Love is a Verb

Love is a verb… I love this phrase when love is portrayed in an unconditional way, these days it seems to be rare!
Love is something we really tend to reflect on during the Holidays season!

Almost all parents will and should tell you that they love their kids unconditionally. That is what gets you through the rough patches. All parents go through tough times, but many in the autism community go through rough patches much more often. This can be very tough, especially when a parent is a single parent. Most often they don’t have a break from the stress. Their unconditional love is truly tested. I think one of the hardest parts for some parents is that the love isn’t given back always.

Not all autistic kids share the emotion, no connection of love, however; many do… it isn’t true that most don’t show Love…

That said I consider myself lucky. Peyton says he loves me and shows love. He loves others as well, and for this I am so thankful. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to never hear the words I love you from my children. Although, Peyton says it and means it I cherish it in a way I can’t describe.

I love all my kids the same, but Peyton has a special place in my heart. One of my greatest joys is seeing how much my older kids truly love Peyton unconditionally. They celebrate his positives and hurt when he hurts. Life isn’t always easy for any of us, but for Peyton it’s tougher, But I also know that with mine, marks and my older kids unconditional love he will be just fine.

Love can be shown in so many different ways… it isn’t always just by saying it. It can be by doing even the smallest gestures…

In our home we believe in the saying “love is a verb” and we live it! I would love to hear from you… You’re awesome stories about how love is a verb in your life.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog…

Hope you are enjoying our 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays!

Have an awesome day

Love, Anxiety and Hot Cocoa

Ever since my older kids were little, I have had a tradition of making them hot chocolate when it was cold out, especially when they didn’t feel good… Or when they just kind a needed that extra internal hug.

I absolutely love hot chocolate, I always have! and I love to add different flavors into my hot chocolate. I have to admit my favorite hot chocolate probably is when I add peppermint to it. Each of my kids liked something different with their hot chocolate… So I’ve learned to make hot chocolate with vanilla, ice cream, peppermint and even banana among other flavors… I know it sounds a little strange to have banana,  but trust me.. it taste better than it sounds.

Anybody who knows me, knows I love mugs, I collect mugs. I guess part of the reason why I love mugs so much is because I equate them with sitting down and having a cup of hot chocolate or tea or coffee and just enjoying myself or spending time with my kids.

We always had a tradition of having hot chocolate, before we opened our presents… I love having  little traditions like that.. and I love that one with my kids! I know that when they see hot chocolate it reminds them of those positive childhood memories.

Peyton and I absolutely love having hot chocolate together… As I’ve discussed many times my hubby is an oil guy, so he’s not always home. When it gets cold, Peyton and I have a tradition of sitting and having a cuppa hot cocoa and relaxing. Sometimes we just talk… Sometimes we watch TV together and sometimes we just relax. Although I love hot chocolate all year round, I especially love it during the holidays. There is something very magical to me about hot chocolate and Christmas.

There’s something very relaxing to me about sitting in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree and mantle lights on, drinking a cup of hot chocolate… In one of my Christmas mugs… With two peppermint sticks in my hot chocolate.

I talk a lot about that I have GAD… General anxiety disorder in my blogs… Having my cup of hot chocolate is one of the ways that I help lower my anxiety during the holiday season.

I think we all have those little things that we do, or places that we can go that allow us to destress and calm down… And as silly as it sounds, hot chocolate is one of those for me. I know Peyton feels the same way.. there’s something very soothing to him about a cup of hot chocolate.

I’m including hear my favorite hot chocolate recipe… This is a very common hot chocolate recipe I know it’s out there in many places, so I’m not pretending it’s mine… But I’ve also added some of the changes that I do to it to make it different…all food disclaimers apply! : )

I hope you enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Friday! As always, thanks so much for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays… The support has been overwhelming and I really appreciate it, both Peyton and I do! We look forward to “talking” to you tomorrow have a happy national Cocoa day

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar… I add a pinch of brown sugar
  3. 1/3 cup hot water
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) I usually do 3 cups milk and one cup french vanilla creamer
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ! teaspoon Almond extract or 1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract… this is my favorite

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat, and stir in the milk, do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

The Park Bench

I wrote this piece several years ago for my book… I read it every so often and I remind myself it will be Okay.

There are times I really do worry about what is going to happen to Peyton, after I am gone… After my husband is gone… I know he has three older siblings, and I know they love him unconditionally… But I still worry.

I worry that I’m not giving him enough in his life… There’s so many things parents of adult children with autism, worry about… We don’t always talk about them… But they are very real and in our mind, and in our thoughts and in our hearts…

When I get really stressed about it, I read this piece… And I remind myself Peyton is not alone… Rather he is surrounded in love, and I have that faith that whether I’m here or gone… That love Will stay around him.

I can only do what I can do and plan for his future.Stressing isn’t going to help…planning is.

So as we celebrate this holiday season and we come to the end of the year where we all make our New Year’s resolutions… Let’s each and everyone of us pause, and realize what is the most important… That we are there for those who need us, and we surround them with love.

I see a park bench alone, no one pays attention to it. It reminds me of my son… You see my child is autistic, he fights battles every day I can’t even imagine. As I see the park bench all alone even though there are people everywhere.. I realize how my son must feel. Connecting with others isn’t always easy for him, my heart hurts… But I also become more determined to help him. I look around me and I see the beauty of nature that surrounds the bench. It soothes me and heals me… There are so many wonderful things about nature… I am re-invigorated as I walk away from the park bench. I look back at it sitting empty, I stop and smile… As children run up to it and compete to all sit on the bench. It’s at that moment, that I suddenly realize my son will be fine… as he really isn’t alone… He has us, and we love him unconditionally.. We see his strengths.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays. Without everyone’s support we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things that we are. I hope you’re enjoying it and we look forward to “talking” to you again tomorrow!

have an awesome day

Spread Kindness!

