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Twenty Years Ago Today, Two Wild And Crazy Singing Waiters Got Married

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At Grandma’s hospital the day we go married. Grandma was too cute!

Can you believe it was twenty years ago today that we got married at the hospital where my grandma Mary was staying? We had already started plans for our church wedding that was to happen the following April, but you got called into active duty. We wanted to get married before you left and because my grandmother was ill, we wanted to make it extra special so we decided to have a small ceremony in the hospital chapel. I’m so grateful we were able to turn this unplanned moment into such a special memory. Who knew that turning unplanned moments into something beautiful and special would become a major theme in our marriage?

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Grandma Mary and me after the ceremony

I still remember grandma chugging her champagne filled Dixie cup before the toast and asking for another before anyone else even had their first.  She was such a character! We had a second ceremony in a church when you came back nine months later, with grandma again in attendance. I believe she may have had one or two glasses of champagne, this time in fancier glassware though!

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The Three Musketeers!

Years later we had Griffin and once again things didn’t go as we planned. But, once again, it made room for even more special moments and opportunities. We have been given an amazing gift in being Griffin’s parents. He teaches us every day what it means to be your unique and beautiful self, to live your passion, and to love without limits.  He’s also helped us become outside-the-box thinkers, which has helped us when dealing with life’s challenges. We’ve experienced a lot of tears and extreme stress (let’s be honest we still do sometimes). The stress brought us further apart at times, but ultimately we realized we wanted the same things. We continue to face unexpected life events, and even after being married for twenty years, we are still learning how to communicate and support each other.

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Look How Young We Look!

In recent years, we took the whole “in sickness and in health” vow to heart.  When you were in the hospital and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, I felt so hopeless. Two whole weeks you were there, and then on-and-off for what seemed like forever. Luckily your mom was here to watch Griffin and we had friends that filled in the gaps. I was grateful to be able to spend the days with you. We started a routine pretty quickly: I would come as soon as I could. Most of the time you’d still be sleeping when I arrived. When you woke up I’d go down to the cafeteria and get us hot teas and a pastry. We’d then watch “Ellen” and “Family Feud”. I actually started to look forward to this time with you.  We’d joke that we wanted to spend time alone but this was not what we had in mind! They finally figured out what was going on and to this day you still deal with the side effects. But I know you are getting stronger and healthier each day.

And now you’re helping me work though my anxiety and depression. Another unplanned chapter, another opportunity to bring us closer together. I’m so thankful that you make me laugh and that you are so encouraging and supportive.

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Who would have expected two singing waiters to have the story we have? Or that I ever had bangs? No, just No!!

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We finally got a professional photo taken of just the two of us

Our story is just beginning. I see that after twenty years of marriage the true beauty in us being together has come from the plans that didn’t go as expected. Marriage is challenging. There are times when you can’t stand each other, when you question why you ever got married in the first place. You need space to remember what brought you together, and if doing the work you need to do to stay together is something you both want to do.

Recently we were having a difficult time talking to each other. We were afraid of hurting the other person and adding to the other person’s stress. I said to you “I wish we could talk to each other the way we did the first night we met.” You agreed and that simple remembering has helped us start talking again, even when it feels uncomfortable and the last thing we want to do.

Here’s to more laughing and to making the unexpected and unplanned moments special!

Happy Anniversary!

 

 

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Griffin’s Homemade “Sonic The Hedgehog” Game, Wanna Play?

Griffin and Tom have spent the last few days creating this board game inspired by “Sonic The HedgeHog.” This is Griffin is explaining the game. I love that he gives props to the creators of “Sonic.” Griffin’s love for the video game and Sonic character is pretty sweet! The details are pretty amazing, he was very busy!

 

 

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A Leap Of Faith

This video is from a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get Tiffany’s permission before I shared this with all of you.  Tiffany is one of our lifeguard friends from the “Y.” I  had mentioned to her that Griffin was still working on jumping into the pool.  She offered to come in on her own time and help Griffin out. This is a short clip from their first practice. Tiffany was so patient and encouraging to Griffin. I am constantly amazed and grateful to the staff at our “Y.”                       Go Griffin! and Thank you Tiffany!!

You Get Me

Today while we were at the playground, Griffin went to sit in the tunnel attached to the slides. He wanted me to take a picture, but before I could a smaller child came barreling through. Griffin started yelling, “Stop, wait a minute!!” I told Griffin to move so that the boy could get by, but Griffin continued yelling and just couldn’t understand why the boy kept trying to get by and not giving him a chance to move. I was panicking because Griffin is usually the oldest kid at the playground. Most kids his age are still in school at this time.

