The Road Trip Adventure That Was the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference

In July we attended the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was the 4th time since 2008 that I had driven to the conference. I finally learned my limits with this drive. In this case, the fourth time’s the charm!

I posted a daily account of the adventure on our Team TLC website, loaded with great photos, especially the photos of The Garden of Gods.

The Wild and Crazy Journey to the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs

I want to once again thank the Good Samaritan’s we encountered along the way, the wonderful people who donated to our fundraiser, The Romano Duo (my mom and step-dad) and the angel mom who paid for us to stay an extra night so I could have one more day to recover from the horrid norovirus that swept through the hotel guests. 

For the most part, we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible with the drive there and back, and while at the conference. If you take the time to read the post linked, you’ll see it wasn’t all peaches and cream. There were some definite unlovely and maddening experiences. Horrendous traffic, car accidents, car problems, melt downs, and the nasty norovirus that swept through hotel guests and all three of us. The last unofficial count I saw was about 200 people got hit with it! 

Thomas and I had a beautiful time visiting The Garden of the Gods. Definitely check out those photos in the linked post. Magically beautiful. We also had a lovely rest stop at The Salt Flats in Utah; which was deeply refreshing. Here are a few photos from each of these wonderful places.

Lillian had many firsts and conquered a few fears along the way. It’s always a blessing to see her reunited with her best friend and making new friends too!

Ending with what I’ve learned about my limits with attending the conference. The first drive was to Las Vegas in 2008. That was an easy 8 hour drive from Reno to Vegas. The second time was another easy 8 hour drive from Reno to Salt Lake City in 2015. The third was a nightmare 3,400 mile drive from Reno to San Antonio in 2016. I wrote about that one here and here and here.

I have learned that any destination 9 hours or less is do able for me. Over that, where we have to make a stop and stay some place for the night is too much (for me). Yes!!! For continuing to learn about my own limits. From this point forward it will be easier to decide how we will get to the conference every summer.

At some point in the future, it is my plan for Lillian to travel to the conference without me. If she and Thomas can reach a point of getting along and respecting one another, they can travel together. Or, if that doesn’t happen, hopefully one day she can travel with a friend, or even alone. That’s the plan and we’re making our way to it’s fruition! 2020 Conference will be back in San Antonio! See y’all there!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Cover Reveal for Words of Alchemy

Here it is ….

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature through a heartfelt free-verse poetry collection.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Advance Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs heartfelt new collection, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” – Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” – G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.” – Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. Camilla Downs poetry is an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.” – Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

You can pre-order a signed book here. Total is $20; which includes shipping. If you’d like more than one book, add $15.99 for each book. Arriving on Amazon near the end of October. Comment on this post or email to Camilla Downs @ gmail . com to let me know you would like to be notified when it is available on Amazon.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Words of Alchemy – Cover Reveal on Saturday

Book cover for Words of Alchemy will be revealed on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm PST! The reveal will take place on my Author facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor

You can pre-order a signed copy of Words of Alchemy using this link … WordsofAlchemy.com. The book debuts near the end of October, at which time it will be available on Amazon, and the signed pre-ordered books will ship as well.

One person will be chosen to receive a free copy of Words of Alchemy from everyone who comments during the event time 1:00 – 1:30 (if you are outside of the US, you will receive a digital copy). Join the fun and comment and you could win!

During the book cover reveal I’ll likely read a few of the poems from the book.

Book Blurb:

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature through a heartfelt free-verse poetry collection.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Advance Praise for Words of Alchemy

“Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs heartfelt new collection, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” – Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” – G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.” – Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. Camilla Downs poetry is an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.” – Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The Number 18: Happy Birthday to Lillian Darnell

The Number 18

Today is your 18th Birthday.
Lillian Paige Darnell is 18 years old today.

I can still see you in my mind’s eye
as a wee lil 4 pound sweetheart
as I wondered and dreamed
about your journey to adulthood.

Wow! Did we take giant
twist and turns,
paths less traveled.

Little did I know as I snuggled
you close, sang to you (sorry about that),
and read, read, read to you;
that the number 18 would come
to be a powerful number for you,
for us, in more ways than we could imagine.

