Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dreaming of Cheese Slices

Welcome to Almond Place! So sorry that things have been a little quiet around these parts, but it's all for a good cause I promise!

While I live in a massive city in the desert, I have often found myself feeling alone, isolated and lacking a strong sense of community....all things I did not experience growing up in a small town. Making friends when you're a legit grown up, working, married, with kids, is hard. We live in a society where BUSY is worn as a badge of honor and emphasis is no longer placed on quality time, friendship and simply enjoying life in the moment. It's sad, really.

Although I attend what would be considered a Catholic "Mega-church"...(we have 6000 registered families), the Catholic church as a whole is not nearly as organized as our Mormon or Evangelical friends. We have not had an active MOMs group at our church in a couple of years and even then, it was difficult to get women to participate.

I've been yearning for a faith based group of moms at MY church. After several months of prayer, a friend of mine and I have relaunched our group.  So, there you go...that's what I've been up to this past month.  We had our first session last Thursday and it was great!

Our theme was Encouragement. I was struggling to find a funny story that might help break the ice, help other moms relate to each other and keep things real....this is what I shared.



We are all busy. We have so many things to keep track of. Appointments, jobs, keeping up with friends, maintaining a healthy marriage....tending to all of our kids' needs, making sure everyone eats well, sleeps well, doesn't watch too much t.v....you know how it is!

I was feeling particularly proud of myself last week when I had successfully kept all my kids happy and in bed on time. It was just one of those days where I felt like SuperMom! I went to bed on time and was off in la-la land in no time.

SUPERMOM.

Until I woke up....and realized I had spent all night sleeping on a full slice of cheese....that was now mushed into my bed.

awesome.

So I get everyone up, lunches made, backpacks packed and everyone out the door on time....still laughing at myself for the cheese slice...jump in the shower and get myself ready for work.

I'm sitting at work when I get an itch. I reach down to scratch my leg and it feels oddly prickly. Replaying my day, I distinctly remember shaving my legs. I reach down to feel the other and voila...silky smooth.

People....I shaved ONE leg.

Sigh. Supermom was just thrown off her mountain.

Honestly, between this and the cheese slice I couldn't help but laugh. I mean, who does this?!

THIS is why we need MOMS. Who are FRIENDS. Who can be there to laugh with you and who can share their very own cheese slice-one shaved leg story. Encouragement. Knowing we're all in this together.

If you're missing a group, I would encourage you to seek one in your area. If there isn't one that can suit your needs? Go ahead and start one. It takes a little prep work, a lot of prayer and some organization but it can be very rewarding when nearly 30 people show up looking for the same thing.

Happy Tuesday! May you have cheese free beds and remember to shave BOTH legs today ;-)

Mandy

I'm Linking up: The Modest Mom BlogA Mama's Story

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle-ENDS TODAY!

Good Monday Morning to you! 

Couldn't we all use a little help in the health department?! 

This Ultimate Healthy Bundle is awesome! It ends today and I thought it might be of interest to some of you.

It's only $30 and is worth well over $1000 if you were to purchase all of these books individually.

Head on over and take a look! The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"I love you to Titan and Back."



Welcome to Almond Place!  


I have been blessed to have my Guest in my life for the better part of 10 years now. She is a thoughtful, kind, fun, energetic, talented and beautiful Mama.  She loves deeply and fiercely and the story she is going to be sharing here is something incredibly personal. Out of respect for her son and family, we are choosing to share her story anonymously. 

She and her little family have worked so incredibly hard at saving their son.  It has been a long road, and the daily challenges of going "against the grain" are real and still difficult. I have been a witness to their journey first hand.

If you feel inclined to comment, I would ask that you do so respectfully. I know this is a difficult subject for many and there are so many varying opinions and philosophies on how to handle this diagnosis.  I thank her for her courage, for not taking NO for an answer and for being willing to share her story here. 

Here is her story.

"I love you to Titan and Back"  

We all go through things in life that change us. Some things are tragic and some miraculous. We all take the good with the bad and hope to come out of this in one piece.   

To be honest, I'm a mess

Sometimes I feel broken and on the mend at the same time.  I cannot stop thinking about all the children and all the parents that will go through what we have had to endure. The experience I'm going to share with you has changed me. It's changed my way of thinking.  I'm not the same trusting mom. I question everything and everyone when it comes to my children.

The most tragic experience in my life was watching my first born son regress into Autism.

2011 is the year we watched our son drift away. We watched him lose skills, and become very ill. He had unexplained reoccurring fevers of 105 every three weeks for one year. He became lost in his own world. He stopped responding to his name, and became obsessed with opening and closing doors. There was no shared enjoyment. His eye contact was lost. He stared out the window most of the day. 

He was sick and alone. 

Conventional medicine had no advice for us on how to help our son.  We were at a loss.

At the age of 23 months he was informally diagnosed with Classic Autism.

We were strongly encouraged to avoid dietary changes and biomedical intervention because we were told these presented false hope. After researching testimonials online, we decided there might be some hope in making dietary changes for our son and figured if these changes had helped some children then we had to try them for our son. 

April 28th 2012 was a defining day for us. We removed all wheat, soy, sugar and dairy. 36 hours after removing these foods our son gained eye contact, began pointing and began talking to us again. 

Six weeks later, after making environmental and dietary changes he was formally diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDDNOS ASD). This means he went from very Low Functioning to High Functioning in 6 weeks. We did this entirely with dietary changes.

The most miraculous thing in this life has been watching his recovery! 

We have spent two years of life on some extremely strict dietary and environmental changes. We now have a healthy, happy little boy who is very social, has friends and loves to learn. He is fascinated with math, science and everything to do with outer space.

One of my favorite special moments with my son was about a year into his recovery.  He had just turned three and we were finishing up the book  "I love you to the moon and back". My little boy looked up at me with his big blue eyes and said "Mommy, I love you to Titan and back. That is really far away!" (Titan is one of Saturns moons).
_________

Their story is remarkable, isn't it? I am so proud of them. Their son is adorable and so stinking smart. In fact if you met him today, you would have no idea he was ever on the spectrum.

Their story is proof that it can be done and there is HOPE for your child if you are faced with this diagnosis. I will be featuring more of their story here in the future, so stay tuned!

Again, I would please ask that you be respectful in the comments. If you have any questions for her, please feel free to email me and I will forward them on.