Let it Go! Here comes kindergarten!

“Worry is a payment on a debt you might not owe.” That coupled with “Worry does not allow for God’s plan” are two of my favorite sayings. I tell myself these two things over and over when I start to feel that pit in my stomach. Yet here I am sending Kelsi to kindergarten with that same anxiety in my gut that does not want to go away. It’s a new town, a new school, new teachers, and new therapists. A new environment for my little girl who is accustomed to her to preschool setting from the last three years where she thrived in a blended program. I’ve been told she’s a model candidate for a child who should be in an inclusive setting- yet I worry. I worry she won’t keep up. I worry the other kids will pick on her. I worry she won’t be able to learn the lessons or pay attention long enough. I worry about her size- her pint sized stature compared to the other kids who tower over her. I worry I have spent five years believing this is the path she should take and I’m petrified to find out I’m wrong.   BUT, why would I be wrong? Kelsi has risen to the challenge throughout her life, over and over.   She had an amazing pre-school experience and there’s no real reason for me to doubt her,  or her ability to perform in this new kindergarten setting. So here I am again and it’s time for me to channel my inner coach and become her cheerleader.   To be the one in her corner, not only telling her she can do it, but confident in her abilities as she moves forward.  And as I hand her over to this new school and new team I must remember  that she is and always will be in God’s good hands.   So, to take a page from the movie hit of the year, and also Kelsi’s favorite movie- it’s time for me to Let it Go….


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The Road Not Taken….

3-21-Down syndrome Awareness Day.  I’ve updated my original Kelsi’s Corner post because those feelings though further in the past remain the same….

My beautiful daughter Kelsi turns 5 this week and I can hardly believe it.  I am overwhelmed with my love for her and the daily joy that she provides to our family.   Kelsi’s Corner is a gift to her as a thank you for transforming me into a better mother and a better human being.  She is the light of my life- a light at the end of a dark tunnel that I never thought I’d see.  This is a story of my transformation from despair to life and hope.  The truth is Kelsi has Down syndrome and I wouldn’t take it away.  But the other truth is that I didn’t start out feeling this way.  In fact the emotions I just described are almost opposite of the way I felt days, weeks and even months after receiving the diagnosis.  The truth hurts and sometimes so much that it’s hard to say aloud, especially when it goes it against everything you “thought “ you believed in.  So here is my truth.

During my 20 week ultrasound, when I found out I was having another girl when I was delighted!  When I then found she had a heart defect I was distraught.  When I found out she had Down syndrome I was devastated.  I am pro-life, or at least that’s what I’d told myself for the last 30 years.  All life is valuable.   Trust in God.   Everything happens for a reason.  All such inspiring truths until you are personally facing struggles you had never imagined.   When I heard the words Down syndrome I immediately thought my life is over.  I will have an adult child in my home until I die.  I will never go on vacations again.   My first-born daughter will be stuck caring for her forever infantile sister.  And those are only a few of the hopeless thoughts that went through my head.   My heart hurt more than it ever had.    I was in shock, it scared me, and it was more than I could handle.  I couldn’t talk to anyone, I couldn’t go to work,  I just cried and tried to figure out how to wrap my head, my arms, and my heart around my situation.  Here I was in a position where I believed I knew exactly what I was supposed to do and I did not want to do it.  I did not want to have a baby with Down syndrome.  This in itself altered me forever.  To be faced with a decision that shakes the core of who you think you are has a monumental impact on the person you become- whichever road you choose to take.  As you already know I chose to sustain the pregnancy but my agony did not end there.  Over the next few months of my pregnancy I lived in fear and disgust.  Disgust with myself for the way I felt about my baby girl that was growing inside of me.  The excitement, joy, and anticipation I felt with my first child was replaced by fear, anxiety, and sorrow.  There is a lot in the middle as the transition from despair to happiness did not occur overnight.  I had to educate myself, break down my own mental stereotypes, and consider the fact that I really knew nothing about this “awful” diagnosis I had been given.  Looking back I realize now my feelings weren’t wrong but I  also realize they were formed due to my ignorance on Down syndrome and the stereotypes imparted onto me by society.

