Sometimes I cry


Being a parent is hard. You worry about things you never thought you’d have to. The worries that come when a child is put in your care can be so overwhelming. Add special needs to the equation and the worries can make you feel like you are drowning. I came across this beautiful post from Scary Mommy. I feel like it was right on. Before you read, get some tissues.

Sometimes I cry for you, little one.

Sometimes I cry because the world is so big and you’re so small, and I worry—Oh, do I worry—about your smallness in this big world.

Sometimes I cry because you’re so big and I’m so small, and the bigger you get to me, the smaller I get to you, and I worry—Lord, how I worry—about my smallness in your big world.

Sometimes I cry because this love is too big and my heart is too small, and a bursting heart feels—strangely, painfully—an awful lot like a breaking one.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of you.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the weight of you.

Sometimes I cry because in the process of gaining you, I gave up a version of me, and though I wouldn’t change that even if I could, sometimes I miss me desperately.

Sometimes I cry because your skin is so soft, and your eyes are so bright, and your soul is so new, and your heart is so open, and I’m sad. I’m sad that your innocence will crumble from experiences brutal and necessary, because you are as painfully human as the rest of us.

Sometimes I cry because you need help in ways that I can’t help you, and helplessness as a parent feels—strangely, surprisingly—an awful lot like sheer terror.

Sometimes I cry because as a mother I have no choice but to put on my big-girl panties every day, and both of those things—having no choice and big-girl panties—can be really, really uncomfortable.

Sometimes I cry because I am so unbelievably tired—not sleepy, but tired—that I can’t do anything else.

Sometimes I cry because I hear God in your giggles.

Sometimes I cry because your very existence evokes a joy so profound that smiles and laughter can’t quite reach it.

Sometimes I cry because this blessing is so big and my cup is so small and the overflow has to go somewhere.

Sometimes I cry because all of these things—the love, the worry, the sadness, the beauty, the bursting, the big-girl panties, the blessing—it’s all too much to take. Just too, too much.

So sometimes I cry for you. And for me. And for this big world. And for a thousand other terrible, wonderful, desperate, beautiful reasons that you won’t understand until you’re a parent.

Sometimes I cry for you, little one. Big, cleansing tears.

-Post originally at Scary Mommy, check them out for more.

The Power in the Name of Jesus

Things have been difficult lately to say the least. I’ll write a post later with most recent updates on Sweet Baby. I came across this beautifully encouraging post by Kelly Langston at Not Alone. Post and photo courtesy of Not Alone. I hope you are encouraged today.

Being a special needs parent is like climbing a great mountain. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s downright overwhelming.

When the journey begins—and you received that unexpected diagnosis—you suddenly find yourself at the base of a great mountain. The scale of this mountain is enormous and the trail that leads to the summit is rocky at best. Standing at its base looking upward, thoughts of self-doubt begin to flood your mind.

Do I have the strength to make the journey?

When we are filled with disparaging thoughts— the ones that come frequently when we consider the weight of caring for a child with special needs—we can find strength in one name:


We can become so overwhelmed that we are paralyzed with dread. Times can be so hard that we don’t have the words to express the pain or call to someone for help. In times like that, remember that name.

Somewhere today, a doctor is giving parents news about their child … and their lives will never be the same.


In a home somewhere, there is a marriage under stress:


Right now, a mother longs for her little one to get an appropriate education … but doesn’t know where to go:


This evening, a dad is comforting a child who has been teased and ridiculed:


Somewhere a family has no idea how they will be able to pay for therapies this month:


Don’t doubt the power in this name: Jesus. He is our Advocate. Our Author and Finisher. He gives us a New Song. His name alone makes the darkness flee. He looses chains and sets us free. In that name is the power over death itself.

