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For Our Family, Advent Is a Time of Needed Rest

I come from a diverse Christian background. My mom is Mormon, while my dad was raised Episcopalian. I’ve dabbled with nondenominational, Baptist, and Pentecostal churches in my own search for what was right for me. When my daughter, Austen, was 4 months old — just three…

When Special Needs Moms Get Sick

Moms don’t get sick days. I remember my mom telling me that one day when I called in desperation. The Army had recently moved us to California for my husband’s training, the first time I had ever been away from my family long-term.

Seeing Epilepsy Awareness in a New Light

I have a confession. I used to hate Epilepsy Awareness Month. Maybe it’s because our daughter Austen’s first seizure happened in November, so I’m a little bitter about the month in general. Or maybe it’s because I’m a naturally introverted person,…

When Autism Fixations Rule Your Days

“Look at the sky, Mom, it’s orange. That means it’s Halloween!” Austen was right, the sky was a very beautiful orange that morning. But I gently tried to explain to her that it wasn’t yet Halloween. It was no use. Within minutes, we were in full…

Meeting Austen’s Baby Doll, Sarah

My parents have always been doting grandparents. Since my oldest daughter was born 12 years ago, it has felt like Target’s toy department exploded in my home. Almost anything my kids have wanted, they have gotten — within reason, of course. Addi was 2 when…

How Milo Became Girl’s Best Friend

Austen was 8 months old when we adopted Milo. Her seizures had already started, but her diagnosis was still a good four months into the future. We were on a journey that seemed to be hazed in fog at that point, and Milo…