Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry CHRISTmas 2015!

Sometimes the holidays can be a very lonely and sad time for us.  But when I look back and reflect on all the fun memories, adventures, VIP hospital stays, and all the struggles we have survived together,  just you and I.   I know that God gave me you to help me survive life and find my purpose.  He blessed me with a perfect soul to teach me how to gracefully find the courage to keep pushing forward.  Because of you David, I've had so much to be joyful about every Christmas for the last 19 years.

I hope mommy makes you as happy as you make me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Being David's Mom...

I passed out the invitations to David's school today.  I guess the little girls have already realized that they now have David's phone number.  I get a call for him today while I was still at work.  After finally figuring out who she and what she was calling for, she asked if she could speak to David.  I told her that I was at work and that she would have to call back after 6:00pm.

She then told me she loved David and wanted to know if we could come over to her house for Christmas dinner.  Hmmm... I wonder if her parents know she invited us to spend Christmas with them.  

David is 19 and although he has had his fair share of crushes this is the first time I have had to deal with girls calling him.  I am quite tickled right now!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wishing my perfect little angle a Happy 19th Birthday!

19 years ago today God blessed me with a precious gift, a fragile little boy who would teach me so many valuable life lessons. Since birth David has taught me how to appreciate the wonderful joys of life. Even with out words David has inspired me, taught me how to be courageous, brave, an inspiration, how to preserver, and most importantly how to live intentionally, and be Christ like in all that I do.

David was a God send who despite all of the challenges he had to face, still somehow managed to save me from myself while helping me find my purpose. I am and always will be eternally grateful for David and God’s grace. I am so honored that God entrusted me as his mother. He has truly been the wind beneath my wings!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I can't thank you all enough for all of love and support.

This weekend while in North California for my nieces wedding David started showing signs of the onset of a cold.  I immediately started him on Garlic oil, vitamin C, and Zicam.  We returned home on Monday night and on Tuesday morning I sent him to school and then returned to work to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities with my munchkins at school.  During breakfast I received a call from David's school that he was looking grey so they had the nurse check his oxygen saturation levels and his SAT's were at 74%.  They immediately put him on oxygen and called 911.

I still struggle with anxiety over David getting sick and that phone call this morning took me back to a place I try to avoid.  Not only was my baby in respiratory distress, but I was also not by his side.  I tried to pull myself together as I rushed to be by his side.

The last time David's oxygen saturation levels dropped that low was on February 23rd, 2012. I took David to the emergency room for a runny nose, and within hours his organs began to fail and I was told that he was not going to survive the night.  I waited by his bedside pleading with God to spare his life and after days of anxiously waiting for David to respond, breath, open his eyes, and smile again, God granted us the miracle I so desperately pleaded for.  It took a year for David to fully recover, but I am the other hand has spent the last three years trying to emotionally heal from the ordeal.

I know that my God is bigger than any fear or circumstance but I still struggle with severe anxiety over the thought of loosing David.  Ironically I don't fear death, my fear having to live life without David.  I continue to lay theses thoughts and feelings at God's feet.  So David and I are going to spend the rest of our day with Jesus as we both recover from our scare.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Throughout the years I have learned that the best way to overcome crisis in your own life is to shift the focus from yourself towards others who might have it worse.

This past week has been draining and I have been attacked in almost every area of my life. Physically I am exhausted. My body aches and I'm fighting a cold. Financially I have been trying to resolve over $3000 of fraudulent charges on my credit card. In addition to all of the other obstacles I have been facing, I found out my mother is in the hospital with pneumonia, leaving me feeling helpless and too far away to help.

Despite everything going on in my life, this morning I decided that instead surrendering to the current state of crisis in my own life, that I would step out in faith and go serve others. No sooner then I pack my car with the food box and headed to deliver it, I got a phone call informing me that my mom is recovering and in stable condition. God is so faithful!

Monday, November 2, 2015

I finished up my dental work today, but they were unable to save my crown.  The thought of another expense when I am already overwhelmed by other unexpected expenses got me really upset.  I tried to fight back the tears as I explained to the dentist that I was only going to be able to address our original dental concerns until I could figure out my finances. He left for a minute and then came back and told me that he wanted to make sure that I got all the work I needed, done and he did not want money to be an obstacle.  He then reduced the fee for the second crown by more than half and offered to cap my dental implant that  broke for almost nothing.  

