What a difference a year makes …

Yesterday we attended the annual Down Syndrome Association of Orange County’s Breakfast with Santa. I love this event! It’s so much fun and I love seeing many of the families who were and still are a part of the group I facilitate. I love to see how much everyone has grown and adjusted to their lives since having a child with Down Syndrome. It’s one of the most beautiful things I get to experience over and over again in my life. I am so grateful to share in their lives. It’s incredible what time does to you, your journey and your life.

This morning a Facebook memory popped up from the breakfast last year. It was of Reese and I. And it really took me back.

It wasn’t even 6 weeks after I got sick. I remember looking at that picture after it had been taken and thinking how different I looked. The fatigue and illness had definitely taken its toll. I looked tired which makes sense since I was exhausted 24 hours a day back then. My face was swollen despite being the lowest weight I had been since the last time I had meningitis. My smile, although genuine, was different. My face wasn’t familiar to me. And it really bothered me. Seeing this picture honestly stopped me dead in my tracks. Whoa. Yesterday we took a ton of pictures. Maybe seeing the picture was so shocking for me because I had such recent pictures of myself in the same exact place I was last year. Whatever it was, I was able to confirm one thing. I’m a whole lot more me today than I was then … and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you know first hand what a difference a year makes!!!

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The same but different …

Change … it ain’t easy! As my kids have gotten older and two have gone off to college, I’ve been worried that my younger girls wouldn’t have the same types of experiences we did when their siblings were home. Especially this time of year when we are ALL ABOUT family. I’m realizing now that’s just silly. Of course my girls are having the same experiences! Our traditions and adventures still happen they just don’t look the same. For instance, there are fewer people in the car and a lot less noise, HA! But in all seriousness, this took me a while to see. I had to grow into these changes and understand that everything was going to work out just fine. And it did. We still have fun and do everything we did before (and sometimes my big kids are able to join us via FaceTime) so this makes my mom heart very happy!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see that everything is the same but different!!!

Focusing on the good …

The Northern California fires are horrible. And that is an understatement. After a few days in a hotel in San Francisco we made the decision to fly my son, George, home yesterday. His school has been completely shut down. Evacuations weren’t mandatory but the university wasn’t taking any chances. And I can utterly appreciate that. So last night, my son arrived home safe and sound. I couldn’t be happier to see him. The past few days have been filled with images of destruction and feelings of uncertainty. It’s all still looming over us. The worry is there. But seeing him and enjoying time with him has certainly been a nice distraction.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you focused on the good!!!

Happily out-dated …

Soooo I am not good about software changes for my cell phone. I will avoid them for months! Heck, I even had a phone once where I avoided it the entire time I had the phone.

Why you ask?

It’s like getting a new phone all over again. And sadly, last night I accidentally allowed the software update. Ugh. All day I’ve been struggling to re-learn my darn phone. It looks weird. Things aren’t in the same place. I don’t like it! I want my old phone back. Bad.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are happily out-dated!!!

A change in priorities …

I had planned on being super productive today. And I started off that way too! I made a fun breakfast for my family. I cleaned. I did laundry. And I decorated the house for Halloween. But right after lunch Reese, who hasn’t been feeling well this weekend, cuddled up next to me on the couch and laid her head down on my tummy. She immediately fell asleep. Aw. She is still asleep and I’m not moving a muscle until she wakes up. Bless her little heart! Her sweetness has overthrown any desire I have to be productive today. If my drippy, sniffly princess wants snuggles and rest with her mommy, she will darn well get it!

Well, I hope you all have a day where your priorities change!

Beginning to figure it all out …

Today I got asked, by someone I had just met, what I did all day now that my kids were in school. They didn't ask in a snarky way, so I wasn't offended at all. What ended up "weird-ing" me out was not their question. It was my answer. I actually had to answer, "I don't know." Then I explained.

Today was the first day that I have had "nothing" do to since all my kids had either moved out or were in school all day. The first time in almost two decades. Last year was actually the first year it had happened, but I had taken a temporary part time job the day my kids started school and then got sick with meningitis a few weeks later. I then spent the next 6 months doing the bulk of my recovering. Once April came Sid moved home and George's graduation (and all that went with it) came shortly thereafter. Life was on full speed and our house was full of people again and it stayed that way until just last week. I loved it! But today, when they asked me that, it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

WHAT WILL I DO ALL DAY LONG?!?!

I guess time will tell.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you begin to figure it out!!!

Summer’s end and a change of pace …

It's our last Sunday of summer break. Sid and George are at college. Libs and Reese return to school on Tuesday. This summer has been a DOOZEY. Emotional and exciting don't even come close to describing it. The summer of 2017 will go down as one of my all time favorites.

I never want summer to end but there is something about the routine that comes with the start of a new school year that grounds me. Summer months tend to feel (and be) more spontaneous and frivolous. But the Fall, winter and Spring months have a coziness to them. Our days are filled with the orderliness of schedules, sports and school, and by the end of August I'm usually ready for it. Fall and winter around this house are filled with magic and traditions that I have come to love. This year we even have some different things planned as well. I'm looking forward to both the familiar back-to-school regimen and the new life we will carve out for ourselves. Our family dynamics are not the same with two of my four children out of the house now. Life will undoubtedly be different, but I know it will be good for all of us.

So am I ready to say "goodbye" to these incredible days of summer? Yes. I believe I am. I will tuck their memories away in my heart. And I will be grateful for each and every moment that I got to spend with the people I love most in this world. God blessed me with another summer … and I truly can't be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for a change of pace!!!