Just a typical morning


Kids and I were out the door at 6:30AM, armed with snacks, tennis racquets, diaper bag and my personal training bag. I had two clients this AM, one at 7AM, the other at 8AM, and my kids entertained themselves in the gym while I trained. Then, it was time to go from the gym to the twin’s tennis lessons, so when I finished work at 9AM, I saw Wil had pooped through his shorts, so I used baby wipes to clean up his shorts to the best of my ability. That put us behind, but no way to make up on time because I was driving behind a big, lumbering and spitting gravel truck the whole way, so I play some of the kids music, dole out string cheese, and try to enjoy the ride staring at the back of this huge grey truck, but I have to pee like crazy, and didn’t have time at the gym with all the clean-up, so when we get to tennis, and the twins are set for their lesson, I make a quick walk with Wil to the stinky port-a-potty outside the courts. I squeeze him in with me so he doesn’t run off, and tell him DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! Mission accomplished, now time to chase him around while also making an effort at being attentive to the girls in observing their lesson. After tennis, kids are hot, tired and whiny(and so is mommy), so I decide to treat us to a Wendy’s Frosty, and we have just enough time to hit the drive-thru and get Wil to summer school and I’m hoping to make it home first to get a fresh pair of shorts. Bonus, I see the drive-thru line only has one person ahead of us. Apparently, the driver ahead of us is short on money, and as we sit there, I see a laugh exchange between Wendy’s attendant and driver as he searches his car and hands her a few dollars, searches again, hands her a few more dollars, until finally, he must have dug up the balance and its our turn, we get our Frostys and off we go, get home, I dash in the house to grab a clean pair of shorts cursing myself for not bringing them in the first place along with all of the other stuff I had packed for our morning adventures, and zip off to Wil’s school and arrive only 3 min late.

Its only noon and I am whipped. The girls and I chill out for the hour Wil is at school. Its nice, and we enjoy the silence together.

Then, its time to pick up Wil at school and have lunch. Its busy at the table, lots of chatter and talk of the day.

After lunch, everyone goes off to play. I pick up a bit, heat up some tea for a caffeine boost, and Wil comes out of his room in his favorite Elmo costume, all smiles, ready to tackle the afternoon.

And so, energized by those smiles and caffeine, off we go to take on the second part of our day.

Award winning veterinarian…in cuteness!!



Wil having some summer fun with his sis, Elizabeth, and dear friend, Lauren! :)



The hilarity of the nostril


Yesterday, my daughter, Katherine, who is 8, asked how many days until school starts again.

She and her twin sister, Elizabeth, will be in 3rd grade, and we started talking about what 3rd grade is like.

It’s really cool to have a conversation with my kids about a year I remember well(and also kind of sad. How did those chubby, little babies grow up so fast?!).

Third grade was a good year for me. I was in the same class as my best friend, Kelly, and we had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Plautz.

Mrs. Plautz had the class write a few short stories that year. One story I wrote received her praise and attention. She found it very humorous, and because I adored Mrs. Plautz, I’ve always remembered it.

In the story, there was a king who enjoyed his spaghetti so much, he thought everyone should eat spaghetti. Having the power to do so, he ordered the entire kingdom eat only spaghetti.

At dinnertime one night, with everyone out and about, eating their required spaghetti, a hungry robin flew overhead and couldn’t believe his good fortune. This robin swooped down and perched right on the edge of the king’s plate and began eating his noodles.

The robin thought they were worms.

Such innocent humor!

When does that disappear?

That is one thing that I love so much about being around my kids. I’m always moving around at high-speed, and they have the ability to slow me down and point out something I see everyday, and find humor in it.

The other night, when I was putting my son, Wil, to bed, we went through our typical routine. He names a part of my face, then gives it a little kiss (yes, it’s as adorable as it sounds).

This particular night, he discovered a new part of the face…nostrils.

He pointed at my nostrils, and asked, “What’s that?”

I told him and, continuing with our ritual, he said, “Kiss your nostrils?”