Those concerns and worries were private conversation between God and I.   Once the dentist was done going over the new payment plan I could no longer hold back the tears.  The dentist had know idea that God was going to use him to answer my prayers.  I sat with my mouth open, a drill going, and tears running down my face, I knew God was with me.  #Godisalwaysfaithful

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Although I'm seeking answers for David's current choking issues the only information that's been made clear is that we need to start finding new providers for David. I guess there was a recent policy change that is no longer allowing pediatric doctors to cover their patients with special needs until 21, they are now having to transfer to a don't care by the age 19.  This is the very reason I feared his transition to adulthood. iwe found to a great area that doesn't have individualized program.  We are being thrown into a whole new world that is unknown to us.  We are going to be forced to navigate through world that isn't necessarily designed for us, a world that can't accommodate David needs. Although David is an adult, he is mentally a toddler, and physically a teenager. I can't imagine him no longer being allowed to be treated in the pediatric facilities that have been such a comfort to us through out our medical challenges. I guess this is just part of our new world that I  have to get used to.

His neurosurgeon informed us on our last visit that he would no longer get paid for treating David. He even fought to keep him because of how complicated David and his surgeries have been. The only time David had surgery performed by a surgeon who did not know him (only because it was an emergency surgery and his neurosurgeon was out of town) the doctor cut open David's stomach looking for a tube that was still in his head and then sewed up his head leaving a broken shunt in it. It was an extremely traumatic experience that gives me tremendous anxiety about having to trust someone new with my babies brain. I thought this might only apply to specialist, but today at his appointment with his Pediatrician (his Pediatrician since birth) she recommended we start looking for a new provider since she can no longer see him once he turns 19. I have gotten pretty good at adjusting to change, but not when it comes to David's complicated medical issues.

Starting over after it took me 18 years to learn how to navigate through the pediatric system is very overwhelming. I know will get through it, I just need to pray my anxieties away.

Monday, October 5, 2015

When things fall out of place it is often so that better things can fall into place. Our last vacation was incredible but there were some unfortunate mishaps with the airlines that made our trip home very challenging. In the moment I was irritated and over whelmed but as a result of those mishaps David and I were given travel vouchers which made it affordable for me to plan another adventure with him.  All the mishaps and overtime paid off because David and I are Enjoying a much needed break while bonding in Hawaii!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Flushing away my worries with the perspective David gives me.

Flushing away my worries with the perspective David gives me.    

I would carry this kid to the moon and back if I could. David is my God sent angel and there's nothing this mother wouldn't do for her little warrior prince.  David is my strength, my motivation, inspiration, who I learned my courage from, and most importantly he is the one who taught me how to see the world through the eyes of Christ.  

There is no other population closer to Christ, the closest it comes to sin free humans. David doesn't know hate, he doesn't see challenges or obstacles, he has no fear, he doesn't notice differences, he just loves and he loves everyone the same, with his whole heart. Pure and genuine, David's motivation is to share his unconditional love with the world.   

What an honor it's been to be the one chosen by God to care for him.  I was given a unique gift from God that would allow me to see the world from a different perspective.  A beautiful and profound perspective!

After a long week of feeling overwhelmed and defeated I look at David's smile and I am reminded that no obstacle will ever be too big for us. I know that I have to keep smiling and sharing love to honor David's journey. 

As I lay all my burdens at the feet of my Lord and Savior, God takes all of my sorrows and allows me to find delight in my beautiful and extraordinary son.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


18 years later and it still just as difficult when I have to kiss him goodbye as David's put under and off for a procedure. Even mild procedures still require me handing my precious child off to somebody else and praying that God take the wheel. The only way I get through it is to imagine that I'm hand David into the arms of Jesus.  This requires believing in his promises to us and standing firm on the word of God. We are trustful that God protect us.

He always does and always will. Our God is so mighty that he held David's hand and my heart at the same time.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

God is so incredible. He never ceases to amaze me with all the abundant blessings he pours into our lives!  Public speaking and sharing our story always empowers me. It is a gentle reminder of how far we've come and all he is done for us.  I am so grateful for all the amazing friends and cheerleaders got his planted in our lives to help us get  to where we are today.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Day 12

I'm grateful for God ordained encounters that have impacted our lives.  I am thankful for DeDe Grogan and the impression that her and her son Seth Ross left on our lives.  

