Bringing the Sunshine

I'm an ordinary mom with extraordinary kids, living an ordinary yet extraordinary life. Join me as I navigate the waters of life with a daughter with cerebral palsy, a son with Down syndrome, an adventurous husband, a wild Westie, a rescued Schnoodle, a camera, and a worn out pair of running shoes.

The End of One Thing…And the Start of Something Bigger

Sarah Kate was a bit hesitant to return to swim team last summer, but once back her old passion was reignited – so much so that she chose to swim with the high school team as a seventh grader. Once the season ended in November, though, she didn’t swim (or much of anything else active), and that’s when the problems started: tendinitis first in her ankle and later in her knee, and followed by a loss of function. Late in the spring she began working out at home, which helped, but it was when she went back to the pool that things improved...more

Insta-Update: Midsummer


What I Learned About Suffering on a Disney Cruise

Last year Sarah Kate was given a Disney cruise by Magic Moments, an organization that grants “wishes” to Alabama children with chronic or life-threatening medical conditions....more

My Son Became a VBS Dropout. Twice.

Pope Francis said in his homily last weekend, “The way we experience illness and disability is an index of the love we are ready to offer,” and we saw that firsthand when Sarah Kate was young. Some people were attracted to her energy and determination, and it showed in the way they interacted with her and us. Others were uncomfortable with her, and as much as they tried to hide it, they never really could ....more

The Over-the-Top Swim Mom Was Me

A couple of weeks ago, my Timehop app showed me what happened six years ago – Sarah Kate’s very first swim meet. We watched the video of her swimming the 25 yard backstroke as a family, and Mr. Andi’s description of it was spot on ....more

The Days Are Long…

…but the years are short. At least, that’s what I keep hearing from all the moms who are graduating their babies. I know it to be true, especially when I look at my thirteen year old daughter and realize that a mere five years from now she’ll be one of those graduates, too ....more

What I Learned in May

SUMMER! For weeks I’ve been looking forward to the end of the school year and now that it’s finally arrived…I’m counting the days until the next school year. Okay, not really, because I truly...more

Paddling My Own Canoe

We sold our boat last weekend. A more accurate statement would be that Mr. Andi sold it, as I did very little other than put an ad on Craigslist and hunt...more

The Boy That I Need

I’m calling this look “Prep Hipster” On Tuesday, I wrote about what the kids have been doing lately, and I closed that post with a tip of the hat to those people who have encouraged my kids, welcoming them into a typical world that isn’t perfectly suited to them. I am forever indebted to them for paving the way, smoothing the edges, and being awesome. But the knuckleheads need to be recognized, too ....more

Doing the Things They Couldn’t Do

Thank you for your patience last week during...more