World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I pray that someday we won’t need a “day” to accept and understand every single wonderful individual, exactly as God made them. Each and every one of my children are a gift, and they have all taught me a million times over any of the things that I have taught them. (ETA, they all have given my permission to share their names & photographs)
The text on the photo reads:

“April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Three of my six children are on the autism spectrum. It’s called autism spectrum disorder because there are huge differences (yet many similarities) among those people on the autism spectrum. My children currently range from non-verbal to intellectually gifted, yet all diagnosed with ASD. The current rate of ASD is 1 in 68 so I’m sure you know someone who is affected by it. Although each of my ASD children have unique challenges that I wish I could remove from them (as no parent wants to see their child struggle), they also each have amazing, unique gifts BECAUSE of their ASD. I ask that you educate yourself further about ASD, consider a donation to one of the many different ASD charities, or simply remind yourself & those around you that we are ALL unique individuals, loved & created by God, who deserve as much respect and dignity as everyone else does. I’m humbled and blessed that God chose me to be the mother of these amazing children (and ALL my unique children). Please keep compassion in mind when you are out in the world and experience someone “different” than you. You never know what challenges they might face.”

  

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Love Song Photography

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When we think about photography and pictures, I think most of us first think about capturing the big, happy, wonderful moments of life.  Weddings, new babies, birthdays, first days of school and exciting milestones.

But as we all know, life isn’t always wonderful.  I stumbled across a photographer named Lindsey Villatoro , from California, when some photographs of hers were featured in an article about a couple who had lost a child.

She captures beautiful images that you’d expect to see on any photographer’s website, like weddings and babies.  But she also has an amazing gift and a gracious heart that lead her to take photographs of difficult situations.  She photographs children and adults fighting cancer and other illnesses.  She photographs funerals and memorial services.  She has a unique service called “Forever Loved” to capture priceless images of situations that require more empathy and delicateness than many of us may be able to provide.

Not only does she provide this experience and these priceless images to these families going through unthinkable difficult times at no charge, her Facebook page and website also offer the families a platform to share their stories.  Awareness is raised, fundraisers are shared, people are registering to donate organs and be blood and marrow donors,  prayers are lifted up, friendships are formed.  Lindsay has created a truly amazing thing.

Her website is LoveSongPhotography.com

She also has a Facebook page where she shares amazing images and stories.

You can see some of her videos on Vimeo as well as YouTube

There was a fundraising campaign in December to help Lindsay cover her costs as she provides these services to families free of charge, but it has unfortunately ended.  I encourage you to bookmark her website, follow her Facebook page, and get the word out to your friends and family about this amazing woman.  I will surely be donating and sharing on my blog when she has another fundraising event.  Please do consider sharing this post or her links on your social media platforms.

Note- some of the images on the Love Song Photography website and Facebook page may be upsetting or considered graphic to some people (such as babies who have passed away). I have no affiliation with Lindsay or Love Song Photography, and do not benefit financially by sharing this information.  I share these links for the sole purpose of sharing Love Song Photography with others, and the hope that it will reach someone who can be helped by her services, as well as fundraising and awareness for both Love Song and the families that Lindsey serves. 

Ronald McDonald House Reflections…

It was July 26th, 2013. I had given birth to my fifth child, a beautiful boy named Jackson, the previous day.
He was born at 39 weeks gestation after an uneventful pregnancy, at a whopping 9 lbs, 5oz, and seemed the picture of health.

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So imagine the confusion and dismay when a neonatologist came into our hospital room the day after Jackson was born, where my husband and I were beaming, watching our newborn sleep on my chest, to tell us that our baby boy had to be taken to the NICU immediately.

About four hours old

About four hours old

Continue reading

Those little hands

So here’s where I set a timer and just write for five minutes on a set topic. You can join us over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s website for 5 minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “hands”.

10 months old

10 months old

 

My baby boy is 10 months old. And in many ways, he’s not such a baby anymore. He’s mobile. He’s getting better at communicating his wants and needs. He’s growing (oh, is he growing he is 32″ tall and in size 2T clothes). But thankfully, blessedly, there are still parts of him that are very much baby. And one of those parts is his precious little hands. Continue reading

Why it’s been so slow around here.

Hello readers, I have missed you. But I have some good excuses for the lack of posts lately. One month ago today, I started my new venture into both blogging and direct sales. I mostly started down this path because of my passion for paper crafting and my long standing desire to start a blog just for fun to have a place to put my thoughts and maybe make some friends. I think I got off to a decent start.  I’m a “starter” type person for sure. Just not always a finisher. I became a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, started this blog, and social media connections for it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest in two days time. I was hoping to get an hour or two to work on this daily.  And then a bunch of life happened all at once. Isn’t that how it goes? Over the last couple weeks, here’s what I’ve been up to: Continue reading

My 1st Five-Minute-Friday: Grateful

I’ve been a reader of Lisa-Jo Baker‘s blog for awhile now. She has had this amazing thing called five minute Friday going on for over four years. She gives a writing prompt, and bloggers take five minutes and simply write. I thought this could be a really cool thing for me to try as a new blogger.

Just writing here, raw, unedited (well I’ll use spell check). This Friday’s prompt is “Grateful”. So here we go:

Photo credit laracasey.com

Photo credit laracasey.com

Without gratitude in my life, I don’t think I’d get by.  But with it, I have hope. I have contentment. I have a chance to look for the good in the bad.  It’s not always easy. I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself to be grateful, some times multiple times per day. When I moan about the huge pile of dirty dishes, I want to be grateful that my family had the food to eat that made the dishes dirty. When I’m in zombie mode in the morning because the baby had a rough night sleeping the previous night, I try to remind myself to be grateful that my amazing baby boy is home, healthy, and around to wake me up. When my feet ache, I need to be grateful that I can walk.

I’m by no means perfect in remembering gratitude. I appreciate this reminder to do so. And I truly do have SO much to be grateful for. An amazing Lord who loves me. A husband who I love so much I didn’t even know it was possible to love someone so much. Five amazing children here on earth with me, and a sixth in the arms of Jesus. A place to live. Family and friends. And way more earthly blessings than many other people.

Grateful. Remember that.
Five Minute Friday