In the 5 short years that Kelsi’s been here, I’ve learned the truth- what is my new truth.  Down syndrome is a part of Kelsi but it doesn’t define Kelsi.   Kelsi is fun, determined, charming and stubborn- a typical toddler in most ways.  She loves Mickey, following her older sister around, and is a daredevil when it comes to new challenges.   I always hoped my second child would be more loving, as my first is not the most affectionate child.  I laugh now at how God works in mysterious ways as Kelsi showers our family and friends with hugs and flirts with strangers when we are in public.   At only 5 years old she strives for independence and I am fully confident she will leave the home just like my older daughter.  She’s been to the Bahamas, Colorado, Niagara Falls, Seabrook, Disney World- several times, Washington DC, and on a few other vacations.   Not bad for only 5!  The truth is I was wrong.  Not wrong in my emotions but ignorant in my perception of what Down syndrome is.  Emily Perl Kingley’s poem describes it best for me.  It may not be Italy where you had always planned to go but Holland is beautiful as well!
For those of you women who are pregnant and currently trying to decide if you should terminate your pregnancy, stop and take a moment.  If you landed here then I’m assuming you feel as lost as I did.  Before you travel down the path most traveled and join the 90+% of women who choose to terminate, please educate yourself on the realities of Down syndrome and don’t just believe the common misconceptions.  Most importantly, please educate yourself not from a doctor’s medical point of view but from a mother’s point of view.  Regardless of your decision, every child deserves to have someone in their corner even in the bleakest of circumstances.  I’m an open book and I’m here to help woman facing this diagnosis.  Post, email me, or call me.  But before you make the decision  to take the road the majority of women choose to take, at least consider taking the road less traveled.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

Happy 5th Birthday Kelsi!  Thank you for making me a better person- I’m prouder than ever to be your Mommy!

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Rise above the “R” Word- Down syndrome awareness Month

October is Down syndrome awareness month, and as I thought about what to be aware of the word retarded continued to come to mind.  You see, in many ways this word haunts me and the many others who live and love people with mental disabilities.  As I thought about what to write and how to express my feelings on this word, it dawned on me that it was really quite simple and can be explained as you would explain it to a child….

Retarded is not a nice word.

The R-word is INCORRECT


I realize that for some of you the immediate response is “give me a break” or “I don’t mean anything by it” and I get that.  Truthfully, I was a person who, up until the birth of my child, did use this word; quite often I must add, and I carry guilt over that to this day.   I never meant anything by it- I certainly didn’t know I was offending anyone.  It was just another word.  The problem is that it’s NOT just another word.  Like many other words that people of a certain culture, race, or sexual orientation are mortified to hear, retarded NOW falls into that category for me.  If you look at the online dictionary you will find this

Retarded- Often Offensive Affected with mental retardation.

This word is a slap in the face to all the parents who have a child they see working so hard every day to learn, to grow, and to love.  Who strive to fit in and be just like their peers, to be seen as equals and who are thrown back a few steps every time someone in society uses this word.

The R-word spreads HURT


Now, I realize that being politically correct can be annoying and that sometimes in today’s age it seems like the list of “inappropriate words” continues to grow.  But the bottom line is – it doesn’t matter.  If a word is offensive to an entire group of people living in society then it should be known, and people should attempt to remove that word from their vocabulary.

Why?  Because whether you mean for it to be or not, it’s like a punch in the gut to so many people who deal with the reality of mental delays on a daily basis.  This alone is enough reason to stop using it- and any word that offends a group of people in this world.  Because we are PEOPLE first and should use PEOPLE first language.

Using the R word pushes Kelsi back a few steps and further perpetuates untrue stereotypes about Down syndrome.   So the next time you go to use the word retarded, I urge you to think about my daughter and please don’t.  This small difference will help strip away the ignorance surrounding Down syndrome and help empower Kelsi in her life.  Also, if you hear someone else use it simply explain it to them as you would to a child…

Retarded is not a nice word.




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An “Ah- ha moment” – made famous by Oprah, & now ever so popular.  I’m sure many of us have wondered, what does that even mean?  For years it’s boggled my mind.  Although I’m pretty sure I did actually get it, I couldn’t figure out the difference between “AH” Moments and “ah ha” moments- ….and then I did.  And the weird thing is that even after I’m not sure how to explain it.   This past weekend was the Gigi’s Playhouse annual 5k run – an amazing event.  Throughout the day I had many “ah” moments from finishing the race, to being brought on stage as the #2 fundraising team, to Nancy Giana discussing the “R” word and how hurtful it can be to others.   I thought a lot about how all of these kids are people first.  It is saddening that so many people can’t see past the initial diagnosis to realize the potential their son or daughter may have if they were given a chance to shine in this world.  The race was followed by lunch to celebrate with family and friends and then we took the kids to Santa’s Village – a kiddie amusement park.  It was one wonderful experience after another, and I was in utter elation from my awesome day.  Thinking the day could not possibly have gotten any better, I sat down in bed to find a message on Kelsi’s Corner from this courageous young woman….