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Griffin chillin’ in the tunnel

As I was trying to calm him down and help him out of the way, the little boy’s mom approached us. I was so worried that she would think Griffin was mean and being a bully, but to my surprise she started to apologize. *Megan introduced herself and said she recognized the two of us after meeting us last summer. She explained to Griffin that her son, *Ryan also has Aspergers and that he sometimes has trouble stopping himself once he gets an idea in his head.

I was so relieved when I realized we had met before, and as we began talking my own worry turned into concern for her. I wanted to let her know I understood and that she didn’t have to apologize for anything.  Griffin started to calm down and apologized to her for not understanding.  He then began to ask her about Ryan, who had run off to go play on the slides. Griffin was so engaging with her and at one point she said to him, “I wish I could hug you. You made me feel so much better.” He looked at me for approval and then said, “You can hug me, it’s ok.” I was so proud of him for being able to show compassion and for how quickly he turned it all around.  When someone or something upsets Griffin, I remind him to imagine them as a person he cares about and to choose to be patient and loving.  It’s my hope by doing this I can teach him (and remind myself in the process too) to respond more lovingly. This moment was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

As we left I hugged Megan. This time I thanked her for getting it. What turned out to be an “Oh, no!” moment, magically became an “Oh. No, I get it” moment.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Sometimes It’s OK To Hide

As always with Griffin’s permission I wanted to share this moment that recently happened. I apologize for the video being long, there was just so much that happened and I didn’t want to miss including any of it. The message is important. Thank you for taking the time to watch it, I hope you’ll be glad that you did 🙂 Just think “Netflix and Chill” 😉

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The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

I’ve loved the musical “Annie” ever since I saw a stage production of it when I was in the third grade.  While I was singing “Tomorrow” I realized how important the lyrics are to me in my everyday life.  I try to remind myself to live in the moment, but sometimes you just need to have a good cry, watch an old movie while having a nice glass of red wine, and go to bed. Each day is a new beginning and no matter what you’re going through (in our case Griffin starting the teenage years) “the sun will come out tomorrow…”

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13 Years Ago Today

13 Years ago on a warm spring day we were blessed by your entrance into the world

13 Years ago I couldn’t stop looking at you, wondering who you would become, never imagining this day would come so quickly

13 Years ago I didn’t know the challenges we would face or the amount of strength, love, and humor we would be blessed with that would help us get through it all

13 Years ago I couldn’t comprehend how amazing, complex, and unique you would be. I always want you to be proud of who you are, of all of who you are. I want you to share with the world your amazing insight and spirit

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13 Years ago I couldn’t imagine that I would spend my days talking with someone so passionate about things like retro video games, classical music, and nature

13 Years ago I couldn’t prepare myself for the lessons I would learn from being your mom. Some of those lessons: be yourself, see the beauty in the everyday moments, never stop trying, go at your own pace

13 Years ago today, I love you even more than 13 years ago. I pray we continue to live through the challenges with grace, humor, and unconditional love. So far that combination has worked out for us

HAPPY 13TH BIRTHDAY, GRIFFIN!!

A Portrait Of A Beta Tester As A Young Man

I wanted to share this project that we’ve been working on for awhile with the help of our friends Maya, Tom, and Nick. Special thanks to Natalie and David, our friends at Level 257.

Thank you for watching!

This is a short documentary that gives a glimpse into the lives of two parents and their son who is on the Autism Spectrum

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Don’t Ever Give Up!

Today while we were at the playground, Griffin once again reminded me of a very important lesson, DON”T EVER GIVE UP!  He is an amazing teacher that also reminds me to keep going at my own pace. This one is a real challenge for me because I feel like I should be doing more, I feel like I should have accomplished more by now.

Griffin doesn’t worry about what he “should” being doing when it comes to target achievements, those physical ones that we’re told children should be doing by a certain age. He is joyful in every milestone and when he does do something his peers may have done years ago, that joy is all the more sweeter and meaningful.

Griffin is the best teacher and I love that I get to witness these moments. The joy he expresses is so beautiful. The confidence he gains is something I know he will take to the next challenge he faces.

 Griffin has been working on climbing this tree for awhile. He’s gone from not wanting to even be placed on it, to being willing to be placed on it, to being spotted climbing it, to this!!