Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bumps and All

Before we arrived at the pumpkin patch I told my daughter she could pick out any pumpkin she wanted. Usually she picks the bumpy ones, and I say 'are you sure that's the one you want? Look at all those ugly bumps.' This time I stood back and let her go. To my surprise she picked a smooth one;  yet it still was not void of imperfections. How would we feel if God only chose certain people for His kingdom? Guess what? Perfection does not exist. He chose us all, with all our bumps and imperfections. God's love is unconditional. I'm pretty sure we are anything but ugly in His eyes. We were beautifully created in His image- perfectly imperfect. No matter what we've been through His desire is for us to realize His grace and love is never ending. Once we accept this we can, in turn, share that love with others- bumps and all.      
'In the pumpkin patch of life always be true to your UNIQUE self'~ april XO

Monday, October 2, 2017

Irma's Impact

While Hurricane Irma visited the Sunshine State, my sweet T & I were hunkered down with a few of our favorite things, safe from Irma's wrath. It was an emotionally charged week leading up to Mother Nature's impending disaster, which left most of it's devastation South of us. With it's flip flop track no one knew if they should flee or just prepare to ride it out. When hurricane Jeanne whipped through, we lost our roof to a mini tornado and was displaced from our home for 9 months. While I'm usually worried about hurricanes, that one was the least of my worries- go figure. At any rate, I knew I wanted my daughter with me as she's always been. Her group home was evacuated along with multiple neighborhoods, but she would stay with me regardless.

Initially I almost drove to Georgia, but Irma dropped from a category 5, to a 4, and finally a 3, so I figured we'd stay. An 8 hour car ride into the unknown, with a special needs young adult probably wasn't the ideal situation. My gas tank was full, but gas was scarce and traffic jams were inevitable. My anxiety level was at an all time high, especially when the hurricane intensified and was tracking straight for us here on the West Coast. A friend invited us to their work place, which could withstand high winds and they had a generator. The decision to go hunker down there was made. I was trying not to incur panic onto T, and keep things as light and normal as I could, but she's one smart cookie. Seeing me pack, then moving again to yet another location she became anxious. She wanted to leave immediately, began crying and lunged towards the door. I remembered breaking down in private the night before. I told her not to be scared, mommy would be with her, and everything would be okay. I tried to believe it myself.. And said a prayer with her. She calmed a bit, and smiled. Her safety was key.

The realization that those you love, and all you have, could be ripped from your life so quickly hits you with a force of a cat 5 hurricane mentally. Preparations were underway, as the TV projected Irmas whereabouts and final destination. Friends and family from out of state were voicing their concern. During the storm surprisingly we both slept soundly. The following day partial power was lost and the generator didn't kick in, so movie time for T was interrupted. Those who have children on the spectrum, or with any special needs know how this turns out, as routine is of the utmost importance- major behavioral meltdown. My nerves were shot and my legs were bruised- but we got through it like any other.

Post Irma we thanked our lucky stars our lives, our homes, our community was spared with minimal damage, as sadness for others who weren't washed over us. Clean up began, power outages rampant, and with businesses affected we were already mentally and emotionally drained. It was apparent there was no getting around  physical exhausten as well. We either heard of, or experienced those who take advantage in vulnerable times; but the light of so many angels in disguise surpassed the negative. God places people, situations, and opportunities in our path. I allowed my fear to overpower my ability to trust in Him.

When faced with adversity that is when our strength is found. Irma's impact taught us that leaning on one another, having a tiny bit of faith, and finding hope along the way builds a foundation of strength that will supercede anything that may come our way.   