  • “My name is Jenna and I was born with a rare life threatening disease I have 15 other medical conditions and developmental delays. I have been told I won’t live long, but I am still here. I have almost lost my fight twice, and I kept fighting and I am still here. I have had 33 operations and just got diagnosed last week with Epilepsy and complex partial seizures. I love to smile, have a positive attitude and never give up. I love my life, love to help and encourage others. I play baseball despite my rare bone disease, and never give up! I was told I would never be able to play sports, and here I am on the special o baseball team, going to Provincles this summer. My legs will one day give out, and I will no longer have use for them, so I might as well use them as much as I can, when I still can.  Your smile just shines, you are a brave warrior, smilen champ, courageous fighter, determined inspiration, and a real super hero. you are full of life, smiles, and spunk. I am praying for you, thinking of you, you are in my prayers, smiles, thoughts and in my heart. I send you lots of hugs, smiles, friendship.  You can check her out here…

Tears welled up and awe overcame me at her spirit. In that moment I felt so grateful and it hit me like a tidal wave.  What a life we lead, what a gift we’ve been given.  And to even be considered in the same realm as someone who has touched this girls life- that is my “ah ha moment.”  Because it doesn’t get any better than to be in a league with a young girl like that.  She refuses to let her spirit die despite the incredible challenges she’s facing.

I don’t actually feel worthy, but I do feel inspired to go share love and acceptance even further.  Because really this is it.  It’s up to us to create with each other our own “ah ha” moments. I believe these defining moments may only come once we all learn to love and accept each other.  As the Dalai Lama said “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Ah – life is good…the sun is shining, Hawks Win!, my beer is cold…all amazing things in life. 

AH- HA –This is the next level.  Be kind, be positive, accept all people despite their differences.  Look past the Down syndrome, the different colored skin, the wheelchair and see them only as another human soul, and you will have your own AH-HA moment. 

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. —Ralph Waldo Emerson


WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR… | Down Syndrome Support

Fresh off our family vacation to Disney World, I’m on that high that comes with vacationing and visiting the most “magical” place on earth.  So with that in mind, and on the 1 year anniversary of Kelsi’s Corner…

Once upon a time I set out on a mission- a mission to prove that you could have a very “normal” life by our general society’s standard while raising a child with Down syndrome.  I wanted to show that Down syndrome was a small part of our lives.  To show through day-to-day living that it doesn’t make up who I am as a mom, who Kelsi is as an individual, or who we are as a family.

I wholeheartedly still believe that is true.  As I approach the year anniversary of my blog and reflect on it, what amazes me is that in my efforts to prove my point I’ve been forced to do exactly the opposite.  My original plan was to show that I could go about my daily life as it was before, never focusing on Kelsi having Down syndrome and never really giving light to it in any way.  I thought that by launching Kelsi’s Corner I would put this plan into motion.  Only a year later does the irony of my efforts occur to me.

It’s amazing how sometimes the very things we do NOT want to define us in life end up being the cornerstone of our definition.  Rather than going quietly about my life and just showing those around me that you can function in everyday life just as everyone else does- WITH a child with Down syndrome, I’ve had to shout it from the mountain tops.  I’ve exclaimed with loud exclamation points to my family and friends, facebook friends, high school acquaintances, strangers, women I’ve never met- LOUD AND PROUD that I HAVE A CHILD WITH DOWN SYNDROME!  The one thing I didn’t want, to be put in a Down syndrome box, is the very box I ended up creating.

I also hoped to save one life, just one, and it would all be worth it.  I’ve realized I may never really know if this happens, and my heart breaks when it doesn’t.  Instead, my mission has shifted.  I hope one by one to help change a person’s perception, to give comfort to a woman in pain post-diagnosis, to ease one family’s anxiety while waiting for tests results, and to show someone who has already passed judgment just how wonderful Kelsi is  just as she is- extra chromosome and all.

