I am so excited to start this blog and to be an encouragement for families! I think raising a family is about one of the hardest things to accomplish. And, it's, like, a forever job - but it is so rewarding. Family raisers are made of tough stuff, I've decided. We are a soft-sentimental bunch of people with a dose of fierceness, and a touch of humor. Taking care of ourselves and our own should be celebrated!
I want to introduce myself: I'm Kristen; I'm fortyish and I am married to a very hardworking, wonderful man (and his dog - more about that in a minute). We have been married for 20 years this year! We have three kiddos. The son will be 18 next month, my middle girl is 14, and the youngest girly-goo is 11. They all have their own special needs. My oldest is autistic, the youngest is definitely on the spectrum, but not officially diagnosed.
I used to really think the label was important - but the older I get, the more unconcerned I am about this "issue". I am concerned with launching my son and helping my baby to be a little more socially aware of her actions and words. I'm hoping to support anyone with, and/or raising children with, and/or married to a person with any special need. I don't know it all, by a long shot, but I wear our experiences on my sleeve. I'm happy to discuss just about anything about autism spectrum stuff. My middle daughter is a talented young musician, singer, writer, and a blooming thespian. Every life is a gift, not a possession (someone famous said and/or wrote that once, and I remember the words, but not the author!) We thank and praise God for our gifts (often!)
I was a nurse in my past life. I have a ton of funny and heartwarming and not-so-heartwarming stories from my time as a RN. I certainly grew a lot during that time. Nursing is something that never leaves you, either, so I guess I'm still working! I triage my friends and family any time they ask (and sometimes when they don't).
My husband is a firefighter/paramedic/dog-handler extraordinaire. I can't say enough good stuff about this man. We've had a lot of ups and downs over our twenty-plus years! I don't want to come off as all smiley-happy-people, though. I don't do 'fake-we-are-always-happy'. Marriage is hard (the hardest) work. My husband, though, really is an awesome, good guy! His other half is Pippin, and he is the sweetest, most beautiful yellow lab a girl could ever hope for. He will be certified soon to find live people in wilderness and disaster situations. They both work super hard!
Also, we homeschool the girls!! This is such an awesome way of life. I'm not always so 'on-board' sounding, but I would not change this aspect of our family. All during my first year of homeschooling I was so nervous! I promise, though (to all you new homeschooling families) the nerves simmer down after a while, and everyone tends to fall into a groove. As for us (myself and my crew), we grow and learn together - the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. It's real life.
So... Basically, that is us. I hope to post on all things relevant to family building, health, nutrition, exercise, crafting, cleaning, bonding, loving... The possibilities are endless!