Sunday, October 21, 2012


I had an idea in my head about how life was going to be when Micah came home. It didn't involve tears or waiting or mishaps or Texas. It was supposed to be easy and immediate. I figured we had paid our dues of hardships the last few years and it would magically be over. I was wrong. There have been tears and waiting and mishaps; unpublished stories that you probably wouldn't believe if I told you. It's been hard. Even the marriage part has had it's ups and downs. I'm thrilled that I no longer have to talk to my husband through a computer screen, but when you live without someone for two years, you tend to forget what it's like to live with them. Throw in being semi-homeless and PTSD and you've got a recipe for difficult days. It's the unspoken reality of military wives. I heard a seasoned military wife at Bay Life describe it like this: "I had the perfect marriage until my husband came home. I made all the decisions; my house looked the way I wanted it to; I planned everything; I took care of it all. Then my husband came home and screwed it all up." Unfortunately, that's part of the journey. Like anything else, you gotta get through the storm to appreciate the rainbow.  Even in the best of times, marriage takes work. It's a privilege to be married and I think we forget that. We too often act like our mate owes us something. It's a vicious cycle that often ends in discontentment and bitterness because we've put so much pressure on them to be something their not. It's why God tells us to love and respect. If wives are willing to respect their husbands, husbands will be willing to love their wives... and on goes the cycle that works.

Life doesn't always go the way you picture. Our ideal and God's plan may not always look right together. Sometimes God erases the whole thing and you feel like you're starting from scratch. It's okay to be angry; it's okay to cry. As my dad would say, "It's why God gave you tears." The point is not what happens. What matters is how you handle it. Happiness is a choice. Contentment is a choice. It's okay if it takes a while to get there. Just get there. And if that's what it takes to bring glory to God... then bring it.

In other news,
The Buddy Walk delivered. We had no idea what to expect and were shocked to find that the 'View (of all places) had so many people who loved Designer genes. We strutted our stuff and felt proud to be a part of the crowd. Even Uncle Eric showed up (Thank you!)


Ben started PT two weeks ago and, I swear, this woman is a saint. I broke out the size 4 shoes not long ago and thought, "I bet he'll walk in these." I'm already a blubbery mess just thinking about that moment. It's the milestone of milestones and I can feel it coming.

Dance partay! 

Until next time.... Happy Awareness Month and Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I decided to brush up the old blog and try to decipher the technical side of this thing. It's not easy. I'm pretty positive Harrison (a fourth grader) knows more about such matters than I do. In fact, I was trying to show him a video on my phone last week and I couldn't get it to work. His reaction? "Mrs. Amber... Just do this. It's so easy." Complete with eye roll. I may or may not be technologically challenged. (And I may or may not have just had to spell check technologically).

Anyway, we haven't been up to anything massive. Micah is settling back into flying manned airplanes and completely loving it. This is a dream job for him. Dream salary? Not so much. Which is why I'm venturing back into the working world. More on that later.

The 'View is taking a few minutes to get used to again. I don't hate it. It's lovely Fall temperatures lately  have made it easier to love. We even gave the 'ol fireplace a run. Because 55 degrees is cold to these Florida natives. And a fireplace is new territory.

Oh, speaking of videos... LeTourneau University chose to feature our story in a video. Short and sweet. Gets the message across. I'm lovin' it.

Check it out HERE.

Keep Down syndrome awareness in the back (or front) of your mind this month. This smile might help.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I was asked once if I saw it at the hospital. The truth? Briefly.  It was our first night together. We were both in and out of sleep. I started to unwrap my little burrito to count fingers and toes. He let out a big stretch and made this face. I saw it. But just for a minute. My hands got clammy and my heart jumped a little. Not in a good way. The moment didn't last long. I didn't look for the line in his palm. I didn't examine his ear placement. I didn't let my mind go there even though I knew what to look for. I've got a freaking degree. I knew all about it. I convinced myself that it was late. That it was the morphine giving me nightmares. That Down Syndrome couldn't happen to me.

Truth be told, after that moment, I wasn't given the opportunity to see it again until pamphlet night. Ben was in the NICU, I was fighting for my life and didn't know it. I didn't really get to see my baby again and take a good look until the day they let us go home. Maybe it was God protecting me. Maybe I wasn't ready to grieve yet. Maybe I just don't remember. 
On the flip side, special needs have always held a very special place in my heart. I've been drawn to kids that nobody else is drawn to; that nobody else wants. I love different. But when different turned out to be mine, I got scared. Everything about it scared me. Everything I had learned went out the window. The pamphlets I read looked Greek. I didn't understand a single word and everything that was said in the next few weeks felt like brand new information.

Good things in life are scary sometimes. The best things in life don't come free. It's what makes those things beautiful. You have to work for them.

I can safely say now that working through finding out my Benjamin has Down Syndrome was one of the sweetest times of my life. Hard and heartbreaking, but oh so sweet.
Down Syndrome is a beautiful diagnosis. Scary and unpredictable? Absolutely.
But completely beautiful.  

We will be participating in our local Buddy Walk this year. If you'd like more info about ours or any other of the 250+ Buddy Walks taking place around the country, click HERE

October is Down syndrome awareness month. I'll hug Ben for you.