Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday: Attempting 'Normal'

One of the first things I notice is the dog’s water bowl is bone dry. 

Being gone for three weeks and leaving my family to “run the show” while I’m away wouldn’t have been easy if it had been for anyone else but Grandma.  Within 24 hours of learning she was in too much pain for our weekly phone call, I was packed and on my way….traveling over 1200 miles while reminding myself to have faith that God would watch over my family….praying that at least the most important tasks from day to day would be accomplished.


After being home for a day and a half, I’m still spending my time busy with the little things that haven't been done because it simply doesn’t occur to others to do them.  Wiping down the ledge around the bathroom vanity, the back splash behind the stove, covering up the blemishes on our used couch with blankets, opening the windows to let in fresh air in the morning, emptying the lint from the dryer…..

And then I see the things that were “on my list” before my daily life was interrupted….a pile of blankets still waiting to be washed, papers still needing to be filed and clothes still waiting to be hung back up in the closet.   

I sit down and began open 21+ days of mail that was carefully stacked and awaiting my return.

I thought it would be easier being home.

I think about all the phone calls, texts and emails I should be making to people who want “updates”... but I can’t bring myself to do it.  I don’t have good news.  I’m just exhausted and I don’t know how to be positive anymore.  And I don’t want to tell the truth over and over.  It’s emotionally draining to rehash, and even though I know everyone is just being caring and thoughtful….I can’t bring myself to do it.  There is too much to do….to catch up on and life didn’t wait for me. It kept going.....and I have to jump right back on this ride, like it’s all in the past and I can get right back to normal; like I’m the same person I always was and I fixed everything and all is well.

The truth is, things are worse than ever and I didn’t fix one  stinking thing.

Now I am home, and have promised to run both households as best I can.  Grandma is still in extreme pain and has no one to consistently care for her so she remains afraid and overwhelmed with worry. 

The people I was counting on to “step up” and “do the right thing”….didn’t and aren’t.

* * *

The first thing I did when I got home was give the dog a bath and wash the pile of blankets from my bed she had been sleeping on in a matted mess on the floor  while I was gone.  It was apparent from the smell, she hadn’t been getting her medicine to treat her systemic yeast infection and that couldn't wait until morning. 

Next, I took a shower.  A nice, hot shower using my own soap and shampoo that don’t have all the chemicals that make me itch and swollen and sick.  You wouldn’t think using a handheld shower head mounted to the side of a tub to rinse off would be that different than a typical shower…..but it really is. 


Then I checked my kid’s pill cases, and I see that there are some days they missed their vitamins and supplements….one of which is for their thyroid and can cause a lot of health problem if it’s missed.  I check all the bottles and notice many are empty and I start a list for when I go into town the next day.  This reminds me that I had to cancel an appointment with Tristen’s doctor while I was gone, and I have an email with a list of lab work and additional supplements he needs to be on to help support his unique genetics.  I wonder how I am going to pay for all of it, after spending so much money while I was away.




Whenever Grandma asked me how my family was doing without me, I always smiled and told her they were doing “great”.  They really were.  Josh worked so hard to get the grocery shopping done every Wednesday after work and make dinner every night and smoothies almost every day.  Tanner worked 3 or 4 nights a week and Josh would take him and pick him up.  They made home-made dog food for our sick dog.  Whenever I talked to them, they were happy and positive and doing well.  I was very grateful for that.

I didn’t tell her my worries.  I wished Josh took the boys to church.  I didn’t tell her I was missing out on going with Tanner to a summer overnight activity with his friends when I agreed to stay 10 more days.  I didn’t tell her it was killing me inside to see her in excruciating pain on a constant basis and some days I didn’t know how I would survive it.  Because it’s Grandma.  My favorite person.  And she would do it for me.  I owed her that and more.



