Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Headed to Preschool in the Fall

Well today I finally did it. I finally "officially" signed Aspen up for Preschool starting in August! I've been putting it off for a few months now because -yikes! Sending your baby to school for the first time is not easy! I know this is hard on any mom, but I feel it is 10 times more challenging when your child has special needs. 

Will she be able to communicate her feelings? Will she be treated well by her peers? Will the teachers see her true potential and ability? 

All of these questions do come to my mind, but I tend to focus more on the other questions I have.

How many more words will she learn at school so she can communicate with everyone? How many great friends will she make that will look past her disability and love her for her? How will she inspire her teachers and teach them to never limit any child based on their abilities?

I know, come August I will be a hot mess, but I'm so excited for this journey to continue! My sweet Aspen Ariya is a world changer and she wants everyone to know it! 

 #downsyndromeawareness #morealikethandifferent #journeywithdownsyndrome

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mama!

20 Random Things My Mom Loves! ❤️

1. Jesus- She has a passion for Jesus that is rare and beautiful- always striving to be more like Him daily!
2. My dad- Though they are opposites in nearly every way they are truly soulmates who "makeup" where the other is lacking!
3. Her kids- She loves her kids more than anything and is very proud of all of our accomplishments!
4. Her grandchildren- Nothing brings more joy to her than spoiling and loving her grand babies!
5. Her family in general- Parents, siblings, nieces, nephews they all hold a very special place in her heart!
6. Books- She has a love for learning and a house full of books!
7. Giving gifts- Her love language is gift giving and she has a unique talent for finding the perfect gift for each person!
8. Theater- She loves the art of theater and is a very talented director!
9. Christmas- She loves ALL things Christmas and usually before Halloween! 😊
10. Her church/Bible Study- She loves her church and lights up when she talks about her Bible Study group!
11. Promptness- She always has and always will be on time and by on time I mean 20 minutes early!
12. Shopping- She loves to shop-anywhere any time!
13. Her new kitchen- She is so proud of her beautiful new kitchen and loves to put it to good use!
14. Branson- Branson is mom's Las Vegas! 😜
15. Her home- She may love Branson, but nothing will ever beat being home!
16. Ice Tea- She loves tea, BUT the cup must be filled to the brim with ice!
17. The law- I'm not sure she loves the law, but she is very faithful in obeying the law, which has dubbed her with the nickname "Miss Law"! 😊
18. Tiger Striped Fudge from Cabela's- Well duh, because fudge is delicious!
19. Red- The color red has always been her favorite color!
20. Writing- She is a very talented writer and has written many wonderful poems and children's books!

Happy Birthday, Momma! I love you and am so blessed to have you in my life!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Make Everyday Valentine's Day!

Today is Valentines day, a day to show your loved ones how much you care, typically through heart shaped candy, ridiculously sized stuffed animals, and overpriced flowers. Often bigger gestures are given such as proposals on jumbo screens and kiss cams or love proclaimed in writing in the sky. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is great; showing someone you love them in any form is a win. However, in my household these are not common things on Valentine's Day partly because my husband doesn't realize it's a holiday until the next day, partly because he is frugal and wants to save money on other things, but mostly because he loves me so well on the other 364 days that February 14th is truly just another day. 

I woke up to this Valentine's Day 2017 around 2 am to a crying toddler who couldn't get back to sleep. It's been a rough few days for me and sleep is all my body craved. Without hesitation, my amazing husband got up and cuddled with her for over an hour until she fell back asleep. I didn't even ask, he just did it. I could say that was just my Valentines Day present, but in all honesty he had no idea it was Valentine's Day at the time, this is just who he is and what he does. He loves me well- he shows me well. 

Without asking, he has changed diapers, cooked meals, and gave me hugs at the exact moment I might break. He appreciates what I do and he tells me. All at the same time he provides for our family in a way that I can live my dream of providing for our family by staying home. 

I'm not sharing this to make you think we have it all together and our life is perfect- trust me it's not. This is more to encourage you to express your love tomorrow, the next day, next week, all the way until next year. Don't wait until next Valentine's Day to let your loved ones know you care. Show them every day by the things you say, the way you say them, and by every little thing you do. 

Thank you Vaughn for loving me today, yesterday, and tomorrow too! I love you! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2017


“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I'm sure you have all read this verse. Most of you have probably seen it on an uplifting meme, have it as an encouraging poster, or maybe even have it written on a post-it note hanging from your bathroom mirror. You probably read it to yourself when you are in midst of a battle that you want to give up or give in. It's encouraging to know that God will fight for you and you just need to sit back and do nothing. Much less pressure, right? Though I think there are times for that this verse is not saying that. 

In Exodus Chapter 13 and 14, Pharoah finally let the Israelites go, free from slavery and out of Egypt. The Israelites were on their way out when Pharoah hardened his heart and decided to go after them. As you can imagine, the Israelites were scared; they were upset at Moses' leadership and their assumable pending death. They look behind them and see hundreds of Egyptians ready to attack and look before them and see no escape, but the impassable Red Sea. The Israelites were truly in a challenging situation.

“As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:10-12‬ ‭NIV

Moses, like a good leader often does, tried encouraging his people, letting them know that they just need to stay calm and God is on their side. Which, my guess is, Moses was saying it more for himself than for them. Look at what he says,

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This sounds good. God will fight for us, we don't have to do anything, right? Wrong! Look what God's response is in verse 15.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:15-16‬ ‭

I LOVE this! God basically says "umm Moses don't you see you are wasting time. Don't just stand there- MOVE!" God is more than capable of getting things done without us, but more times than not he wants us to be involved. He wants us to depend on him, ask him for direction, but then he wants US to make the move. 

God's direction was big, huge, what we would call impossible. But guess what, Moses moved and because he didn't "stay still and just wait for God to fight his battles" he witnessed another miracle that not only saved his life, but the lives of all the Israelites.

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:21-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How many of us are "losing a battle" because we are just staying still and letting God fight for us when God is clearly telling us to Go! What miracles are we missing out on? God does fight for us! He IS for us, but he also wants US to make the MOVE!