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!

Monday, March 21, 2011





If you have children talk to them about people with disabilities or people that may be perceived as "different." Teach acceptance, not just tolerance.

If you have questions, ask. We often avoid the elephant in the room. My daughter has Down syndrome. I did not know much about Down syndrome before I had her. I still don't. BUT I know about her. (She is AMAZING:) I welcome questions. It gives me an opportunity to advocate for her and shatter some of the misconceptions that exist.

Share what you know. If you know me or my daughter, share our story. Talk about Down syndrome, talk about people that may have unique challenges to overcome..someone in a wheel chair, blind or with cerebral palsy...there are so many disabilities that exist. Share. Share. Share. The more comfortable we are with something that is not typical, the more typical it becomes.

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. There are children all over the world who are not loved, valued or cared for because they were born with Down syndrome. There are children all over the world who at birth, are sent to orphanages, because unlike the United States (although we still have much to do in this country) children and people with disabilities are disregarded. To write this hurts, but it also fuels me to speak out, to share, to spread the word. We can make this WORLD better. (If you want to help go to reecesrainbow.org and make a donation)

Take a stand.

My daughter is growing up. Help me make this world a better place for her and others. Help me spread the word.

Our life is so much better and so much more beautiful, because of her...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over...

The last time I posted my heart was heavy. A few days later the scale filled up and toppled over. All the great, wonderful and beautiful things in my life had, once again, filled my heart with joy and bubbled over.

At a Christmas party last year, while enjoying my 5th puff pastry with sausage, my girlfriend announced that she was putting together a 5K run to motivate us girls into a consistent exercise routine. Most of us really want to exercise, we realize how important it is to take care of ourselves. However, finding the time (and energy) in the midst of an already busy day is challenging.

She announced, "The Coach Potato 5K is planned for February 26th. This gives you 8 weeks to prepare!"

Friends. Friends are great gifts. They are the extras in life, that make it so much sweeter. On February, 26th 2011 about 20 of us runners showed up. In addition to the runners, we had several loved ones there for support. This looked like a real 5K event as Diondray set up the table for water and power bars. My girlfriends husband prepared the finish line and set himself up as the official timer. T-shirts were handed out. There were children with supportive posters. It was amazing. But it gets better......

Standing on a tree stump, to gather every one close, my girlfriend informed the participants that a $25 registration fee was being requested and the funds would be donated to the local Down syndrome Association. This was the bubbling over for me. This made me cry, smile, and tipped the scale for me.

Unlike the stormy weather they had predicted for the weekend, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

I ran my first 5K in 29 minutes 45 seconds.

Then I collapsed :)

(overjoyed and exhausted)