I immediately broke out laughing, so then he started laughing. Now, every night, my nostrils have become a big joke. He’ll ask to kiss them and then immediately break down into a huge belly laugh.  Pure joy, I tell you, over nostrils.

I could list a thousand and one more examples my kids come up with. It’s a daily thing, and I hope it continues for years to come, but I know, over time, it will slowly slip away.

But right here, right now, I’m going to laugh my head off over nostrils or whatever else is the silly subject of the moment.

All the best,


Nothing like a little mac n cheese to get a big smile out of this kiddo!



Quick Thought on “Appearances”

Silly Wil

Appearances…why do we hide behind them so worried about what others might think and say? I have struggled with this and have come to the conclusion that it is very selfish to hide behind appearances. We all have something valuable to share, and it is selfish to withhold that from the world for fear of someone not liking it. Sure, showing up for life may expose our flaws, but you never know whose life might be lifted by sharing your story. Each time we open up, the resilience earned and compassion learned overshadow appearances any day.

Live Grandly, Embrace Simplicity


I value simplicity.

Life is complex enough as it is without adding anything to it.

Yet, there is so much pressure to always be going somewhere, buying something, eating something, needing something, wanting something.

We are like drug addicts, happy for a moment, then when the feeling fades, off for our next fix. Go, go, go, do, do, do…its a vicious cycle.

I think Andy Griffith was on to something with Mayberry, yet, I’m not suggesting we go back there. Modern conveniences are a wonderful thing! It’s just that we are so used to everything being so easily accessible, that we have taken the creativity out of living, and lost the time to make our own fun and to truly bond with one another.

We may be going and doing all of these things together, but the focus is not on the relationship, it is on the next thing.

To live simply is to live creatively. It takes some effort on our part to find things to do away from the store, the computer, the TV, the event. Yet, to live creatively is to live with deep and lasting gratification.

Let me be crazy for a moment, and suggest we do nothing other than take time to simply enjoy time with family, friends, and by yourself. No gadgets, no stores, no events, just time together. It’s as easy and as difficult as that.

Sure, the kids may complain there is nothing to do for a few minutes, but then, that is where the creative juices start flowing.  The best times the kids and I have had is playing in the back yard squirting the hose or going on garden walks and seeing their amazement at the different types of plants. We talk and laugh and grow closer to each other.

All the buying and going and doing may bring pleasure for a short time, but its the simple moments in life you created and shared together that make lasting memories and build stronger relationships.

We get it backwards sometimes, going after so much and doing so much. When, to live grandly, we need only embrace simplicity.

All the best,



Remain Happy Always

2011 with Rileys

(Photo: Wil at the Buddy Walk with his friends, Lauren and Liam)

“So, grieve not over your loss,
A stepping stone to your success,
If you want to remain happy always” ~Rajaram Ramachandran

When Wil was born, and we were told he had Down syndrome, I read many baby books on the subject.

The books told me that I would first experience the feeling of loss.

I’m here to tell you, that is, in fact, true.

I have experienced and continue to experience loss in:









These losses were difficult, and though have diminished, still resurface to show their old ways under certain circumstances.

To find strength to get through these losses, I need only observe my son and they become a distant memory.

I see Wil in school, therapy, and with friends, and Wil gives fully of himself in everything he does. In observing him, its clear to see his motivation is the companionship and comraderie of others.

I love to play basketball with Wil, because he tries his hardest, but always is sure to give me a turn.

If I make a basket but he doesn’t, he cheers loudly and excitedly for me. Jealousy and comparison do not enter his mind, he is simply happy for my success.

If Wil makes a basket, he will cheer just as loudly for himself. To him, every success is to be celebrated.

Most of all, he enjoys the time we are spending together, and so do I.

Wil, thank you for showing me the way to remain happy always.







Summer livin’

Summer livin'

Wil enjoying the day at Hidden Gardens


I Am A Voice


I am a voice of




I am a voice of



positive change

I am a voice of




I am the voice of

a mother

an advocate

a child

Hear my voice,

Love and accept him.

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