If you are feeling weary and overwhelmed, just remember that name. I promise you, it is so much more than enough.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:13


Healthy Cleaning Recipes

Lately it seems everyone is more aware of what harmful toxins are in our cleaning products. Here is a list of healthy cleaning recipes. Natural-Cleaning-Products

Floor Cleaner :   1/4 Cup Vinegar  /   2 Cups Hot Water   /  10 Drops Lemon Oil  /    5 Drops Oregano Oil

Window Cleaner: 1 Lemon / 2 Cups of Club Soda or Water / Juice the lemon and mix with club soda or water Tip: Use a newspaper instead of a cloth to cut grime and prevent streaks

Air Freshener Spray: you can experiment with your favorite oils to get the desired scent 1 Spray Bottle / 2 1/2 Cups Water / 10 Drops of lavender Oil / 5 Drops of Bergamot Oil / 10 Drops of Lemon Oil 5 Drops of Cinnamon Oil / Store in Spray Bottle and Shake Well – Test Before Spraying on Fabric

All Purpose Cleaner: 1/4 cup Vinegar / 2 cups Hot Water / 5 Drops of Lavender / 5 Drops of Lemon Oil / 10 Drops Tea Tree Oil

Bathroom Cleaner: 1/4 Cup of Vinegar / 2 1/2 Cups of Water / 10 Drops of Tea Tree Oil / 10 Drops of Oregano Oil / 10 Drops of Orange Oil

Sink Scrub: 1/2 Cup of Coarse Kosher Salt / Use on surfaces that can tolerate abrasive scrubbing. Sprinkle on Coarse Kosher Salt and use cloth to remove grime and build up . Great for stainless steel sinks, make sure the surface can take abrasive scrubbing before using.

Wood Polish: 1/4 Olive Oil / 5-10 Drops of Lemon Oil / Use a soft cloth with a small amount of mixture and gently polish.

Dresser/Closet Scented Sachet: Cheese Cloth / String or Ribbon / Dried Herbs (Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary) / 5 Drops of your Favorite Oil / Cut herbs into 2.5 in pieces and add drops to the herbs. Place mixture in the middle of 12 in double lined cheese cloth. Gather ends of cloth and tie with string or ribbon. Place in drawers or closet space.

Healing for Moms this Mother’s Day


Do you know the origin of Mothers Day? Anna Jarvis officially founded Mothers Day to honor her mom Ann, who experienced the death of 7 of her children. Now it’s totally commercialized and bereaved mothers are left alone to struggle through the day. Do you know someone who has struggled with infertility? Or maybe you know someone who has had one or multiple miscarriages. How are you reaching out to those mothers this Mothers Day? Perhaps send them a card or pick them out a gift. This list of ten gifts for bereaved moms is a great place to start.

So even though International Bereaved Mother’s Day has come and past (it was May 4th), use this Mothers Day to reach out. Bring Mother’s Day back to its roots. Let’s celebrate all moms on one day. Check out the movement here.

Happy Mother’s Day, may God bless you and your family. May He heal you in the only way He can. Xoxo

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

I love black bean burgers, melt a little provolone and A1 sauce and its better than any burger! Our family has recently started using more quinoa in recipes, so I decided to try this quinoa black bean burger recipe. It was delicious!! I didn’t think to saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper before I mix the burgers together, but next time I will try that! I also added more than the garlic recommended. Recipe and photo from 

Makes 5 burgers Prep time: 15 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Ready in: 35 minutes

Ingredients: 858677

1 (15 Ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like frank’s redhot)
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
  3. Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black beans using your hands.
  4. Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  6. Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.


Undiagnosed Children’s Day


Today is Undiagnosed Children’s Day in the UK. I will use tomorrow to celebrate my amazing Clive & other undiagnosed children worldwide. Please share this video to bring awareness & to stop undiagnosed children from being invisible to those that should be helping them. Support shouldn’t begin with a child’s diagnosis, because sometimes that diagnosis never comes. Families need to spend less time fighting for support & more time creating happy memories with our children. This organization rely on donations to help find those families who are isolated & are struggling to get the help & support they need.
Here is a great video, please spread to bring awareness!

Video thanks to Just Bring the Chocolate

Awesome Video

Amsterdam International


One day, last year, I was struggling with raising Sweet Baby and his physical therapist gave me a poem. It’s called welcome to Holland & I shared it then. Please read or re-read this poem. While looking through Pinterest I found this poem. Dana wrote the poem Amsterdam International and she felt, the raw, painful, confusing entry into Holland was just glossed over. And considering the fact that this little poem is so often passed along to new-moms-of-kids-with-special-needs, it seems unfair to just hand them a little story about getting new guidebooks and windmills and tulips.

