me, and I wished there was something else I could do for her. After much more scouring of the website, I found out that I could be a 'Warrior' for her- by making a commitment to advocate and try to raise awareness and funds for her adoption grant. That is something I can do! 

Not long after, while I was doing one of my daily yoga practices, I realized- why don't I do my Year of Yoga for Kaylee!  People raise money for marathons and triathlons and all kinds of things- why not for yoga?

So I have now decided to not only do a Year of Yoga for my own health and well being, but to help raise awareness and funds for a little girl who needs a family. 

If you'd like to sponsor me per month or just to make a one time donation- every little bit helps! The money goes directly into a fund to help Kaylee's future family cover the high costs of international adoption and is tax deductible. Many families want to adopt, but the financial aspect is daunting. Reece's Rainbow helps families realize their calling to adopt a special needs child by providing ways to offset these costs.

If you are not able to donate financially at this time- prayers are very valuable!  Your prayers for Kaylee, Kaylee's future family, and for a successful yoga fundraising campaign are much appreciated!

Thank you for reading along and supporting my journey!