I met Dede right as I started my first year at ASU. I had sacrificed everything I knew to pursue higher education, which included leaving my job to attend school full time.  I did not know how I was going to provide for David and I, but I knew that I could not forfeit the opportunity to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.  I also knew that God would provide for all of our needs. 

Our first Christmas was rough and it was the first time I had no means to support David alone.  I was feeling helpless and wondering if I had made the right decision.  My first encounter with Dede was when she arranged for our family to be sponsored for Christmas.  Little did I know that our relationship would reach far greater than a Christmas sponsorship. Once Dede discovered that I also had a special needs child, with not hesitation she took me under her wing.  

Dede was the first person I had ever met that was living a similar situation as ours.  Up until that point I had very few people who understood the road we were traveling.  I lived a very lonely life, struggling silently.  I was young and still trying to figure life out when God blessed us with Dede and Seth’s friendhip. I have never had the opportunity to share with her how instrumental their friendship has been for us, but now is better than never.  

Dede you graciously taught me how to be David’s hands, feet, voice, and advocate.  You taught me that it was ok to take off my cape from time to time and that there were amazing support systems out there when the load was weighing me down.  On days that I did not have enough energy to seek those supports out on my own you sacrificed your own time to make those connections for me.  You lead by example and you held my hand throughout the way because that is the kind of friend you are!

I remember reaching out to you when David was becoming a teenager and I was struggling with the transition. You invited us to go to functions that Seth was introduced as a teenager. You exposed us to the fun and exciting events that came along with teenage years.  You were also the first person I reached out to when David was becoming an adult.  I knew no matter how long we went without contact you would always be there, and you have.  You have encouraged and cheered me on with private messages that no one but I saw.  Never did a desperate plea for prayers go with out a lovely note of encouragement from you.  You always went above and beyond.  

I just want you know that meeting you and Seth has absolutely changed our lives!  When people tell me what an amazing mom, advocate, or special educator I am, I can help but think of you and the others who helped me grow into who I am today.  You and Seth are both 1 in a zillion.   I hope one day I can be that person for you as well.  I LOVE YOU and I thought you might need to know how much today.
Today I found out that another angel warrior went home to be with Jesus.    DeDe Grogan was one of the first special-needs mom I met while I was getting my undergrad degree.  She took me under her wing and helped introduce me to the world of special needs. Seth Ross took David to his first dance and promised to teach David karate and take him to camp.  He was such an incredible young man!  

I know God has a purpose, but it's really hard to see that through the pain.  I want to believe that these kids are not losing their battle but winning the battle and getting to go our Lord and Savior, but it's a great loss to those they left behind.  Death is so real and close to home right now.  All I can do to cope right now is hold David in my arms and beg him to never leave me!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 10  
Life is all about perspective.   I'm grateful for the trials and tribulations in my life because they taught me empathy and grace.  We must trust that God knows what's best for us and sometimes trails are necessary in order for us to gain opportunities to grow.  

I'm just one of those people who can't see all the hurt in the world and not ache for other's souls. I truly hurt for those suffering and long to be a source of comfort in their lives . I desire to be that one person, a cheerleader for someone in need, the person who reminds them that it's going to be OK, GODS GOT THIS!  I would love to be part of helping others restore their hope. My desire to be that person was birthed only from my own pain and agony.  I know the importance of that role because so often those where the people who helped me hold my head up at times.

I know what those dark days feel like and I know how important it's been to have amazing people cheering me on. If could be granted the opportunity to accomplish one thing in my life, it would be paying it forward. The opportunity to  give good back for all the good that  David and I have been blessed with would make every struggle worth it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day 3 
I'm grateful for my classroom full of students who put a smile on my face.  Each and everyone of them has a piece of my heart. I know teaching can be challenging. Often times teaching requires additional work and effort behind the scenes, to ensure your student success. but at the end of the day I truly believe it's one of the most rewarding jobs anyone could ever have!. 

So at the end of my days, no matter how long those days can be, I get to reflect about the little lives that I've been blessed with the opportunity to be part of. I think about the unique little things each and everyone of them does, they're gains, and their astonishing families I'm also blessed to know.  On days I am feeling discouraged I think about our plans for their future and success, which makes me extremely proud.  On days that I am feeling overwhelmed I can focus on their amazing spirits and how much I love them and my heart smiles. 

It's not just the students either, it is  colleagues, staff, and the community.
Those relationships can be just as rewarding!  I've been claiming "best is yet to come" for many years and as far as my career goes, I finally feel like the best is here for me!  