If She had written “Welcome to Holland”, she would have included the terrible entry time. Grab a tissue, I read it through tears. Some days I feel like we are trying to get out of the airport.

Amsterdam International

Parents of “normal” kids who are friends with parents of kids with special needs often say things like “Wow! How do you do it? I wouldn’t be able to handle everything—you guys are amazing!” (Well, thank you very much.) But there’s no special manual, no magical positive attitude serum, no guide to embodying strength and serenity . . . people just do what they have to do. You rise to the occasion, and embrace your sense of humor (or grow a new one). You come to love your life, and it’s hard to imagine it a different way (although when you try, it may sting a little). But things weren’t always like this . . . at first, you ricocheted around the stages of grief, and it was hard to see the sun through the clouds. And forget the damn tulips or windmills. In the beginning you’re stuck in Amsterdam International Airport. And no one ever talks about how much it sucks.

You briskly walk off of the plane into the airport thinking “There-must-be-a-way-to-fix-this-please-please-don’t-make-me-have-to-stay-here-THIS-ISN’T-WHAT-I-WANTED-please-just-take-it-back”. The airport is covered with signs in Dutch that don’t help, and several well-meaning airport professionals try to calm you into realizing that you are here (oh, and since they’re shutting down the airport today, you can never leave. Never never. This is your new reality.). Their tone and smiles are reassuring, and for a moment you feel a little bit more calm . . . but the pit in your stomach doesn’t leave and a new wave of panic isn’t far off.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this will become a pattern. You will often come to a place of almost acceptance, only to quickly re-become devastated or infuriated about this goddamned unfair deviation to Holland. At first this will happen several times a day, but it will taper to several times a week, and then only occasionally.)

A flash of realization—your family and friends are waiting. Some in Italy, some back home . . . all wanting to hear about your arrival in Rome. Now what is there to say? And how do you say it? You settle on leaving an outgoing voicemail that says “We’ve arrived, the flight was fine, more news to come” because really, what else can you say? You’re not even sure what to tell yourself about Holland, let alone your loved ones.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this will become a pattern. How can you talk to people about Holland? If they sweetly offer reassurances, it’s hard to find comfort in them . . . they’ve never been to Holland, after all.

And their attempts at sympathy? While genuine, you don’t need their pity . . . their pity says “Wow, things must really suck for you” . . . and when you’re just trying to hold yourself together, that doesn’t help. When you hear someone else say that things are bad, it’s hard to maintain your denial, to keep up your everything-is-just-fine-thank-you-very-much outer shell. Pity hits too close to home, and you can’t admit to yourself how terrible it feels to be stuck in Holland, because then you will undoubtedly collapse into a pile of raw, wailing agony. So you have to deflect and hold yourself together . . . deflect and hold yourself together.)

You sneak sideways glances at your travel companion, who also was ready for Italy. You have no idea how (s)he’s handling this massive change in plans, and can’t bring yourself to ask. You think “Please, please don’t leave me here. Stay with me. We can find the right things to say to each other, I think. Maybe we can have a good life here.” But the terror of a mutual breakdown, of admitting that you’re deep in a pit of raw misery, of saying it out loud and thereby making it reality, is too strong. So you say nothing.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this may become a pattern. It will get easier with practice, but it will always be difficult to talk with your partner about your residency in Holland. Your emotions won’t often line up—you’ll be accepting things and trying to build a home just as he starts clamoring for appointments with more diplomats who may be able to “fix” it all. And then you’ll switch, you moving into anger and him into acceptance. You will be afraid of sharing your depression, because it might be contagious—how can you share all of the things you hate about Holland without worrying that you’re just showing your partner all of the reasons that he should sink into depression, too?)

