Grrrrrrrr… 2008-2009 Post

Grrrrrrrrrr… 2008-2009 Post

I was dreading the “Goodbye 2008 Post.”
Why dreading it, you ask?

Well, 2008 was really great. Did I see that coming in 2007? No!
Did I have ANY clue? – I doubt it!
I jumped back in my blog to see if I had done some sappy, silly tribute to past years, in past years. I hadn’t. Yeah for me!

So, let’s say this- 2008 was unexpected and full of surprises. I was silly. I was scared. I was amazed. I was reckless. I was bold. I was funny… hysterical really (if I do say so myself). I was miserable. I was unreasonable. I was exhausted and exhilarated. I was honored. I made new friends and lost new friends. I was surprised. I was creative. I found old friends and lost old friends too. I learned new things. I was humbled and humiliated. I overcame fears. I understood love. I sacrificed and was sacrificed for. I cried hard. I laughed harder.

I held newborn babies and looked at them in awe and wonder. I asked each new child, “Who are you?” None of them answered. They only looked back with blurry eyes, maybe asking the very same question of me, “Who are you?”

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

I paddled through a lagoon of crocodiles (in a paddleboat of course). I spent more than 50 nights in hotels. I went scuba diving 90 feet deep! (Oops! I was not supposed to go that deep). I don’t know how many miles I traveled or how many times I sang “The Silly Pizza Song.” No one can actually count that high.

All in all, 2008 was a beautiful mess! I wouldn’t change a thing. There were no surgeries for Lucy or Leah, barely any broken bones for any of us. We couldn’t have imagined all the good. We couldn’t have braced for the bad. We did more than survive 2008- we lived it.

So, I sit here looking into the face of 2009 and ask, “Who are you?”

…Or is it 2009 cradling my face asking the very same question of me?

This entry was posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Life and tagged , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

25 thoughts on “Grrrrrrrr… 2008-2009 Post

  1. Rachel.. 2008 was fun for all of us I think. We learned so much this year. And you did accomplish a lot to make it all possible for us ST maniacs. I look forward to 2009! We can’t wait to see what you come up with next! So here is a Happy New Year from us! Here is to 2009!

  2. I’ve seen some changes in you over the year, seen you become ever more sure of who you are. We are always changing in little ways, so sometimes it’s kind of cool to look at yourself and ask, “who are you?” and see what answers come. I can tell you though, no matter what changes you go through, you are always a beautiful soul. Happy New Year!

  3. 2008 has been quite the year for us too. I’m not sure I’m ready yet to sit down and think over all that has happened. I do know I’ve come out of it more satisfied, content, downright HAPPY than I can remember in my life. I can only hope it’s my time to be happy and life will stay good awhile. I feel lucky to have ‘met’ you – it’s been so neat to read your blog and chat with you on twitter. Happy new year!

  4. We just received ST Vol 2: Playtime Signs for Christmas and your post reminds me of the song at the end, The Good. The first time I heard it I started crying in the middle of the living room. My 16-month old looked at me and signed cry, that made me cry even more!

    I’m glad you had an awesome 2008 and I hope 2009 has lots of fun surprises for you!


  5. I have a question and I figure you are the best person to answer! I totally fell in love with signing and teaching my kids when you came on TV. My kids know a ton of signs and I have learned a lot from you. I am thinking now that I am “grown up” I want to go in to some for of interpreting for the deaf. I don’t know if I want to work with kids or adults. Other than your videos I have no traing at all in sign. Any suggestions on what avenue’s to take? How did you learn sign when you discovered Leah was deaf?

    your response would be appreciated.

  6. Rachel..For 2008 I learned a lot about myself and Ethan. I also learned a lot from you. I learned to communicate with my son. I knew some signs but did not know where to start. One day I stumbled across ST on public TV. You opened up a world for my family. Ethan now knows around 50 signs with his favorites being signing time,frog,bread and cracker.(the kid loves his carbs.LOL) So thank you for 2008 and we look forward to 2009!

  7. You know, 2008 wasn’t really all that bad, I mean we had alot of drama but it wasn’t near as bad as the drama in 2007. Our lives have been full of love, and gosh, 2008 will forever be the year that you made Rhett the happiest two year old on the planet.

    The look on his face at his wish party when he realized that it was THE Rachel…..that will be forever embedded in my mind. Watching you get down with him one to one and sign with him was one of the most amazing moments of our lives. As I type this I am grinning from ear to ear…..and it’s been 4 months.

    My point is, that I want to say thank you. I think that that day in August made up for every bad day that we had in 2008. It made up for all of the surgeries, hospital stays and all of the moves and financial worries. For 2 hours we got to just sit there and forget about everything. To watch you and Rhett together from my perspective was just amazing. The way he interacted with you and socialized, he doesn’t just DO that with anyone. It’s like you were life long friends….which I mean if you really think about it, you DO come into our house every day and sing and talk to him, so why wouldn’t you be best friends?

    Anyways. Thank you for 2008, thank you for all that you have done for so many families. Thank you for sharing your family with us and for being just Rachel. Not THE Rachel all the time. (I hope that make sense).

    Our family looks forward to watching all of the surprises and random acts of aliveness that you come up with in 2009!! 🙂

    Rhett sends lots of hugs and kisses your way for 2009 as well.

  8. Lord knows my family has had quite the year but it was all for the good. And here is to 2009 to be surgery & hospital stay free. And you Miss Rachel have done some amazing things this year. I am so proud of all the fun and adventous things you have accomplished!