It’s ironic as it is the exact opposite of my “plan,” but sometimes the plan isn’t what you anticipated and there is a greater purpose.  I’ve realized that this is a journey, not a destination and I am open to where it takes me.

So one year later, on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day and to my amazement again, here I am shouting it: “My daughter has Down syndrome!  It’s okay!!”  She’s more like your kids than you realize and my life is very much just like yours.  I’ve accepted this path because in my opinion, Down syndrome and all, we are living happily ever after…


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This Little Light of Mine | Down Syndrome Support

When asked to describe my children I often find myself saying that Kenna is the love of my life and Kelsi is the light of my life.  Now to be clear this isn’t to say that I don’t love Kelsi or to say that Kenna doesn’t shine as bright as her sister.  For me it’s a way to explain the differences in them, in the way they make me feel, and the way they’ve affected me.

Kenna is my first born- my outgoing, amazing, sweet, daughter who fills my heart with more love than I thought it could hold.   She has taught me unconditional love and sometimes I am so overwhelmed with my love for her that it hurts.

Kelsi is my precious, brave, happy little girl- the light of my life.  Because of the way she shines, because of her infectious smile and humor, and because of the clarity she brought to my own life.  In a way I am thankful for the ignorance I once had because of the place it allows me to be in today.   Facing what I thought was something “awful” caused me to break down to a point where I was able to rebuild with a stronger foundation.  It gave me clarity that there is a plan, that I may not always understand it in the moment, but that I must have faith that it is what is meant to be.  Today, even though I am elated to be Kelsi’s mom, that experience helps me keep my eyes open and remember what is important.  It’s not my bank account, or whether I’m late, or if I feel frumpy that day.  It’s not the car that cut me off, the neighbor who’s house is bigger, or the the coffee I spilled on my desk.  It’s not the little things that we so often inadvertently place importance on as we go about our day-to-day life.

It often takes tragedy,  like our country is currently facing, or a heart-wrenching situation to bring things into focus.  For me it took finding out I was having a daughter with Down syndrome to become the person I should have been to begin with.  I wish it didn’t take tragedy for people to want to be better and kinder.  I wish it didn’t take having Kelsi for me to open my eyes, but often it does and for me, it did.

The important thing is that we learn from these moments, and learn from the Kelsis of the world.  We need to be loving and kind to all humans; accept all people, all children.  Let’s be an example to your children and to others.  Treat others as you want to be treated; we know this.  So many of us repeat it daily to our children, but as adults we need to do a better job of acting on it.

Let’s do better, let’s BE better.  Let’s stop looking at our differences and embraces our similarities.  We are all human beings in search of the same things in life.  Let’s be thankful for the gifts we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t have.  Let’s be kind to each other.  Let’s say hello, hold doors, let someone in on the road.  Let’s focus on what’s important…family, love, children, our health, freedom, safety…..

Children are gifts- All children.  You are blessed to be given the opportunity to be a mom or a dad to any child.  When life gets hard or you are facing a difficult situation-  Dare to be different, dare to take a chance, dare to let that light shine- it’s a light this world needs more than ever.

This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine.

Click here to watch video documenting Kelsi and our journey as a family

Happy Holidays from Kelsi!

Happy Holidays from Kelsi!

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October is Down syndrome Awareness Month.  So what should you be aware of?  I often think it’s not what you should be aware of as much as of what you should BEWARE.  Beware of the stereotypes, beware of the myths, beware of the inaccurate information out there in the world regarding Down syndrome.
To promote Down syndrome awareness I could discuss trisomy 21 and the extra chromosome or give you the medical definition or I could quote you statistics on the number of people born with Down syndrome.  But that will give you about as much insight into Down syndrome as telling you I was born with BEY2 (aka, brown eyes).  So as a mother of a 3 year old with Down syndrome, instead of telling you what Down syndrome is, I’d rather address a few of the myths and I’d like to tell you from my perspective what Down syndrome is NOT.
A Down syndrome diagnosis isn’t the end.  It is not the death sentence that most people, including myself, imagine when they hear those words uttered by the doctor.  Rather, it’s the beginning… the beginning of a story of another child, another gift, another life.  Down syndrome does not define an individual any more than my brown eyes define me.  It is a part of who that person is- first and foremost a human being.

