Autism SUCKS!.. and other reasons to start blogging

•December 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

Autism does SUCK, and because it is such a ubiquitous part of life for our family, I’m going to probably dedicate some of my most frequent posts to the topic.  There will hopefully be alot of other things that I’ll post about as well, including updates on other less heavy topics that I feel are relevant for whatever reason.  But for now I’m finding myself consumed with thoughts, fears, prayers, soul searching, and a tremendous amount of frustration about this disorder that has such a pervasive and profound grip on my son Joshua, and on all of us who love and care for him, and so it is currently THE topic.  Though there are quite honestly many times when the stress of  it all fills me with despair and a sense of dread, I’m going to try to make a point of also reflecting on the moments of  joy, love, and happiness that present themselves, and  finding some spirit-renewing glimmers of hope that I can share here.

My primary objective for starting to post in this blog again (after a very brief  and unsuccessful attempt in late 2009/early 2010) is that I believe it will be therapeutic to have a place where I can put my thoughts and feelings somewhere so that they don’t just course through my brain incessantly.  I don’t have any delusions of grandeur that would make me think that my view of things is somehow important beyond my own perspective of who I am, and possibly within my little spectrum of influence in the world – most particularly my family.  But I think that by taking time to describe how and why something matters to me, I can release it and then reflect on it later.  Maybe it will serve a purpose to guide and reinforce my beliefs and values, or maybe it will allow me to see how my thoughts may have changed over time.   I have been known to wake up in the middle in the night and make lists of things that were on my mind, but that’s only sufficient to provide a momentary purge of some particular thought that I’ve latched onto.  I like the idea of allowing myself to fully explore the things that are important to me in writing, and I do feel a sense of accomplishment and completion in being able to elaborate on some of the things that touch my life and help shape my experiences.

For example, a few years ago, there was a period of time when I found myself to be extremely depressed by the passing of three young people of either high school or college age.  We only knew each in some peripheral way, and yet, the collective weight of their deaths had a significant impact on me.  I decided to write down my feelings about the tragedy of lives lost too soon, and the hope of what God has waiting for us, and spent several hours pouring deeply-held beliefs and emotions into a Journal that I was going to start.   Unfortunately, I lost the Journal before I ever got back to reading it again, and I don’t want to ever let that happen again. One of the things that has prevented me from more frequently posting  is the desire to get everything I want to say written down in one post, and never getting to the point of finding an ending.  I’ve decided to make a very deliberate attempt to cut these down into smaller pieces so that I can more fully focus on a single point or two, and hopefully then more accurately articulate the depth of their impact and importance on what I’m trying to convey.   My hope is that this blog will be a therapeutic and inspiring endeavor that I can one day share with loved ones.  And  I’m sure that if they do eventually read this, they will appreciate this attempt at relative brevity.   Until next time..

This picture seems fitting because it represents to me the journey of our lifetimes. It is a journey of indeterminable length, and though there are clouds, there is also the hint of something quite remarkable and beautiful. It holds the promise of better things to come, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead in our path.

2010!

•January 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

2010. It’s the start of a new decade, and a good time for reflecting on the many gifts that God has given us.

2009 gave us some really great family time, starting with Jennie and Jason bringing Devin into the family. Our family went to Crestview along with Warren and Sally (Granddad and Grandma) to meet Devin and celebrate his adoption. He’s a true joy and we all immediately loved him as if we’d known him from birth. He loved having Matt and Chris give him their full attention, and by the end of our stay, “my Matt” had become a regular part of his vocabulary.  Here are a few pictures from our visit:

We also had some nice family vacation time with trips to Sarasota/Clearwater Beach and Disneyworld. We absolutely loved Sarasota, though we really missed Chris, who wasn’t able to go. It’s a fantastic area, with beautiful beaches, really nice housing options (at least on the keys, where we spent most of our time), and great shopping and dining options. The downtown area was really nice as well, and felt very safe. We could definitely see ourselves living there someday. Here are a couple of shots from around Sarasota:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The year 2010 starts with a big announcement, as Chris asked Suzy to marry him, and she has accepted. Both say they want to have a lengthy engagement so that Chris can finish school and start his career first. Very smart on their part. Suzy is really nice and seems to have a good head on her shoulders, and we’re looking forward to welcoming her into our family.  This is a picture of the happy couple from the night of their engagement:

 

My job at AOL is somewhat tenuous, though I now believe that I’ll at least make it through the wave of involuntary cuts that are coming in the next couple of weeks. The questions then become: 1) what will it be like to be part of the company going forward after the very deep cuts that are coming, and 2) what are the long term prospects for AOL being successful, and how long will we have before the next round of cuts are looming?  I also had shoulder surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff, but hopefully I’ll be lifting weights again in no time.

Anyway, I’m approaching the new year with hope. Change is scary, but it opens our eyes to new possibilities and often leads us to much better things. Chris and Suzy are moving forward but are giving themselves time to continue to build the foundation of their relationship so it’s a lasting one, and we’re very happy about that. Josh is happy and doing better, though we’re continuing to refine his medication and looking for other medical or therapeutic sources to get past some of the behavioral issues we’ve seen in the past several months. Matt is also happy, and is doing well in his choices and in school, so we’re extremely thankful for that.  And Shelly is always there to encourage us,  and to fill our house with love and kindness.  Overall, I think I have a great deal to be thankful for, and good reason to be hopeful about this year and beyond.

Hello world!

•December 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This is my first foray into the strange world of blogging.  I’m not sure what sort of theme this site will have, but I thought it might be useful for sharing with family members and maybe eventually friends, though alot of it will be posts about things going on with my family (direct or extended).  I’ll also be posting pictures.  I love photography but don’t normally find enough of a reason to take many pictures, except when we’re travelling.  I hope that this blog will give me reason to start expanding upon my photographic interests if nothing else.

To start things off, here are some photos from the Blizzard of 2009!  It snowed for about a day and a half, starting on the 18th and ending sometime during the night of the 19th/morning of the 20th of December, and we got about 20 inches of snow in Springfield, Va.

 
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