And what you keep thinking but can’t bring yourself to say aloud is that you would give anything to go back in time a few months. You wish you never bought the tickets. It seems that no traveler is ever supposed to say “I wish I never even got on the plane. I just want to be back at home.” But it’s true, and it makes you feel terrible about yourself, which is just fantastic . . . a giant dose of guilt is just what a terrified lonely lost tourist needs.

Although you don’t know it yet, this is the part that will fade. After you’re ready, and get out of the airport, you will get to know Holland and you won’t regret the fact that you have traveled. Oh, you will long for Italy from time to time, and want to rage against the unfairness from time to time, but you will get past the little voice that once said “Take this back from me. I don’t want this trip at all.”

Each traveler has to find their own way out of the airport. Some people navigate through the corridors in a pretty direct path (the corridors can lead right in a row: Denial to Anger to Bargaining to Depression to Acceptance). More commonly, you shuffle and wind around . . . leaving the Depression hallway to find yourself somehow back in Anger again. You may be here for months.

But you will leave the airport. You will.

And as you learn more about Holland, and see how much it has to offer, you will grow to love it.

And it will change who you are, for the better.

© Dana Nieder 10/2010 All Rights Reserved

If you would like to reach out to Dana here is her email:

~Our Sweet Life~

Dangerous Cookies

There is a fight in our house: soft cookies or crispy cookies. My hubby likes his chocolate chip cookies crispy. I love them soft and chewy! I stumbled across this recipe and these cookies are delicious. I found them maybe two weeks ago and I’ve made them three times! I’m baking some today for a dinner party tonight. I had a friend over yesterday and she loved them so much, she asked me for the recipe today. There are some secrets that help make these cookies, soft, thick and chewy! Recipe and Photo from Back for Seconds! Check out her site for more delicious recipes.  Here are her tips for making these cookies perfect. Tip #1: Add 2 TBS of canola(or vegetable) oil to the batter. This simple addition kept these cookies soft and fresh for over a week!! Tip #2: to a great chocolate chip cookie is to add 2 TBS of cornstarch to the dough. It makes the cookies fluffy and soft! Tip #3: I added 2 types of chips, which sounds so simple but it really made a big difference in the flavor. Mini semi sweet chips and milk chocolate chips are the perfect combination and they fill every bite with oozy, melty, chocolate goodness! I will have to make sure to buy two different types of chocolate chips-I have not tried this tip because I only used what I had on hand. So if you don’t have two types of chocolate chips-one will do just fine. Tip #4: Let the dough chill for about an hour. This helps ensure that the cookie doesn’t spread too much while baking. I usually don’t chill my dough because that gives me more opportunity to eat and have no cookies to bake! ;) And finally, tip #5: When scooping the dough onto the cookie sheet, pile the dough high! I just used a regular spoon and heaped large spoonfuls of dough onto the tray, making sure they were tall! This helps create a nice thick cookie! Enjoy!! Tell me, which do you like better, soft or crispy chocolate chip cookies?

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes

1 cup butter (softened)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 1/4 cups flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Step 1
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, oil, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined. Add in the baking soda and cornstarch and half of the flour and mix well. Pour in the remaining flour and mix only until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and cover and chill for one hour.
Step 2
Preheat oven to 350
Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, making sure the piles of dough are nice and tall. *If using a cookie scoop, scoop one ball of dough right on top of another one. This is what makes the cookies thick!
Bake 7-8 minutes for medium sized cookies or 10 minutes for large cookies. Pull them from the oven when the edges are slightly golden and the centers look just barely done. After 2 minutes remove cookies from sheets onto cooling racks.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.




These past few weeks I’ve really struggled with anger & bitterness. It’s easy to be angry about our situation, as we long to understand why. But what I do not doubt, is God’s love or His majesty and power. I just doubt His methods. I can’t understand how this could be best for Sweet Baby or for our family. I know some have said this is a great witness, but at times I wish God would use someone else to witness. I just want to be normal. But obviously that isn’t part of His plan right now. I know God is here, but that doesn’t take away the pain, fear, loneliness and discouragement. That’s when I go (and sometimes force myself) to the Word of God. I always find encouragement and peace. And I cling to it as if it were my last breathe.

~Our Sweet Life~

” I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”
Psalm 145:5