A person with Down syndrome is not disabled.  Rather they are a person who is able with a different set of abilities.   In our pursuit for perfection in this cut- throat society it is so easy to put labels on people rather than just seeing them as people with different circumstances.  For those of us living outside of society’s definition of “normal” and not just with Down syndrome- the fact that some people wear their challenges outwardly does not make them disabled.  That society often can only see and label these things as “disabilities” shows our disability as the human race.   Because in fact aren’t we all challenged and inadequate in some way whether it be emotionally, socially, intellectually, athletically, etc?  Oscar Pistorius, a South African paralympic athlete said, “ My mother said to us one morning, ‘Carl, you put on your shoes, and Oscar, you put on your prosthetic legs.’ And that was the last we heard of it. I didn’t grow up thinking I had a disability,” he said, “I grew up thinking I had different shoes.”

A child with Down syndrome is not a burden!  Do not feel sorry for me!  When you see a family with a child with Down syndrome or hear of a friend who received that diagnosis it is not something you need to say or think “I’m sorry” in response to. This is not to deny the confusing emotions that originally come with such a diagnosis or dismiss the pain and sorrow many women feel during this time.  Of course it’s shocking and of course we all hope for the very best health for all children but pity is not a warranted emotion.  Many women have asked me how to tell their friends or family because of this; because they don’t want the pity, they don’t want the whispers and the “I’m so glad it’s not me” to be said behind their backs.  For those of you facing this situation, it’s okay to feel the grief  and to mourn the loss of the child you thought you were going to have but hold your head high!  Because when the despair fades and when reality sets in, your child will be the light of your life and bring joy and inspiration to all of those around you.  So please don’t feel sorry for me, for Kelsi, for people with Down syndrome.  I’m happy, Kelsi is happy and we are ALL blessed!

Lastly I often hear this- parents of children with special needs have a higher divorce rate.  The reality is a child with Down syndrome does not lead to increased divorce rates.  In fact, divorce rates among families of children with Down syndrome were actually found to be lower than in families without a child with Down syndrome.  When you are forced to change your own outlook on what’s important in life you are often left feeling enlightened, happy and content.  I’ve heard many parents say the same thing and I echo their sentiments in my own life…Kelsi is the child I never knew I always wanted!
So this October-Down syndrome awareness month- please help spread the word!  Help people be aware by making a personal effort to beware of the myths and by spreading the truth about Down syndrome!



p.s. If you like this post, PLEASE show your support and help to spread the word by “Liking” Kelsi’s Corner on facebook and also consider sharing with your friends.  A little “like” will go a long way.  🙂

*Photos courtesy of Tyler Plank Photography*

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Manic Monday | Down Syndrome

Just another Manic Monday….

Its Monday!  Most people are thinking, yes, Monday why the exclamation point?  For many its more like ” its Monday- blah!”  Whether you trudge to work, drop the kids at school, or whatever your routine- it’s the start for many of  yet another long week- the weekend seeming so far off.   I find myself often falling into this pitfall trap of the Mondays- it’s an easy thing to do.   But not today- today I’m thrilled it’s Monday-I’m thankful for another week, another day, another minute to enjoy this precious gift called life.

Yesterday I spent the day at the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.  Although it was my first time in the new hospital I always have a bitter sweet feeling being in any children’s hospital.  I feel happiness that my daughter is home and healthy enjoying her life, sadness for the children currently residing there, and anxiety as past memories of our own struggles come flooding back.

However, this time I was not there for Kelsi, but rather for a plaque dedication for my grandmother.  When my Grammy died last October we set up a fund to raise money for Kelsi’s heart surgeons in her name.  Many other families do this as well and yesterday the hospital honored these people in a heart wrenching ceremony filled with love and many tears.

The pain and heartache in this room was palpable.  As one parent after another stood up and shared memories of their loved ones, mostly children, I was overwhelmed with pain for these people.    One man who touched me the most told of his young pregnant daughter, who was a twin that was taken suddenly near the end of her pregnancy.  Their granddaughter lived 3 days and went to be with her mommy.  It was sad.  It hurt.  What these people wouldn’t do for one more day-for one more Monday with their loved one.  In the midst of the heartache though was a sense of peace, a sense of hope as the leader reminded us that by living each day we carry on the legacy of those left behind because they live in us.  “Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep”

So today I urge you to hug your husband or wife, kiss your babies one more time, tell a friend you love them; Embrace this day- this Monday because we’ve been given another day to live- another day to love.