Day 4
I am grateful for my amazing best friend Christina Hoyt and her courage.  Thanks for teaching me to always stay true to who I am by being a great example!

Day 5
I am grateful for my purpose!

Day 6
Today I am grateful for all the love and support that God has richly blessed David and I with. I am asking my amazing supporters to pray about helping out a family we love dearly. Every little bit will make a big difference for this family right now during their time of suffering. Sacrificing one meal out this week would help support this family in a time of need. I am so thankful that I have been blessed with an extraordinary support system and I am also thankful that I am in a position that I can pay our many blessings forward. Go TEAM JESS! We love you!

Today's gratitude post requires no explanation.

Day 8
Today I'm grateful for God's perspective.

Now days, I find myself having way more moments that I am able to celebrate the laughter in my life than moments I dwell on  the disappointments.   The same circumstance that once made me feel "less than", now make me feel privileged. I'm so grateful that God has given me the strength and perspective to see our life's purpose through his eyes.  I no longer feel sadness, anger, or resentment about the journey we have been called to travel, because now I clearly see what an incredible honor it is.   Not only did God specifically choose David and I for this journey, he gave us the strength to use our experiences to help others. For that I will forever be internally grateful.  How awesome is our God that he would provide me healing by allowing me to be part of helping others restore their hope!


Monday, August 3, 2015

In an effort to honor God for everyday he has blessed me with I am going to post a post of gratitude every day until my birthday.    I want to publicly acknowledge all the many blessings in my life, big and small.

Day 1
I just wanted to thank Erica and her friend who graciously donated  new activities and toys to my classroom. Sometimes the lack of resources in schools makes it challenging to create an environment that is fun and supportive for my students and there diverse needs.  I believe each and everyone of my students deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in their learning environment.  With the help and support of generous people my classroom is almost ready to greet each and everyone of my little ones tomorrow morning. Thank you all for supporting my passion!  It means the world to me to know that others care about my little ones success as much as I do.

Day 2

Today I am thankful for my friend Gina and her willingness to share her heart and profound thoughts with me.  We were 
remembering her daughter who recently passed away.  She mentioned people questioning how she had such strong faith even though her daughter was gone. someone asked her if she believes in God even in the mist of a trial like this and she said "of course I believe in God I watched Sedona walk with him every single day!  

What profound insight!  I've come to realize that although Jesus was the only sinless human being, our kids are as close to Jesus as it comes (sin free humans).  Despite the challenges they face they remain pure and untainted from the world. That in itself is a blessing from God!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Oh these silly questions...

I normally don't post things like this. I guess I'm feeling bold/transparent and hope that being real about being a single parent, might offer a different perspective.

For the most part I don't even think about being a single parent because it really is all I've ever known. Even growing up as a child I never had the opportunity to experience having both parents raising children together. Every once in a while there's an ugly reminder that I really am the only parent David has. I try to rationalize in hopes that I could understand David's father's behavior. I try and offer grace because I know what an amazingly special gift he's missing out on.

Over the last two weeks I have had the opportunity to interact with families, children with both parents support, and then I realized that I have never had the opportunity to have that experience. I can't help but wonder if the reason David's father chose to parent his other child was because she was healthy.

How do you just walk away from your flesh and blood?
How could you understand that life was going to be "different than we expected ", challenging, and difficult and then walk away? Which meant I had to pick up the pieces all by myself at age 17.

You don't worry or care if he's healthy, having seizures, or has everything he needs. You don't inquire about his quality-of-life or demonstrate the slightest bit of effort to ensure that he has everything he deserves and more. David is an incredible human being. He was specially made by God to change lives.

Do you wonder who he is, who he has become, how hard it's been just the two of us all these years?

How do you live as if he does not exist?
He's beautiful and perfect in every way.

How could you not want to see his smile?

Do you ever wonder how hard it is on my body to lift his 95 pound body day in and day out?

Do you wonder if the journey alone ever takes an emotional toll on me?

Have you ever considered putting your own selfishness and pride aside to consider what a beautiful little boy you're missing out on?

I guess on the days I am reminded that I am parenting alone, there's tons of silly question that surface.

And although from time to time I still feel I have questions for David's father, I don't question God at all. We have an incredible life and for all the support we don't have God has given us sevenfold in other areas! So although I have raised David alone I know I was never really alone, David just didn't have his biological father

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Celebrating my freedom in so many ways!