My emotions are still too raw to go deep into detail today.  Although my husband and kids promised me a few days to relax and recuperate when I got home, there is too much to be done. I pay most of our bills on the first of the month and the additional responsibility to care for Grandma’s finances adds to my ever expanding “list”.  Life goes on.   It doesn’t wait for trials and struggles to pass and give you time to catch your breath. They exist and so do you simultaneously. So instead of holding tight, gritting my teeth and waiting for this craziness to end….I have to keep moving.  I have to keep living, and doing and being.  One moment at a time.  And after I survive it….I will conquer the next moment.  Until then, I will survive on silver linings an faith in a merciful God who loves his children.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Special Love Letter on Valentine's Day

When I started out on the autism journey, I didn't really feel "alone" like most people do.  Doctors, therapists and teachers were my new friends and the appointments kept me busy.  The need for socialization outside of that circle didn't occur to me.    Being an introvert, I experienced life a little differently.

Meeting another mom of a child with autism didn't happen until Tristen was about 3.  The unspoken understanding was profound and so precious. However, military families move away, and we lost touch during those pre-Facebook years.

When Tristen was about 7 we moved from GA and continued to move often.  Each move meant getting acquainted with new teachers, therapists, aides and doctors.  With my drive to help my son make the most progress possible, I remained distracted from the idea of a community who was facing the same trials becoming a support system.

The summer before Tristen would start 10th grade we made our final move to Texas.  This move would be different from all the others because I would be teaching my boys from home.  But what I wasn't prepared for, was the quick decline and dramatic change in my health and well-being.

Looking back now, I can guess at what the main contributing factors were. Extreme stress causes all kinds of havoc on the body. I had some deep depression and dark moments where I felt like I could literally not move my body from the extreme exhaustion.  Then, came the fear of driving and leaving the house.  Finally, my memory became so deteriorated, I could not remember my kid's ages, birthdays, or at times, names.  I was so scared because although these symptoms seemed to ebb and flow, I had undertaken a huge responsibility to teach my children at home and I couldn't let them down.

During those depths of desperation and despair, is when I started reading a lot.  Not just Facebook posts, but blogs too...the stuff I always wished I had time to read when I was a  mom working full time.

When I read a blog on the Thinking Mom's Revolution page about essential oils, and how one particular oil, Frankincense, helped significantly with cognition, I started to weep.  I felt this fact was an indirect message from God, leading me back to the land of the living.  I ordered some immediately.

That was the very beginning.  The beginning of healing for myself and the start of a powerful friendship; one I never realized I needed. It was my first experience being a part of a community who was not only going through what I went through as an autism parent, but believed in the same things I did on how to help heal his body and brain.  What a euphoric feeling to not be alone.....even when I never realized how lonely I was!

During my recovery, I was asked to be a part of a group called TeamTMR.....a group of women like me who wanted to share a story of reality and hope, working together to raise money to give grants to other families with children on the spectrum.  Without hesitation, I agreed wholeheartedly.

Following The Thinking Mom's gave me so much more than just a chance to be a co-author in a published book.  They taught me more about researching and healing our bodies in a safe and natural way.  The Thinking Mom's taught me how to be strong, brave, and stand up for what I believe in, no matter who says you are wrong. They taught me to never give up.  The Thinking Mom's taught me about sisterhood, and how precious and necessary it is.  Now I know, that when I am down or feeling like giving up, someone else is in my corner, being strong for me in that moment, because they have been there before, and they know I will be there for them when the time comes.

So this is my love letter to The Thinking Mom's Revolution....Will you be mine this Valentine's?

Buy our book today and share the stories of hope from this group of ferociously brilliant, determined and loving women.  This second edition comes with updates from your favorite Team members. You don't have to have a child with autism to appreciate it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

An Autism Mom’s Confession: I'm Coming Out



               The past few months my family went through an adjustment period.  My oldest son graduated High School, and  we put into place a home-based program  to further his education and growth as an adult on the autism spectrum. The transition was our main focus so much of life was put on hold.  It was a lot of work remodeling to make our vision a reality, but it ended up a success. 
 Now that Tristen is settled in his self-led schedule based program, I am able to continue to homeschool my youngest child, and continue to be available for support and redirection as needed.  Now that the transition period was over, I am thinking about the next milestone. In a year and a half, my youngest child will also be a High School Graduate.