We have all heard the expression you can’t take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself.

This is true for so many reasons. I think during the holidays it is especially necessary that we make sure that we take care of ourselves. We get so caught up in the gift buying, the decorating, the Christmas parties, the open houses, the events, Family coming to visit or going to see family etc. etc.…

I’m probably one of the few people who actually enjoys going to the mall at this time of the year or to stores. I find it In a way comforting… I know that sounds really strange but I do… Part of the reason why I love going to the mall and/ or stores that are packed, it allows me to spread kindness… I will smile at people, if people need help getting something off the shelf, I’ll try to help them etc.etc….. Showing Kindness, not just saying it!

We so often see people frazzled and stressed… Sometimes just a smile or a kind word or a positive affirmation  can make all the difference in someone’s life.

I find that when people are at their most stressed, doing the holidays shopping, going out an about…. dealing with the every day stressors of the holiday season… Spreading kindness and spreading Love by going to the mall and or‘s stores that are packed… and showing that you care is easier!

This isn’t to say that I’m not stressed, and I don’t have anxiety attacks during the holidays… I definitely do. I also know that when I go out and about and I do try to spread kindness… By smiling spreading a kind word etc. etc. it also lifts my mood.

I have to confess another reason why I really enjoy it when it’s so crowded, is because when stores, especially small businesses have customers it helps everyone!… This may seem silly, but I truly love when businesses do better, because it makes peoples lives easier. Sometimes people can pick up a full-time job… Rather than two or three part-time jobs and that allows them more time to be home with their family …

By looking at the positives in life… We can make our emotional and mental health better as well. Too often we allow peoples words or their lack of happiness to affect us… I know I was guilty of this in the last week or two… But then I had several people come to me and tell me how much I meant to them, and how my kindness got them through some of the roughest times.I decided I wasn’t going to let negative people pull me down, rather I was going to make sure, that I kept pulling people up.

I know for a fact my moods have direct connection to Peyton’s mood, as well as my other kids and my spouse. We sometimes don’t realize that our moods can and do flow over onto others, we come in contact with, as well.

I try very hard to be conscience of this… not always successfully… but I try!

So let’s all try real hard to remember taking care of ourselves is very important! because how we react and interact… spreads to so many!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Throwback: No Place Like Home for the Holidays

This was a blog/video that Peyton made for me last year! I still really love this video. I thought we would share it again for Throwback Thursday. We will be making another video for this year! so be sure and watch for it! Hope you enjoy and make sure you have your sound up so you can hear the music!

 

 

I absolutely love my husband… To me he is the best husband on this planet. Being married to an oil guy means you have absolutely no set schedule. You live according to an “oil schedule” Which is just fine with me. I miss him when he’s gone, but our love is stronger than distance.

My husband was supposed to be home a week and a half before Thanksgiving… That didn’t work out… He got home on Thanksgiving day. We decided to have Thanksgiving with our third child, who lives close, on Sunday… We watched football and relaxed, on Thanksgiving. 🦃

I had this feeling that he wasn’t going to be able to be home when he thought he would be. I decided that I was going to decorate the whole house… Mind you we have 4100 ft.²… For Christmas, before he came home.

I usually have a rule that I don’t start putting any Christmas decorations up until Thanksgiving is over… I love Thanksgiving, it’s one of my favorite holidays and I don’t like to dismiss it, by having Christmas stuff up. This year I made an exception!

I wanted to make sure, that if my husband didn’t make it home for Christmas… That he still got to enjoy Christmas in our home. I absolutely positively love decorating… Very few people know this about me, but my background is interior design.…Even though I chose not to pursue it professionally, after college.

I love designing and decorating my own home. The holidays to me are like an empty canvas and I get to paint with passion and love. I go all out. This year was no exception. In fact this year I went above and beyond what I have done for the last five years combined.

I put a 7 foot plus tree in our sitting room… And I decorated it with all little white lights and lots of gold, silver with angels, beautiful ribbon etc. the rest of the room was decorated the same.

I did the lights down the staircase with Garland swags and bows… In our office I did our sports Christmas tree!  Each room in the house has a different theme.

Our family room and kitchen I put our family Christmas tree… And that was decorated with the ornaments that we’ve collected over the years from our children and family ornaments. Multicolored lights on the tree & fireplace.The fireplace has the garland and the stockings 

I must admit when I was all done, even though it was a lot of work, I loved it. I loved it even more when Mark walk through the door and I could see by the smile on his face, and that twinkle in his eyes how much he loved it!

As I said at the beginning of this blog my hubby is awesome. Doing things like this for him makes me happy.  He not only is an awesome husband… He is an amazing stepfather… He’s actually their dad. Peyton and my older kids all absolutely adore him.

Peyton helped me decorate the whole house… He loves the lights part,  which is so awesome for me because I get so frustrated when the light to get all tangled up! He has the patience of a saint.  😂🎄

In fact Peyton  even wrote a blog about why he loves Christmas lights so much! https://teamawesomism.com/merry-awesomism-christmas/

My hubby works very hard… He never complains… So making his Holidays a little bit better by having the house cozy, loving and festive is the least I can do. My goal was to have Mark feel ” There is no place home for the Holidays” I think I achieved that! I know he felt the love In every Christmas decoration! ❤️🎄❤️