This began three years ago as a blog about the Raines family of Beijing, China. We were nine children, a mom, a dad, and a variety of cats,dogs, and turtles. "Our Nine" was its descriptive, if prosaic title. Creativity was as painful for me then as it is now. It was stories of our ex-pat life: international schools, compound living, ups and downs of State Department moves, those kinds of things. And, it was also a place to share my music, so when people asked "Are you still singing?" I could answer positively, thinking of my four or five page views as my daily audience.
Some 200 posts later, I was back in the U.S., expecting another child, and facing the sad realization that my husband and I were going separate ways. I was suddenly the displaced trailing spouse with a new life to create for myself and my soon-to-be ten children. This blog took on a new role: companion. And, it needed a new name. Ten and Soprano was me reduced to simplest self: Mother/ Singer.
Since the name change we survived the "D" word, became a single parent family, and my children and extendeds rallied around me as I finished massage therapy school.
It was my vision to go to a place where there were endless educational opportunities. And although I have realized that being a student of life will happen anywhere, that something always has to give, that God Bless This Mess will forever be my motto, and that the only permanent residence is standing at the cross-roads, for now, it all takes the appearance of this beautiful valley surrounded by mountains covered in white snow, glistening in the perfect sunlight, towering over the universities and colleges, and wall to wall music teachers and summer camps. And we are here hoping to embrace it with happiness.