Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Family Care

Self-care – so important

Equally as important: Family care

If you remember back in January, my resolution for the year was to write once a week. In the blogging world, it was almost three months before I wrote again. I have taken to writing a quick, one-to-two sentence reflection on our day each night before bed (counts as writing?), but devoting the time and energy to words on the page has been a monumental task in recent months. And for once, it isn’t about self-care. It’s about family.

Self-care has become a ritual for me. I know when I need a break. And I know what helps me regroup, and thankfully, I have a support system to turn to when I am in need. My family is no different – sometimes, we just need to reconnect. Routines and busyness and homework and screens and commitments and budgets and errands and all of the things keep us from each other. This year, what I found in the this long and snowy winter, was that my family was in need of some refocusing. In late January, when emotions were running high and cabin fever was at its peak, I began hatching a plan in my head to get us out of the funk: a little Spring Break road trip to relearn to love and appreciate each other.

It’s funny, because I know that vacations can also bring out the worst in our families; the lack of routine, the rushing around to fit everything in… it can be unpleasant. So when we finally chose a destination (Kansas City), my mission became getting ready for the trip, but also holding myself back from overly preparing.

For me, that meant doing just two things: booking a hotel, and packing our suitcases. We had no prearranged plans. We had no tickets purchased or hopes for what we would do or see. People laughed when we said we were headed to Kansas City. “Why? Do you have family there?” I was often asked. I had no answer – no, no family, but I googled it once and they have a zoo, so worst case scenario, we would just end up there! Time for an adventure.

Friends, it was perfect.

Now don’t get me wrong here, it was not *actually* perfect. Tessa’s running was a real pain in the ass. Lauren did not appreciate the long hours in the car. There were no naps. And we definitely went over budget. But we had a blast. We followed our intuition and did what felt right in the moment. With no expectations and no time constraints, no one cared about sitting in the car for 15 minutes deciding on the next stop. There was no worry about inconveniencing anyone with our need to eat dinner at 4:30. And on our last night, as my three girls giggled themselves to sleep in a way that I haven’t heard…. well, frankly, ever, I knew we had gotten this right.

Kansas City, you were good to us. Thanks for the giggles.

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Tessa rocks.

Because of big, happy grins.


Because of a sweet little nose.


Because she is stubborn.


Because she is obsessed with doughnuts.


Because she is a worthy human.


Because she is STRONG.


Because we are better with her.


Because she has a place in your class, in your school, in your community.


Because the world needs love like hers.


Because laughter.



Because of all the little pieces of her that rock.


Happy World Down Syndrome Day.  We are so thankful that she is ours.





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