This is the day that the Lord has made – we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118

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Eye of the Tiger | Having a Child with Down Syndrome and Health Issues

* This post is dedicate to Elijah Daniel Lautenbach Leimberer .  A child of the Down syndrome community who went to be with the angels 8/1/2012.

Rocky won best picture in 1976 which was the year I was born.  Most would say this is a coincidence but I like to think not as this is my favorite movie of all time.  There is something about the will to fight that inspires me.  The training montages, the underdog rising to the challenge, Apollo, Adrian’s heart- wrenching speeches… I love it all.  I love it because Rocky fights. He fights for what he wants and he doesn’t give up.  I love it even more since I’ve had Kelsi because I see that spirit in her.   I think other parents of children with Down syndrome would agree that the hardest part of raising a child with Down syndrome isn’t the part that people are initially scared of- the possible developmental delays or social concerns- but rather it is the medical concerns.  It’s when they face health challenges and the increased risk of further health complications.  Health concerns are an issue.  To say they are not would not be an honest reflection of raising a child with Down syndrome.

“You don’t throw a whole life away just ’cause it’s banged up a little.”  -Seabiscuit
I haven’t talked about Kelsi’s earlier days much.  They were filled with many doctors visits and numerous hospital stays.   Kelsi was born with an AV Canal Defect which is a serious heart complication and required her to undergo surgery when she 4 ½ months old.  She was in the hospital for around 2 weeks and a few times prior to the surgery.  My husband slept by her bedside, Grandma stayed during the day and I stayed there as much as I could emotionally handle.  I realized in the first few months of her life that I did not handle the hospital very well.  It scared me, reminded me of the situation I was in and even in the best of all hospitals it made me feel lost all over again.  Following surgery she needed a G-tube for feedings.  Most doctors told me to expect her to have this for years to come as she was past the age of learning how to bottle feed or suck on her own.  That was a pivotal moment for me because I was determined that Kelsi would prove them all wrong.  It was time to be Mickey (Rocky’s coach) in Kelsi’s Corner.  Six months later Kelsi no longer needed a G-tube and to this day is a champ at the dinner table! 🙂

“What if I lose?  Then at least you lose with no excuses- with no fear.”  -Rocky III
Looking back now I always say that prenatally I thought Down syndrome was a big deal but it wasn’t the scary part.  Having a child go through open heart surgery- that was the big deal.  Going into the surgery and preparing  your child for it is what is emotionally draining.  I found myself resisting the urge to bond with Kelsi leading up to the surgery for fear of losing my daughter.  But as I sat there often tempted to wallow in self pity I would just look at Kelsi.  If this little girl was fighting this hard, then so must I.  No parent should have to watch a child with or without Down syndrome suffering or in pain, but it happens regardless.

“Life is like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re going to get”  -Forrest Gump
The strength Kelsi exhibits as medical challenges are thrown at her inspires me to this day.   Each time I get a shot and facing my upcoming knee surgery (I’m a wimp) I remind myself if Kelsi can do what she does then I can do this.  If these kids will fight this hard for their chance to live, don’t they deserve the chance to fight?  And isn’t it our job as parents to be their coaches?

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
In many ways I can relate the emotions that Rocky endures to the way it feels going up against the health issues.  You often feel beaten, scared that what you fear is the bigger and stronger opponent and you are left with a decision.  Will I fight?  Yes.  Is it scary?  Yes.  Is it  painful?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!

To Kelsi, and all of the children with Down syndrome who fight each and every day, THANK YOU for inspiring us and reminding us that “Anything Worth Having Is Worth Fighting For” – J. Johnson  (I think Rocky would also agree :))

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As I watched the news in horror this weekend I was once again reminded that life can change in an instant.  We never know what we will wake up to and what the day will bring.  What i do know is that life is a gift.  I found this poem that I thought I’d share.

Life Is For Living

Life is a gift we’re given each and every day.

Dream about tomorrow, but live for today.

To live a little, you’ve got to love a whole lot.

Love turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Life’s a journey always worth taking.

Take time to smell the roses…and tulips…

And daffodils…and lilacs…and sunflowers.

Count blessings like children count stars.

The secret of a happy life isn’t buried in a

treasure chest….it lies within your heart.

It’s the little moments that make life big.

Don’t wait. Make memories today.

Celebrate your life!

Author: Unknown

So to everyone this summer I implore you to enjoy yourself each and everyday- may it be safe and filled with many happy memories

Kelsi’s Corner

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