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Quest

As I submerged myself into welcoming waters I thought of how nature offers a solution to our inner turmoil. Floating.. Swimming... Releasing worries weight. The taste of salt on my lips, the short bursts of cool sensations, and the constant warmth of the sun's rays eased my restless heart. I felt weightless as I  peered at the billowy clouds above, then began to swim towards shore.. Grasping.. Reaching... The water thick through my fingertips. Words of advice washed over me. Simply floating.. The lull pulls me to shallow water, and as I brush my hands along the ocean floor any negative vibration is soothed by the softness of the sand. This quest for a settled heart now within my grasp.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tear Stained Faces


(* Real life raising a child w/SN)

your tear stained face
your hair all a mess
your wild eyes peering at me
wondering if I see you
wondering if I understand
oh how I try
patience comes and goes
but love abounds
tears begin to stream down my face 
I turn so you won't see my hurt
my heart all a mess 
my eyes must mirror the doubt
both of us carrying such strength
the bond between us immense
our hearts' emotions are entwined
thoughts are portrayed with a simple look
our tear stained faces gaze back at one another
your questioning thoughts and my doubtfulness has vanished
replaced by a peace filled love
I see you
I understand

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Road Map of My Mind

Do you ever feel like you're not sure where you're going? You get the map out, Google probably, and find your direction. Life doesn't offer a map, or Google. In our minds we plan our futures, while others help add to these intricate ideas. We start out thinking we have it all together because there's a plan of sorts. However, lately, I've realized how inconsistent life's travels can be and have been brought to a turning point-  there doesn't have to be a map.

In fact finding your direction means following your instincts, leaning on your intuition, listening to your heart, accepting mistakes, and learning to love yourself. Meditation, prayer, a beach walk are just a few ways to rid yourself of the negative thoughts that will continue to hold you back from where you're meant to end up. Never allow others to determine how you feel, or to impose their own insecurities onto you.

Not everyone is meant to wander onward with us. Hard truths hurt, but if we allow lies and disrespect from ourselves just think what we allow others to do; past or present. Trust yourself enough to make those tough decisions that will lead you where you are going.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Breakfast at Nana's


*Excerpt from my children's poetry collection 

Sleepy eyes and the swish of slippers
Tea cups clattering as coffee brews
Bacon sizzling while eggs are flipping
Place settings have been placed
A dish here a plate there
this fork that spoon
Oh wait here's yet a teeny tinier spoon
you can use them all
yes you can
oh such fun
A tea cup for me and a saucer for you
Here's a bit of sugar 
Cereal on the side
Grapefruit or berries
So many choices
decisions decisions
It surely doesn't matter
Nana flutters around like a butterfly
Grampy flashes a cheerful smile
His voice carrying a memorable tune
Morning chats and breakfast at nanas                   will always be a delight to me

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Learning to hold the reigns

As I watched my daughter at equine therapy yesterday as she worked on holding the reigns it made me think about how relatable to life that is. She held on with one hand while still clutching the saddle horn with the other. No doubt this increased her comfort level for the time being, and eventually she'll be grasping onto the reigns with both hands. Learning to loosen our grip on what we've become accustomed to can be overwhelming. Trusting in a new way means pushing fear aside and grabbing faith into a bear hug. Changes are necessary for growth. We hear this time and again, but are we actually paying attention? Learn to hold the reigns of your life like you mean it..  with confidence in yourself. You can do it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A New Year


2016 was a year of opportunity, growth and independence for me. Early in the year my dream of having a book signing and story time event at Barnes and Noble Bookstore came true, both books were accepted in multiple venues, I've been offered creative opportunities within the community, and a friend helped a vision I had of creating Chopper & T dolls happen. I've reconnected with old friends, and met new. I was able to go to Maine to visit family, and was then gifted with a flight to NYC; where I took in the sights and saw my first Broadway show... this was a bucket list adventure. Tiana  turned 21 and continues to thrive where she lives. Her grant for a special riding helmet was approved and she began equine therapy riding again. Living aboard Summer Reign for over a year now, has been and continues to be a combination of enjoyment, frustration, and teachable moments. Paul can't believe his dream is still in full effect, and Rocky has proven to be an excellent boat dog- only falling in twice. Feeling gratefulness for  2016 and positivity for 2017! The new year will be filled with prosperity, blessings and love. 

Believe it!

Happy New Year! Don't worry about resolutions; instead love yourself more.  In turn you'll be able to love others more and build a mindset of gratefulness for every tiny blessing that will grow into blessings you may never even  expected!