Reflections on Life, Laughter, and Love

Live Well,
Laugh Often,
Love Much

The sign hung in the kitchen of my parent’s bright and vibrant home for many months, before being replaced by my chic step-mom with an equally family oriented sentiment.

family is forever

My niece quoted it on a beautiful day at the beach last summer.

live well laugh often love much

I too love the quote and I’m equally inspired by it. Family is the beginning of every story and if we’re among the lucky ones, every story ends with family. When all is said and done, it’s what matters most.

They say, “there is no I in team” but there is both an I and am in FAMILY. Family is the place where we all belong – each of us as unique individuals and collectively all together.

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all draw on our own personal experiences.

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WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome

I’ve been blogging for a few months now and I’m working on adding a section for my fellow bloggers. We truly have an amazing community of bloggers here! I love you guys! You’re the best 😉 HarsH ReaLiTy has some amazing posts to reference. For now, here’s a post to get you started…

To participate (on this blog post):

1. Please leave a short (140 characters or less) description of your blog and/or why we should read it. You may also use the tag line of your blog. (If you don’t have one – you probably should!)

2. The only requirement is that you are actively blogging (at least 1 post a month), and you’ve made some effort to get your blog set up (i.e. your tag line isn’t “this site is the bee’s knees”)

3. Please keep the your comments here appropriate for all readers. Please do not leave empty links without an introduction, don’t leave comments like “please follow me”, and don’t post self-promotion comments on other posts on my blog. If you’ve already done this in the past, don’t worry. I forgive you. I’ve taken the time to add this post just for you! You may continue to leave pingbacks on any writing or photography challenge that you are also participating in. You may also leave pingbacks on any post on my blog as long as the pingback is relevant to the topic at hand and is not offensive to me or my readers. (The Opinionated Man may just be the exception to the rule 😉 but seriously if the content may be perceived as offensive at least let it serve a purpose, be thought-provoking and have something worthwhile to say!)

I’m not a big fan of rules, but please reference the links for commenting etiquette and making conversation. I really don’t want legitimate comments to get caught in the spam filter!

Happy Blogging! 🙂
Love,
Liana

Not Giving Up

It’s something I struggle with. Something worthwhile for everyone. It’s advice that’s easy to give but much harder to take (Isn’t all advice that way?)

So why would I give up on myself – even though I’ve never really given up on anyone else? Even when I’ve lost all strength, I pray. Even when it seems like I just don’t care, silently I pray. We all fall short. I’m painfully aware of my own failings in life.

It may not always be the prayers of my youth, or formal prayers. (There is a time and place for everything.) Some days it’s just a positive thought I send your way. Some days when the pain is too great, and I can’t find my own words, it’s more of a chant or a meditation. Sometimes it’s long and repetitive like the Litany of the Saints. Some days it’s short and sweet.

Some days it’s a quiet walk enjoying nature, that renews my strength.

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Why then do I give up so easily on myself?

It’s a question worthy of asking…

Continue reading Not Giving Up

One Word Photo Challenge: Red (Apple Picking with Great-Grandma)

One of our favorite family activities is apple picking at the local orchards. This photo reminds me of a time that was particularly special. It was one of our last family outings with Great-Grandma. She’s no longer with us and we miss her so much – her light-hearted humor, her stories, and her princess personality. She was always the princess – even in old age.

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My grandma had Alzheimer’s. It seemed funny to me that even when she could no longer remember that my father was not my brother and her daughter was not her mother, she still remembered little Stephen had Autism and couldn’t talk. Stephen and Great-Grandma had a special silent connection that was beyond words! We love and miss you Grandma ❤

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This post is in response to: One Word Photo Challenge: Red | Jennifer Nichole Wells.

For more weekly photo challenges click here: One Word Photo Challenge | Jennifer Nichole Wells.

Continue reading One Word Photo Challenge: Red (Apple Picking with Great-Grandma)

Waiting for the Golden Years

This last month has been one of the most hectic times in my life. I keep waiting for things to settle down. I’ve had the stomach bug for 3 days now. I suppose it’s time to see a doctor, but all I really want to do is rest.

When will the golden years come? All my life I’ve heard people say it will get easier when you’re older. I’m not sure that it ever gets easier. I know my perspective has changed so much over the years. Things that were once the end of the world are now just speed bumps.

Wednesday afternoon we drove through a snow storm on our way home from moving our daughter and grandson out-of-state. I was looking forward to getting home and taking a few hours to rest before getting back to work.

Continue reading Waiting for the Golden Years

One Word Photo Challenge: Purple (Winter Sunset)

This week I’m posting a photo collage in response to: One Word Photo Challenge: Purple | Jennifer Nichole Wells  The first thing that came to mind when I read this week’s photo challenge wasn’t a picture I had taken but rather an image in my mind…

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When “Normal” was Normal

Lately, I find myself trying to remember what normal was like. What exactly is normal anyway? I’m not sure I’ve ever really known “normal” but there was a time before I had a child with autism and special needs. It seems so long ago now, like a distant memory…

I recently restored old photos from a backup drive. I’m glad to have the old photos back within reach because I honestly can’t remember if everything was “normal” in the beginning. I had started to wonder if I had missed the signs of what was yet to come…  So I sit here looking at old photos and examining them for something I could have missed or something I’ve forgotten.

Stephen had the cord wrapped around his neck at birth. I don’t remember him being blue for long, but then I wondered…

I held him for a brief moment before they cut off the end of the cord...
I held him for a brief moment before they cut off the end of the cord…

Stephen was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms at 5 months old. I’ve heard that having the cord wrapped around the neck at birth is common in babies who have Infantile Spasms – especially when the exact cause is unknown.

I remember he cried right away when he was born. He started to get pink right away and they cleaned him up and next dad cut the cord...
I remember he cried right away when he was born; he started to get pink . They cleaned him up and then dad cut the cord…

 Infantile spasms is associated with a significant risk of mortality and morbidity. Riikonen has followed 214 infantile spasms patients for 20–35 years and has accumulated the best long-term follow-up studies of these patients. In her series, nearly one third of the patients died during the follow-up period, many in the first 3 years of life. Eight of the 24 patients who died by age 3 died of complications of therapy with ACTH…

I was induced at 9:00 am and Stephen was born by 6:00 pm. Here he is looking like a normal healthy newborn in his brother's arms.
I was induced at 9:00 am and Stephen was born by 6:00 pm. Here he is looking like a normal healthy newborn in his brother’s arms an hour later…

Without even realizing it we had a vision of what life would be like…

We could never have imagined what life had in store for us…

This was just the beginning of our story

Stephen is now 7 years old. His diagnosis includes: autism, epilepsy, GI disorders (gastrointestinal), hearing impairment, vision impairment, and neuro developmental delays. He is non-verbal and legally deaf-blind. He went through 6 years of weekly therapy for feeding difficulties, most likely caused by GI disorder. He is self-feeding and eating solid foods now. We’ve started potty training, and we’re finally making progress towards independence and self-help skills! 🙂

A Harvard Medical School analysis of electronic medical records suggests that some children with autism fall into one of three distinct subgroups based on common medical issues.

This post is in response to:Weekly Writing Challenge: Threes | The Daily Post
Continue reading When “Normal” was Normal

One Word Photo Challenge: Blue

For this week’s photo challenge, I didn’t want a cliché photo (water for the color blue.) I decided to try some symbolism…

I chose this photo because in this photo I see

Continue reading One Word Photo Challenge: Blue