Sunday Throwback: A Proud Profession

This is a Blog I put out May of 2017 and thought I would share again… this Mother’s Day… Also, please check out my Mother’s Day Podcast at the end of the Blog! Thanks so much and have an Awesome Day!

 

 

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a Mom…I remember when I was younger I wanted to have 6 kids, I came close, I had 4. I love the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”.  I love being a Mom, my kids have taught me so much and continue to do so. I remember when my oldest was born, thinking that I couldn’t love anyone more than I loved him. As each child was born, I felt exactly the same way, my love and devotion was there with each child. When Peyton, my youngest was born, my emotions were even stronger, including feeling a strong sense of protection as well. I could also tell that something was different. I couldn’t place my finger on what was different, but I felt it instinctual. His birth was a hard one, but so were my other kids. Peyton seemed to struggle with things that my other three kids did naturally. He never seemed to react to my smiles and one-on-one time, as my other kids had done. He never wanted to sleep in his crib, rather, he only wanted to sit in a swing and sleep. I noticed other differences with him too, but wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. When Peyton was diagnosed with Autism, all the pieces fell into place. My “momma bear” personality kicked into overdrive as well. Everyone who knows me, knows how deeply and unconditionally I love all my kids.  

I have watched Peyton struggle and at times my heart has hurt for him beyond words. He is such a sweet young man and his sweetness is what everyone notices when they first meet him. When other kids his age were talking, he wasn’t, and I would see the hurt and struggle in his eyes. He would get frustrated when he did speak as he couldn’t convey what he wanted to say. I remember when he would say his prayers every night and always end his prayer with “please help me talk better”. No matter how many times I heard him say it, I always teared up. Being a Mom I wanted to wave a magic wand and help him, of course I knew that wasn’t reality. Instead, myself and my three older kids spent countless hours helping Peyton, we bonded together and knew our common goal was, and is to be his support system. Peyton’s struggles became our struggles, we took on each one and united to help him overcome each bump in the road. Peyton showed strength taking on everyday issues that each of us so often take for granted. I tried to balance my wanting to fix everything for him, versus knowing he needed to learn on his own. While the struggles were real, so too were the successes. They may have come at a different timeline and effort level than my other kids, they were no less awesome. As his mom, I swelled up with pride as he accomplished each and every hurdle life has thrown at him.

Peyton is 17, soon to be 18, and I know he has many struggles still to come in his life. I also know this… he is an awesome young man and he wants to succeed in life. His idea of success may not be that of what others define as success, but that’s just fine with me. I have seen my older three kids show Peyton, patience, understanding and most of all, unconditional love. I have seen them defend him and others with Autism, without hesitation. My daughter worked at a law firm in which one of the attorneys was autistic. She not only befriended him, but helped others understand him better. This led to friendships and a better work environment for all. She has also defended autistic adults at other places she worked, when they were bullied. My third child works at an animal shelter and has experiences where he has helped volunteers who are autistic. This has helped with lowering the stress level for all involved. I could see how most employers could benefit from having some type of autism advocate in their workplace. As the mother of an autistic child, their future happiness and security is what concerns me most. Seeing my older children take their empathy for Peyton and show it to others with Autism, these actions makes the “momma bear” so proud. I love my kids and am proud of each of them no matter what they do in their lives, because at the end of the day they have each learned the most important lesson….how to love others unconditionally and without boundaries. I often worried that having me being so focused on Peyton would make them feel left out, or angry that we couldn’t do some of the things other kids were doing. I was a single mom for many years and my older kids had to “step up” and take on responsibilities that many their age didn’t. I now see that those worries were unfounded. They have each grown into caring and responsible adults, Being their mom certainly merits the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”

Also, here is the latest episode of my podcast on Anchor: Cup of Awesomism selfcare Autism & Anxiety: Mother’s Day.

A Special Gift

I wanted to share this video… some of you have already seen this… If you follow me on Instagram and or Twitter I know you’ve seen this.

I wanted to share it again, because I think this video is really a wonderful representative of what the  Holiday Season is all about.

It truly is about making others feel good… Giving… Sharing… Caring… Spreading love… Spreading kindness and doing the little things… You know the little random acts of kindness, that may not seem like such a big deal but to some mean everything.

Freddie Stevenson played football for the Florida State Seminoles… Seminoles are our favorite College football team.

He also went to the Chicago Bears! the Chicago Bears are our favorite NFL team!

Freddie already had a special place in our hearts. After he did this for Peyton… I can tell you Freddie has a very special place in all of our hearts.

His act of kindness, meant so much to Peyton and to the rest of us! I hope if you watch this video… it inspires each and everyone of you to do a random act of kindness!

Let’s spread the Christmas love! Let’s also make a it a goal to spread it throughout the whole year!

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and very happy holidays and happy Hanukkah!

I know it seems cliche to say, but it’s really true… together we are better…. together we are stronger!

As always thanks for reading my blog during our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays.

“talk” to you soon!

 

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

It’s Navy-Army Game day!

This is one of the best college football days of the year! Army Navy Game! These young men and women who choose to serve our country are some of the best our Country has to offer! I am a HUGE fan of our Military Academies! This is a game where there are really no losers, as they each are winners in many ways!

Having said that, we are HUGE USNA fans in our home. My oldest son’s Godfather went to the Naval Academy and played football there. My son is named after him and my father, who also served in the Navy! So while we love the Army… today we are all GO NAVY BEAT ARMY!!!

Hope everyone has an awesome day and may the best team (Navy) win! USA USA USA USA!!

 

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.