                When I was in the thralls of motherhood, with little children needing constant care and supervision, I used to dream of my life when my kids were grown. I imagined all the things I could do while in that stage of life, like getting a degree and having my own hobbies.  My dreams became bigger and bigger as time went on….a master’s degree, medical school, starting my own business….the sky was the limit.

 Back then I supposed that Tristen would always live with us at home; but what was in question was the degree of assistance and supervision he would need on a daily basis.  What services would be available for him?  Would there be trustworthy care available?  Could he be left alone for short periods of time?

And here I find myself, today, with the reality of the situation and it is a sobering one. Tristen has made progress in leaps and bounds, but he is not yet at a place of total independence.  He has ups and downs in which his autism seems more severe some weeks than other weeks.  Often times, months will go by, where I think “He is really overcoming his obstacles,” and then seemingly out of the blue we are surprised by his lack of coping with change or being in tune in “our” world.  During those episodes, he tends to have less of an understanding of where his body is in space (which I refer to him as “a bull in a china shop”).  He is too much in his own world to keep himself safe in his environment, rushing from one end of the house to the other, often times breaking things and hurting himself in the process.  So, as far as fulfilling some of my dreams and life-long passions, much continues to be put on hold so I can care for him properly.
This is our reality, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have hope for the future.  We will continue to search for ways for his body and mind to heal, and I am confident progress will be made and I will be able to achieve my dreams of so long ago.

But as for now, I needed to find something where I can contribute to my household and give more income to put towards giving my kids the best future possible, while still upholding my maternal responsibilities.

               Then I tried Keto//OS pure ketones energy drink and my whole world changed.  (You can read bout my chronic health issues at  I felt almost super human using non-jittery energy to clean my house, do laundry and make dinner for my family.....all in a happy cheerful mood!
At this point, I didn't know much about the product except it was gluten and dairy free and it promised energy.  Never could I have expected such dramatic results.  It was the answer I had been looking for to a better functioning self.
From that point on, I had some ups and downs, trying the different products and figuring out just how this stuff worked and why.  I wanted to know how to get the full effect and get my money's worth.  I soon found my sweet spot with a Charged Chocolate Swirl and 100 oz. of water every day.  And when you feel good, you want to tell everyone about it!
But, my preconceived notions about becoming a promoter loomed in the back of my mind holding me back.
 I fought the idea for as long as I could, but in the end, I took the path, after much thought and sincere prayer, that I never thought I would take:  I joined network marketing.


                If you have read this far, I hope you will continue on to hear me out, before you write me off as your friend.  You see, I felt the same way as many of you when being approached by my friends who had joined a company to sell something, whether it cleaning products or make up or books or whatever….I always wondered if their friendship and kindness was real, or if all they saw when they looked at me was a potential customer.  I never questioned their love of their own product or the want to earn money for their families.  But the idea of me trying to “sell” things to my friends and family, made me feel pretty uncomfortable.  I didn’t want anyone thinking of me as being insincere or trying to use them for my own personal gain.

                So here is my personal mission statement:  I am your friend regardless of your opinion of the product I am selling.  I will value you and be sincere whether or not you order any products from's that simple.

                I can promise you is this as well:  I am going to tell my truth.  The good, bad, and the ugly of this product as I see it.  I will not lie to you for a sale because my integrity is worth more than that.

                When something impacts you the way this simple energy drink has impacted my life, you can’t help but tell people about it.  They notice the changes in you, and you are happy to share why you are feeling and looking  better. And if you are interested and want to try ketones through my website, that is awesome.  If you don't, no hard feelings.  So hopefully, if ketones doesn't work out for you, you won't hold it against me personally.
 In my personal life, I’ve been telling people about vitamins, supplements and therapies for chronic illness and autism for the past 10 years. This is just a way for me to do the same thing but try to earn money to support my family while I do it. Why should I feel guilty?

                So  I decided this is my “coming out” story….a secret I have about how I’ve chosen to live and conduct my life.  I’ve kept this secret the past few weeks because of the stigma around MLMs and I want my family and friends to know the truth, and hopefully be supportive of me and my life choices.

 For more information on my business, click here   and save 20% off through January 31st