5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kamryn's Krew in Pictures & Happy Tears

We all have those hysterical moments when we laugh so hard we cry (that's a good laugh) or the moments when you are overwhelmed with happiness and joy and you tear up and cry. Happy tears, they are wonderful.....I had happy tears on June 19th at our first ever Buddy Walk for Down syndrome.

One of the items on my list of fear and anxiety after Kamryn's diagnosis was: How would our family and friends treat us? How would they treat her?.....as crazy as it seems now, it was something that I feared. I was having such a hard time dealing with the diagnosis (and what it might mean for my family). I wondered if our friends and family would too. Not that I don't have the most amazing family and friends (because I do), but that was one of the many fears on my list. (I am happy to say I have just about crossed out all the items on that fear and anxiety list, none have flourished. I am actually thinking about burning it :) ).

From the beginning, my family and friends have been nothing but supportive, loving and completely unfazed by Kamryn's diagnosis. They have just been there. PERIOD. They are amazing and they ROCK!

Several of our family and friends were able to come out and support our first Buddy Walk....thank you is not enough to say, but it is all I have. THANK YOU!!!

It was a beautiful day.....the sun was shinning, the kids did crafts (and played), awareness about Down syndrome reached many and we were surrounded by family and friends.

Kamryn's Krew

my idea was to make T-shirts, my idea waited
until the last minute....Diondray and I were up until
2 am..who knew it took so long to iron 25 T-shirts?:)

MY GIRLS.....I love them so!

Auntie Vicky

Best Friends

Wiped out, in her Grandma's arms!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kamryn's Krew ROCKS!

June 19, 2010 was our first Buddy Walk! It was a beautiful day! Friends, Family and sunshine, what could be better?! I want to thank all of our family and friends who came out to support Kamryn and take part in spreading awareness about Down syndrome. The love and support we have from our friends and family is amazing....and we know we are extremely fortunate!

We arrived at the park at 11:30 and (as my "krew" normally does) closed it down. The event ended at 4:00, however we manged to continue to play until 6:00! I have tons of pictures, unfortunately my computer is completely out of service, other than the Internet. I promise to share when I can.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kamryn's Krew

Tomorrow is a big day. It is the first annual Buddy Walk for Santa Barbara County and our first time participating in a Buddy Walk. For family and friends not familiar with Buddy Walks, it is a walk to show support and spread awareness about Down syndrome (that is my short version).
I sent out an email to our (semi-local) family and friends and was overwhelmed when the replies starting flooding my in-box. They were so excited and wanted me to know they would be there! Those that couldn't make it, expressed their disappointment. Right now as I type, I feel warm and a bit teary. We have over 30 family and friends coming out to show love and support for Kamryn and others with Down syndrome. Diondray and I are still in the midst of making T-shirts for everyone, I think it is going to be a long night! :)
I am excited. I will being seeing friends I haven't seen in months! I will be meeting families that have children Kamryn's age! The weather should be beautiful! There will be games for the kids, music, and food booths. It is a Buddy Walk/Festival, it is a whole day of fun (not just a walk)! I am excited. BUT, I hate this part- I really do, I also have a very tiny bit of sadness in me. It is the reminder that things are a little "different" for us. 21 months ago I didn't know what a Buddy Walk was and tomorrow we are participating in one....because we have a daughter with Down syndrome, because we now find it important to advocate and spread awareness for people with Down syndrome, because we love our daughter. It still hurts a little. If it weren't for my girls, I may have skipped it this year, so I could have avoided the tiny ache I feel......but I will be alright.
Our shirts say Kamryn's Krew and have a picture of her and her beautiful smile on them. My camera is not working or I would post a picture of them......I just bought a new one, but haven't loaded the program onto my computer yet. Actually, my computer has a virus (it's been one of those weeks), so I can only access the pictures I have on my desk top. I will end with some of those. Because I love pictures. And this blog has become my photo album!
December 2008

May 2009

May 2010

Tomorrow will be a BEAUTIFUL day!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Graduation, summer and a walker!

I wish I had the time to sit down each night and write about the day. Everyday there is a moment, an event or something said and want to remember it. Sometimes I can't even remember yesterday :). There have been moments when one of the girls will say something that cracks me up and I will think, I have got to share that with Diondray. But then I forget. For some reason, time seems to be moving way to fast around here and I am having a big problem with that. We have had so many wonderful things happen. Some small and some big......

On June 3rd Naomi graduated from Kindergarten. I can't believe she is going to be a first grader! I can't believe she is 6! I am so proud of her.....my heart is full and I can't seem to articulate what I am feeling. But I am happy.

We had a Hawaiian graduation....

me and my girl --------and grandma, who is the greatest!

all of us (and the walker)!

Summer is here too and we have already started to enjoy it! This was not our first trip to the beach! You can only (barely) see Jaden in one of these pictures, she never comes out of the water!

I can also officially write that Kamryn is walking!!! She started the process at about 18 months. Pulling to stand, cruising, taking a few steps. However, Memorial weekend she became a full time walker. No more crawling, scooting, just walking. She can bend down and pick things up, turn, dance and run (well, it is really a fast walk).
Now, not that I want to take this exciting news down from the high note, but I do share our life because I want to spread awareness about Down syndrome and my journey,,,,,I remember when she was a few weeks old, during one of my nightly cries and I said to Diondray "What if she doesn't walk?" .....I had been told she may not walk. That she probably would, but there is a possibility that she may not.

He said, "she will walk."

He never doubted. I did. It makes me sad to write and think that I had doubts, but I did. However, I knew this day would come, when my sadness, fear, anger and despair would turn me into one fierce mama bear. And it has. And I don't doubt. Not her, not me, not my family. This mama bear is roaring, but that will be another post :).

Here is our walker!