Roots

Appreciation of our culture and lineage is quite important to our family. In that vein, we do what we can to expose our children to our roots. This goal in mind we recently visited South America. Our daughter has had the pleasure of visiting previously, however for the boys this was a new experience. Luckily it seems as if they don’t really care where they are and will make themselves at home regardless.

Adjustments conquered, we decided to venture to a coastal town called Santa Marta. There we had the pleasure of beautiful accommodations and a trip to a secluded beach, where we had the best fish plate of our stay.

Similar experiences were instilled in my wife and I throughout our formative years. Having the chance to interact with extended family we don’t get many opportunities to see creates memories that will last a lifetime and help to shape our children’s perceptions and opinions of the world.

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Three

It seems our only apocalyptic snow storm of the season affected our family more than initially thought. Smack in the middle of the weekend that was, had the twins birthday party scheduled. In the interest of safety for all we decided to re-schedule. So this past weekend approximately four weeks later we were able to celebrate Mayhem and Chaos’ exit from the terrible two’s (not really but whatever.) The party was great despite one of our boys falling ill and sleeping for a while during the event. No mind he still took part in most of the activities and at the end of the day he did have a good time.

The past three years have been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. The most humbling time of my life by far and yet the crazy thing is, I cannot see our life any other way now. Three years ago we were gifted with two boys which have made us appreciate life in a completely different light. The dynamic of experiencing the interaction between both of them and their older sister is fascinating. Our family’s legacy is held with these children and it is amazing to watch it happen before our eyes. I try not to take these days for granted and soak up as much of their experiences as possible. Photography has provided me the ability to freeze these moments and therefore I do spend a significant amount of time taking pictures of them. Below you will see some of the most recent additions to this extensive catalog of images. Enjoy.

 

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Long Road…

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I have been at war with myself for a long time whether or not to write this post. However, I have come to the realization that posting would do more good than anything else. Below you will see multiple images of one of my sons. He is a fraternal twin. He is the eldest of the twins. He is Autistic. That latter three-word phrase has taken me a long time to appreciate and accept. I did not know how to deal with this reality for a long time. While this diagnosis is difficult for me to handle, lest we forget what is at the heart of the diagnosis, but a little boy who has begun life with a tremendous obstacle in front of him.

The eventual diagnosis stemmed from a realization that our son was not reaching certain milestones in development. Primarily our concern centered on a lack of vocabulary, both quantity and quality of which were/are deficient. Since drawing conclusions from comparisons is not the best measure of development, we chose to have him evaluated. After a myriad of evaluations it was determined he is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). As shocking as this was for our family, the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty of what was to come was, at least in my case, more frightening. Fortunately, we have a great team of providers who helped in explaining much of the process and expectations, but there has certainly been a large learning curve.

Our son has many therapists and several sessions with more being added from time to time. We have learned so much from our boy and this experience. We now have a proficient understanding of what the jungle of acronyms ABA, EI, CPSE, OT, and PT mean and where and when they are appropriate. But beyond that we learn from him directly in observing his interactions with his siblings and his environment. He is expected to enter a center based program shortly which will be another enormous step for all of us. God willing it will be a positive experience which will only help to improve and expedite his development.

Sometimes it can all be overwhelming for everyone, but when this happens I remind myself of a comment made by one of his therapists. She said, and I am paraphrasing, what if he is the “normal” one and we are the outliers? I think about that a lot, as his perception of the world must be so different than mine. How amazing must that ability be?

Additionally, my wife reminds me of a belief she has, God does not give you anything you cannot handle. To him I say, thank you for sending us our extra special boy.

I don’t care to come off all preachy. However, for families apprehensive or scared of having their child evaluated, think about the unknown. You may be doing your child a disservice by not providing them the opportunity to receive services they may benefit from. If it is not through the same services we sought, linked here, please do it through whatever services are available to you.

As for our little guy, we will strap in and enjoy the long road ahead and all that it will bring.

 

 

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Happy Holidays

DSCF7313It’s the Merriest time of the year and to that end I am sharing one of my favorite images of 2015. I know most people are very stressed during this time of year, ourselves included! However, by now most of our gifts have been purchased and wrapped and we are in the process of putting the final touches on Christmas eve preparations. Cookie dough is being mixed and I am looking forward to seeing my kids’ faces on Christmas morning.

With that in mind our family wishes all of you a Happy Holiday Season and only the best for the upcoming year!

Welcome to the Family

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A new family is exciting. New challenges, new experiences these are not always fun at the time, but you have to see the humor in certain situations and laugh about them later. Sometimes these are the best memories families have. This is one of the reasons I enjoy photography so much, capturing these images or events which remind you of these situations.

Recently, I had clients who are new parents. We had a great time with their boy running in the park and creating some wonderful memories for them to reflect on in future years. I wish them the best in raising their son and would like them to keep the above in mind. It is not always easy to appreciate the events which will provide the most memorable moments, but with kids that’s part of the ride. Go with it and don’t take things too seriously, this is advice sometimes I need to heed as well!

Announcement²

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I hope all of you viewing this understand the image. However, for those of you that may be as stifled, as I was when hearing the news, we are expecting TWINS! I find it scary, strange, and exciting to even type that, WOW! My family and I have been waiting sometime to be able to announce this properly and I hope this image does it justice. We are diligently preparing for our very special arrivals and realize the amount of work and effort that will go into raising them as well as there big sister. But we are up to the challenge, and know we have an unbelievable support group on both sides of our immediate and extended families. Good thing to, because I am pretty sure we will need all of there assistance on this one. I try to keep in mind something I read recently which makes me feel better about the impending mayhem (forgive me for not remembering where I read this to give the appropriate credit):

Thank You For:

– A mortgage (because it means we have a roof over our heads)

– A messy home (because it means our life is full of activity)

– Dirty Dishes (because it means we ate today)

– Crying Babies (because it means we have a family)

These statements put things in perspective for me and the future doesn’t seem insurmountable, but exciting! Can’t wait to see where this ride takes us!