Showing posts from August, 2016


This past weekend I loaded up my car and headed to the wilderness of the Pocono Mountains. Thanks to my cousin, there was going to be a family reunion and though I wanted to be completely at peace, joyful and present, part of me just wasn't there.

Living nearly 600 miles from family allows me to shelter them from our "normal". This "normal" that has sent my world into a chaotic roller coaster that has crazy ups and incredible downs. This year, while I have struggled tremendously I have also learned. I learned that I want my family. I don't want to hide. I want their support and understanding of the life we are facing and that this life isn't less or harder, just different.

As we arrived, children buckled in, I knew the weekend would be good but I didn't realize it would leave me yearning to move back to the Midwest and have the support and love of my cousins (who were my siblings growing up), my aunts, who kept me in check while I drove my parents b…

We Are People Too

I am writing on behalf of my nearly 3 year old daughter. She is autistic and often being in a store can create a situation that is difficult for her. The lights. The sounds and the staff all make the difference as to our experience, the employees experience and honestly the experience of the others in the store. Today, on a search for grey or white shoes we headed to Famous Footwear. With the amazing discount it was a great place to find school shoes for my kids. Seraphina walked in and immediately I knew it was going to be a challenge. There were only 3 other families in the store however the lights and heat outside set her off. She tried her best but within a couple minutes jumped on the cushions of the chair. I watched as customers clammed up and drew into themselves. I tried to sway her to sit and it was no use. She was ready to rock and roll and RUN. I asked my middle child to help watch her as I worked with my two other children but you could see, her hands were full. The young …

I Found the Beautiful

Last week was tough. I am learning what the ups and downs of any diagnosis are. Certainly I am blessed, this difference is more common today than ever and its not the end of the world or even a life. Its a new path we must navigate as a family. Even with the support of Serrie's immediate and extended family I forget that there are those not known to her that truly are angels in disguise.

This morning after therapy I packed the five kiddos into the car to visit and photograph a group of women who make Waldorf Dolls. Those who know me know that I have an obsession with Waldorf inspired toys. They are typically natural and allow children to enhance play with their imagination. Years ago, Santa brought three amazing Bamboletta dolls to my oldest three girls. I then gifted their cousin Clare with a Bamboletta while she was suffering with cancer. Clare passed and her Bamboletta returned to our care and she is truly a gift I will always keep.

When Seraphina was first diagnosed with ASD, …


In the busy moments of life, with a handful of kids, sometimes one or two get lost in the shuffle. No matter how hard we (both their father and I) try, someone feels they aren't getting enough. Enough time. Enough stuff. Enough of us. Yesterday was one moment when I sat back, watched and cherished the joy that crossed my oldest child's face. It was her moment. Or was it?

My oldest. I could go on for hours however.....

She, like her mom is a tough nut to crack. She has a heart of gold, would do most anything for anyone but is strong willed, driven and a little anxious about what others think about her. She also has strong morals and values and opinions. She will speak her mind...sometimes to a fault. She's also beautiful, smart and talented though sometimes hides the good qualities she has within her being.

She was invited with a couple friends to a concert earlier this summer. Though I had trepidation about the event (its been years since I went to a concert), I immediatel…


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a fellow autism mom and she suggested that there would continue to be up and down moments through this entire process. Part of me scoffed. I know, I didn't do it out loud but I was handling this really well for the most part and I was working my tail off to make things "NORMAL". I continued to try and do as much as I could and then yesterday, it all fell apart.

I had wanted the DOWN to be the part shortly after diagnosis and then I wanted it to be a straight shot up. Truth is. Its not. I have days of climbing up that hill when I accomplish all my household duties, get my work done and even have some time to be on top of my volunteer stuff but then there are days when a roller coaster ride seems like a good idea and I HATE roller coasters.

Yesterday was one such day. I won't type out a laundry list of items but know just one included one of my children being left out and another included finger nail polish on tables and trim. Those …

When Its Time To Check Yourself

After a week away at my parents and understanding from my mom, I realized it was time to actually put that month of me in place this month. Since first deciding Seraphina needed to be evaluated and eventually diagnosed with ASD, I truly have been in head down kid mode and taking care of myself went out the window. I didn't really write what I was feeling in the last blog and to be honest, I still can't really put it all into words.

After four amazingly healthy children, I was blessed with my surprise angel, Seraphina. She was named for my cousin Clare who passed nearly four years ago and with her passing so much more than a life was lost. Clare brought healing for me in my adoption and there was a connection I felt with her that I had never felt before in a child from the moment I met her. Seraphina was not anticipated but she was wanted.

When Seraphina was little she was "the best baby". People commented how peaceful and passive she was. I believed this was Clare co…