Wednesday, September 28, 2011


At times, Alyssa will look so deeply into my eyes, I feel like I can see the words pressing on her pupils, trying to escape.  I don’t know what the words were going to be, but I can see her attempt, her effort and sometimes her frustration.  If only it was easier for her!  I believe her mind works like a computer – highly intelligent, with programming glitches.  When asking Alyssa a question, you can almost see the question going into her mind, but then, her mind becomes scrambled, preventing her from being able to produce the words she wants to use.  I believe she has the words to express herself; they are just not easily accessible for her.

To be in her world for a day would be so enlightening.  I sometimes wish I could look at the world through her eyes, so I could understand what she sees and how it feels.  Remember the game Pictionary, where you have a team member draw a picture that describes the answer to the Pictionary card?  That game is crazy.  I have played before and been so incredibly far from decoding the drawing and at other times had the answer almost the second the drawing began.  I think of what it must be like for Alyssa to communicate.  I imagine her with no pen to draw the picture and no spoken words to express her desires.  This makes me realize, I am quite blessed to have the ability to write and speak.  I don’t know what I would do if those abilities went away.  I can only think how proud I am of Alyssa because she is handling her world better than I would ever be able to. 

Alyssa is genuinely happy.  In fact, her spirit is delightful.  She loves to be tickled.  She gives the best hugs.  These expressions of laughter and love don’t require words, they come from the heart.  The unspoken and most beautiful language is what we see coming from the heart.  It’s honest, natural and pure.  I am in awe at Alyssa.  As I have shared before, she is a wonderful teacher.  She illustrates what is truly important and keeps me on track.  Maybe all the words and all the communication don’t matter so much. 

Recently, Alyssa has been able to say “I need it open”.  It’s kind of funny because she says it a lot.  It has become a universal pathway for her to let me know she wants something.  It doesn't necessarily mean that the "something" will need to be "opened", per say.  It’s just the words she is able to express to let me know she wants or needs something.  It’s pretty cool.  The best part, I get it.  I hope, as the picture is becoming clearer, this new pathway leads her to opening the flood gates of language.  As I see her changes, her continued progress, I just have this feeling, from my gut, she is getting there.  What was once unspoken, will be.  For now, I am so proud to be Alyssa’s mom and to see how beautiful her heart is!  She is truly awesome!

Thank you for reading and have a great week!  Angie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Job

I am excited to share, I have started working a new job.  This week is my first week... ya know, the week where you feel like you have been drenched with a fire hose?  HA! 

I plan to resume writing next week.  Until then, please know, I appreciate you, my readers, more than I can say.  If it wasn't for you, I would've lost the confidence to continue writing, a long time ago. 

I also want to tell all those who have helped us over the past few years how incredibly thankful we are.  Whether you lent an ear, contributed information, prayed for us, assisted with expenses or were simply our friends, we are ever grateful.  We absolutely couldn't have done it with you!  You rock!!!  You gave us hope, faith, confidence, relief and much, much more!  We love and thank you!!!!!

Have a great week!  Angie

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fit or Fits

I am thinking to myself how I feel when I am in shape, lose weight and eat healthy.  When we are in shape, we are much more likely to feel good about ourselves, feeling strong in mind, body and spirit.  Isn’t this true in all aspects of life?  As we become stronger, our passion within that strength exudes confidence, security, an overall sense of happiness and accomplishment.  Not to say, there isn’t a significant amount of work that goes into getting fit and staying fit, but maybe you could agree… no pain, no gain?

There are times I feel overwhelmed.  It might not be a particular event that acts as a catalyst to throw me off the train, but maybe an accumulation of my challenges hurls me.  Personally, I have found, I have to keep my mind in good form and in the right place.  Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who help me with this.  When I fall into the dumps, I have to get my mind on track again, spiritually, emotionally and physically.  I believe it might even be healthy to have these set backs, to remind me, of what is really important, who I am and what I need to do, recognizing, I am called to be and do better!

As an advocate for Alyssa, I haven't sat around eating Bon Bons and feeling sorry for myself because I have a child with differences.  I had to get on the advocacy treadmill.  I worked out my brain.  I learned the laws, I went to conferences; I got my mind “fit” for advocacy.  I became enthused to make a difference for Alyssa and others.  It’s probably fair, and more honest, for me to tell you, I had my fair share of fits, but I can also say, once you begin to get in shape, the difficulty lessens.  I am still a bit chubby in some areas of advocacy, but I know if I keep working on it, I will do better.  I have ability and believe in my Alyssa.  She is my trainer, yelling for me to do ten more push ups, so I can have the strength to encourage others to advocate for their children too.

A couple of years ago, I took a position to coordinate date night opportunities for families who have children with special needs.  Mom and Dad can scoot away, while their children kick back and play.  Each year, I have students from the education department, at our local college, come to volunteer.  I am told, over and over, by the students, how wonderful these children with special needs are and how the experience changed their life, in a positive way, forever.  I sometimes wonder what I am doing, running this program, when I could certainly enjoy the break for myself, but then I realize, I am getting more fit.  My strength grows, as I am able to do something for others.  I find myself feeling excited and motivated to give the volunteers this experience and the families the break.  I am capable and God has blessed me to be strong enough to not just focus on my needs, but extend and share my strength with others.

This past weekend, I went to Telluride, CO for the Imogene Run.  I did not run the race!   Instead, I was part of the cheering squad.  My husband ran the race for the seventh time.  I am so impressed!  WOW!!  This race is 17 miles of running over a mountain, ten miles up, seven down.  I am in awe to those who train and complete this task.  OUCH!  This does not appeal to me, but watching the faces of the 1300 runners, as they came across the finish line, is incredibly inspiring.  The looks of accomplishment, maybe even anguish, pain and difficulty, reminds me how a challenge may give us fits, but in the process, a transformation happens and we can be at the top of our game, in great form, truly fit.

I am going to venture to say, it’s okay to have your fits.  I might even join you for the good ones.  On the other side of that, don’t let the fit last too long because your chub will turn into something that you won't want to see in the mirror..  Keep trying.  Keep training.  The outcomes are worth it.  Empower yourself to make a difference!!!

Thank you for reading and have a great week!  Angie

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Precious Moments

Reflecting on when I was a child, in elementary school. I remember, each morning we would say the Pledge of Allegiance and we would have a moment of silence too.  Times have changed, but I am hoping, we don’t need a school to remind us to take those moments of silence to heart.  In just a few days, we will reach the ten year anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  This anniversary is stricken with sadness, heroism, love, loss and so much more.

I wish to take a moment of silence, say a prayer and remember how fortunate I am to have the people I have in my life and the memories of those who are not.  I count my blessings each day.  This moment of silence is a precious moment.  This is not just recognition of a catastrophic event, but a reminder of how wonderful and beautiful life is. 

God bless.  Thank you for reading and have a great week.  Angie