Last weekend at a Women's Retreat we were asked to answer a question and the question was "if you could ask God one question what would it be?"  Thinking of my question was not hard, but it made me think about how far I have come in my spiritual journey. 

Had I been granted one question ten years ago it would have been  "why me?”.  Why me for this journey, this challenging life and/or circumstances?  These days my thought process is much different.  If I was granted one question now it would be, am I pleasing you, representing you in all that I do, are my actions and influence in peoples lives making them want to know more about the gracious God I love and serve?”.  

My life has drastically changed in the last decade. Although my struggles are still the same, what has changed are the choices I make.  I choose to embrace the journey I have been called to walk, and although there are times the journey seems unfair, I know that I am blessed beyond measure and that our journey serves a purpose in the Kingdom of God. 

When I quit making life about me and started making it about Jesus I had a much clearer understanding of life.  I knew that only I had the power to choose to either embrace my life or resent it, which did not change my circumstance it only changed the outcome.  

God has not yet given me all that I have thought I wanted out of life, but he surely has abundantly supplied all of my needs.  He has renewed my spirits and inspired my visions and dreams.  
My new take…  Well I no longer spend my time wonder how I can satisfy me, my purpose is to satisfy him.  I wake up every morning sincerely and consciously seeking out to make a difference in someone’s life. That difference could be big or small, that person could be someone close or a stranger, but at the end of the day it is not about me it is about him.  
Today I am FREE, free of resentment and anger, free of pain and anguish, free to love unconditionally, just as Christ loves me. That Freedom is astonishing! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

For those of you who know me you know that my educational journey was quite challenging.  I was blessed to be a scholarship recipient for Helping Hands for Single Moms.  This organization was very instrumental in supporting me through college.  The impact they had on David and my life reached far greater than financial assistance.  I have since completed 4 degree programs and am honored to be part of helping other moms successfully obtain those same accomplishments.

I am on a promotional team working on a very dynamic and unique even called Hoops for Helping Hands for Single Moms.  All proceeds for the event support Helping Hands for Single Moms and their efforts to support single moms and their families while they are pursing higher education.

Last September Eddie Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Gerald Green, Dan Majerle, Meadowlark Lemon and 15 other pro-athletes gathered at the US Airways center for an innovative, fun-filled evening.  Dinner guests enjoyed a "Meet-the-Pro" segment, with a pro-athlete at their table, music and hoop-style entertainment -including a pay-to-play opportunity to shoot hoops with the pros!  The even was memorable and successful we are doing it again.

There are different levels of support necessary to make this happen.   We are looking for promotional partners, sponsorships, and attendees who would like to purchase seats and/or a table.  If you or anyone you know is interested on any level please let me know and I can send you more information.  We are also looking for local business who might be interested in letting us put promotional materials in their place of business.

Here is a brief video from last year ~ please take a few minutes to view:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It is an honor to call him son.

We are just cuddling in bed as I am thinking about how lucky I am to have a son so perfect!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

It's hard to believe that someone this small can change a world this big, but he does!  😍 Being David's mom is the best job in the world!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Well I am glad to be home and recuperating from a very exciting, but physically demanding adventure with my little hero.  Being away from our world is very eye opening and puts things in perspective.  In our own environment it is much easier to compensate and forget how challenging it can be to interact in a world not made for disabilities.

David and I live a typical life and often times I forget that we are "different".  Being outside of our own environment made the struggle real and obvious.  It also made me appreciate all the people in our lives who accept us and embrace our lives just the way they are.

I want to thank my amazing niece Sierra and BFF Carmen who not only embrace our no limit attitudes but assist in helping David experience opportunities must children in his condition could not.  No questions asked they helped me carry David and tug the wheelchair up mountains, on boats, and through sand to ensure that he did not miss out.

Most children can return from summer break with stories about the sports programs they participated in or other opportunities that David's disabilities limit him from, so I have always prided myself on making sure that David has opportunities that are unique and just as spectacular.  As he has gotten older and heavier these adventures have become more challenging for me.   I am truly thankful that we have friends and family that not only love us, but support me in making the most of our lives just as they are!  Watching David light up and laugh for 10 days straight made every ounce of effort worth wild.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It was such an honor to be recognized by the Council For Exceptional Children as an Outstanding Special Education Teacher. 

I could have never been the teacher or person I am today if it was not for David who truly has been the wind beneath my wings!