Mohican Trail

We have an accepted offer & it's becoming more and more real every day.  It seems a tad silly to feel so attached to a house, a structure, a building, but I am. 

Our trees a reminder of children swinging & climbing through every single season in them. The grass is worn from feet sliding by on the rope swing that hangs higher up than anyone can reach. Our kitchen nook has had every conversation imaginable around it, everything from the birds & the bees to "Should we move back to Haiti?" has been discussed right where I am sitting now typing this. Our front yard used to be the place for snow blown paths to a trusty neighbor’s house & I can’t even count the amount of bubbles that have floated through the skies outside. Our dog, Hank, has been brought back here from his numerous runaways, even the time he went to the country club down the way, we joked about what a boujie dog we have going to the country club and all. We’ve sat around our fire pit with endless rounds of “Would You Rather” and we have roasted and burned many marshmallows there, too. Our carpets have been laid on, puked on, slept on and rolled all over when we moved back from our tile filled Haiti house. Our stove has hosted burned bacon, our dishwasher has had suds pour out & all over the floor because someone decided Dawn dish soap was the right fit for cleaning that day. I’ve stared out the window over the beautifully unique black sink of ours, watching the birds in the tree right outside while my succulents hang in a golden circle from the white trim above. I’ve wept when the tree died and I have found hope when there was another one I could focus on nearby. We’ve brought kids home from China here, fiancés have been brought here & I always did hope grandkids would come visit me here, too. Boyfriends have become family here, & worship has been abundant in every inch of this place. We have prayed in unison and on our own in each room & we have dreamed big dreams together here, as well. Youth groups & kids Joe has coached in football have gathered here...there have been countless pairs of shoes on our landing. Neighbors have become grandparents, baking cookies with the kids & giving them rides around in their convertible. Kids have walked the neighborhood selling wrapping paper, cookies & all sorts of other fundraising things. Dorian has even used Worthy as the best little marketing tool in the neighborhood, I think he was the top seller that year. I’ve watched our kids sled down the hill across the way & I have started and stopped Couch to 5k more times than I can count around this block. First jobs, learner's permits & driver's licenses have happened here. We've had concussions, broken bones & tonsillectomies, wisdom teeth taken out & a few stitches to boot. We’ve loved here, we’ve laughed here, we’ve cried here, we have mourned & we have inspired each other here. We've fought, we've made up, we have said stupid things and we have made those things right here. We've had prom & homecoming, elementary, middle & high school graduations living here. Aiyana will get married before we move & only God knows what other things we will see, do & face under this roof in the coming days & weeks. Only He knows how many times we will hold hands, pray & trust together again in this space. We’ve left here for a year & we have walked the painful road of coming back here with our hearts half in Haiti still. Haiti has been calling us back since the day we returned home to Wisconsin, and while it is absolutely exciting I will not lie and hide the fact that I am filled with mourning, too.

I can’t begin to share all of the memories we have made here, but I find peace knowing that they are innumerable and that even though we won’t be in this place for long, the memories will forever be.  So, for a couple of months we will soak in every second as we create a few more lasting memories here.  We will never have to leave the old or new memories behind because they go with us wherever we go. 

The collection of experiences we have shared here will permeate this house and our hearts, our hearts where they have taken root & will always remain...they never have to be part of our sacrifice.

(This post is an excerpt from Manila Files: June 2019 . To read more, subscribe today!)

All that sass

Croix de Prix, Haiti

Manila Files

***upate May 9, 2019***--Manila Files is off and running!!! SO exciting. To learn more about what it is and what it isn't, keep on reading!!!:

In a few weeks I am going to be releasing my FIRST EVER printed writings. It's been a long time coming & I am excited to see what comes from this "against my normal tendencies" adventure I am on.

The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files will be coming soon to a MAILBOX NEAR YOU. Okay, hopefully YOUR mailbox.

Manila Files goes against my normal tendencies in just about every way possible. No proofreading 75 times, no perfect edits & grammar policing, no carefully framed photos, no worrying about saying awesome or incredible too many times, no glitz, no glam. Manila Files will be stripped down to the bare minimum. Each month I will release my writings from the month before as a $14 monthly subscription. I'm talking print it off, staple it together, slide it into an old school manila envelope, slap a mailing label on it and send it off (across the ocean-more details about this at the end!). No fancy lettering on the envelope, nothing I am used to-but, I think everything I NEED. I am allowing myself to proofread each entry only once to make sure I didn’t leave out a sentence or spell a word spectacularly wrong. There will be errors. There will be ramblings. It won't always be cohesive, but it will be LIFE shared openly. I am going to learn to embrace it.

My hope and prayer for The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files is that people will be inspired and transformed by the power of faith, hope, laughter & love found in living life for Christ. I firmly believe what the world needs more of is the reality of raw life,  lived out and displayed for others to see. Perfectly imperfect. That is what I hope happens with Manila Files. My dream is that each month my readers would look forward with excitement at getting their copy of my monthly Manila Files IN THE MAIL.

I truly feel The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files is God’s way of getting me to do something that I normally wouldn’t do so that it is all about what HE is doing in my life & around me and nothing else, and so that I will actually do something I have always dreamed of doing. Our world has become so fast paced & perfect from the outside. You can have your clothes shipped to your house, your groceries picked up in a drive thru, any question you want answered at Google’s beckon call. Social media is taking over our world by storm & there are certainly days I wish we could go back to the old school ways of rotary phones & pagers. Manila Files is my attempt at doing just that. I prefer to read paper books and get snail mail, and I hope that some of you will also find the charm in this wild endeavor of mine.

I will write about life, faith, parenting, marriage, poverty, things I probably should keep to myself and definitely hard things that need to be said. So, if you want to get in on The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files coming to YOUR mailbox, let me know right away. The March 2019 edition will be shorter than the future files because I finally got the guts to go for it on the 17th. But, it will be a preview of what is to come. In YOUR mailbox.

I think one of the things I am MOST excited about is that The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files will be written, produced & shipped FROM HAITI in a few months. That’s right, the Rigelsky fam is relocating to Haiti at the end of this summer. We are selling our house, getting rid of everything we don’t need and getting back to the place that has stolen our hearts and wrecked our lives in the hardest & most wonderful ways. I will be writing all about the process of how we have come to this decision in Manila Files, as well as sharing about our daily life getting to & in Haiti. I am incredibly passionate about creating jobs in Haiti & this is one way to do so. GAHHHHHHHHHH I am so jacked UP about this. So, not only will you get inspiring (hopefully) snail mail, you will also be partnering with our family as we live on purpose in Haiti & be a part of creating jobs in Haiti, too!! WINNER WINNER chicken DINNER.

Who wants to join me on this epic adventure through receiving The Beautiful Chaotic: Manila Files in YOUR mailbox?

Click Manila Files below to subscribe TODAY!!!


Croix de Prix, Haiti

Manerson at school

Citè Soleil, Haiti

Sugar cane

Bugoba Village, Uganda