  9. Hello!!! Seriously, you forgot the bath. In 2008 we all took a bath together (well, not actually together, but TOGETHER!)! I have learned that in this wild world that God chose for us to live…we don’t really have good or bad anymore, we just have. And that is totally OK too. So…I hope you “Have” A LOT in 2009!!!!

  10. Each year for us gets better and better- we’ve overcome so much and watch our daugther grow…and every year I look forward to seeing what happens next in her life.
    Thank you for doing what you do and being here for us.
    Mom to Kivrin, whos has cystic fibrosis and 22q11

  11. April (Salisbury8): I can’t wait to see what I come up with next too, because seriously I have no idea how 2009 is going to go and it sort of freaks me out.

    Kei: I has been awhile, hasn’t it. You have changed too. All good changes, of course. Thanks for being so great and for caring SO much. I got teary when I saw that I “made it” in your Christmas card!

    mcmama: “downright HAPPY” – I think that is great! Really, if you can look back and say that… well you win! Like I said, “new friends”

    sonja: Thanks. I didn’t see it coming at first.

    sara: It is also a great way to look at your children or family members. We assume we know everything about the people we are closest to. Try looking at them with new eyes. “Who are you?” allows them the space to become someone new to you.

    Jennifer S: oops, sorry about that. We should put a little tissue box warning on the screen before songs like “The Good” – “Show Me A Sign” or “Shine”

    Heidi: Great question. You want to look for an interpreter training program in your area. Some resources to point you in the right direction, since I don’t know where you live, would be getting in touch with your state deaf school, checking to see if there is a Deaf Center in your area. Sometimes community colleges and universities have interpreter training programs too.

    Melissa(coffeemomof2): Yeah Ethan – who doesn’t love the carbs.. though I think frogs are protein. I’ll ask Hopkins, though I am sure he won’t appreciate the context AT ALL.

    Pam: Rhett IS an angel and I enjoyed my time with him, probably as much as he enjoyed that time with me. I am so thankful that it worked out. I am glad to know you and your family, you SHINE!

    Jackie: I hope you are right.

    Janel: I happen to run with an extraordinary bunch, (if you are reading this, I am referring to you… yes YOU reading this right now) hardly any of what I do is ME. I can only do it because of the incredible love and support I get from all of YOU. You allow me to be so much more than I am alone.

    Heather: GAH! How could I have left THAT out? Please insert: “I took a bath with friends” in there somewhere 😉 – I agree. I have lived most of my life as a quest to be good. Then I realized to become good, you often become bad so that then you can become good finally! – Terrible waste of time and energy. (trust me) Let’s just have and be.

    Googsmom: Thanks Jenn. Let’s hope Brooker has a beautiful and healthy ’09!

    Kristen: I love the idea of standing back and watching them grow. AH!

  12. ST helps my daughter find little bits of the answer to that question everyday. She is 2 1/2, loving life despite the challenges of Spina Bifida and all that it comes with. We take great joy in answering that question with her…I hope she can tell you the answer some day.

    We’ve finally worked through Seasons 1 and 2. (Nope, we don’t have cable, PBS or a DVR…we own all of them.) We would have a very frustrated little girl if it wasn’t for the time she spends with ST each day.

    Here’s to a New Year of more signs, more answers and lots of SHINE.

  13. What a lovely post, Rachel. And what a full year 2008 was, indeed. I look forward to discovering the mysteries of 2009 through the eyes and hearts of my son, my self, and my online BFF’s. Wishing you and your family a very rich and full 2009.

  14. Happy New Year !! Thanks for a great product we are loving our baby signing time marathons we have here (got the whole collection for christmas) .. we love the new songs 🙂 I love the end of the post the most .. Who am I ? what a great reminder .. i am excited to see what comes out this year .. i think we need more awesome music 🙂

  15. Happy New Year! It’s a new day, and I can’t wait to see day….a roller coaster life with ups and downs, twists and turns, anticipation and speed – hands in the air waving with abandoned and exhilaration. Thank you for taking us with you on this ride with your music, signs, stories, blogs, tweets, appearances, travels, and adventures. I am sometimes living vicariously through you – what joy! My entire family knows all the signs we do because of Signing Time! I can’t wait to learn more, more, more.

  16. You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog for over a year now. I love it and love how you write. Just wanted you to know that I gave your blog an award on my blog. If you have time, check it out.

  17. Hi Rachel!

    I can’t thank you enough for all your great work with signing time. My son has been just loving every DVD of yours that we bought for him. (We have one through seven so far) I feel like he never had a speech issue in the first place because my husband and I can understand him so well through signs. Happy New Year to you and your Family!!
    PS. I love reading your blog too….your thoughts are inspiring!

  18. Hi Rachel! Happy New Year. My family and friends love Signing Times. We ALL learn so much from them. I am in the process of opening a kids gym (baby to age 12) and would love to use your music-possibly some of them as theme songs. Is this a possibility? If you allow us permission to use your songs we would love to retail your videos and cds so our clients can enjoy them over and over again. Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing your response whatever it may be.

    Also…I love the “Who are you” and your response to Sara. Definately a great way to start out the New Year.

    God Bless!

  19. I’m glad you had such a wonderful 2008! Hoping 2009 is only better!

    It’s been fun in chat and Twitter! Thanks for the fun!
    (hope you saw the DM I sent…had pics of Cole excitedly pointing at BST flashcards, and in ‘Hopkin’s’ pj’s)

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