When you were 3 years old,
As we sat eating dinner,
As the phone rang,
As the pediatrician delivered
news – 18p- she said,
missing the short arm of
chromosome 18, she said –
that rendered me speechless,
with tears sliding down my face
into a dinner I could no longer eat.

Little did I know at the time
that this was not the horrible
news I assumed it to be.

Oh yes. Life changing, for sure.
Yet, not in the way my mind
led me to believe in those first few weeks.

There is no way on this Earth
I could have foreseen how
life changing this would be for me.

Life changing for me so as to
let you be who you came here to be.
For that to happen unconditionally
and organically, I had much learning to do.

Not just learning about genetics,
chromosomes, DNA,
and the effects of deletions of genes.
That was the small stuff compared to
the enormity of the path that lie ahead.

As you step into adulthood on this day
It is my deepest hope that
I have made more decisions for
the highest good, than not.

It is my deepest hope that the times when I have
remembered to share and be unconditional love
stand out and far outweigh the times when
I have not been at my best.

May the wishes you wish come true.
May the dreams you dream become reality.
May the sunshine light your way ever more.
May the moon teach you it’s secrets.
May the birdsong always sing sweet melodies to your heart.

May you step into adulthood
with iridescent rose gold fairy
wings of the highest and brightest
as you take flight on the next
greatest adventure of your life.

I love you
I honor you
I respect you
I am grateful for all that you
have taught and continue to teach me.

You are You
And You Are Perfect!

Love,
Camilla
Mom

Lillian put together 18 wishes for her 18th birthday; which she shared in the live facebook celebration.

Here they are ….

1. I wish Macy, Lauren, Kaitlin Baker, and Rebecca could come to Reno, NV.
2. I wish to be able to drink out of a cup/glass without a straw.
3. I wish to be fearless.
4. I wish for infinity art and crafts supplies.
5. I wish for infinity clothing.
6. I wish to be able to travel around the world with my friends and/or by myself.
7. I wish for the Earth to be healthy again.
8. I wish for the Earth not to die.
9. I wish to be less picky.
10. I wish to live with my friends.
11. I wish to be less vulnerable to spicy hot stuff.
12. I wish to have a dream home.
13. I wish to have a dream vehicle.
14. I wish to see Hawaii.
15. I wish to go to Florida.
16. I wish to have infinity photography supplies.
17. I wish to have more friends.
18. I wish to have two beds.

We celebrated all week as Lillian had a long list of things she wanted to do. It was a full week of shopping for new fairy wings, going for walks in her favorite places, going swimming, eating fries and desert at her favorite place, having dinner with The Romano Duo (grandparents), and ending with a live facebook celebration.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Life Adventures – An Update from Camilla

It’s been over a month since I’ve written or published anything on my blog, with my postings being much less frequent on facebook and instagram. I felt moved to share an update.

I have been busy with finishing tasks to get my upcoming book released by the end of Summer. Here’s a peek at the cover. Almost there with the cover!

I was wrapped in details of ensuring Lillian graduated on June 1st. She was homeschooled so I was in charge of her transcript, announcements, diploma, tassel, and photo session! In addition, I attended a book signing with her at Barnes & Noble on June 1st.

I had also been in preparation for attending the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have been attending this every year since 2008 as it is the group that researches differences with chromosome number 18 and connects families world wide. We left for the conference on July 19th and returned home on July 27th.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

Now I switch gears to preparing for our move around September 9th. In addition, I must focus on many details and tasks that need to be completed with Lillian turning 18 years old on September 14th. YaY for Lillian! Whew for me!

I will also be focused on getting Thomas squared away for this school year as we homeschool (unschool). He and I will be doing that soon.

And …. the venture I began at the end of May is still going strong and taking much of my time. If you’re interested, check it out … Meeting the Authors.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping up with posts on The Team TLC website as that is our digital journal.

More updates to follow on some of these; especially the upcoming book. I simply wanted to check in with you on why I have not been around! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Much love to all of you!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Poetry: Un Doing


(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com)

Un Doing

Speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue

let it be known
your true self

ride the times of the wind
listen to the longing of your heart

slow down the drum beat
of the must be doing

listen to the melody
of relaxation as it
plays ever more
in your bones

when this is allowed
when this is welcomed
what is truly of your
concern will rise to the surface

do as you must
do as you are compelled
be concerned not
with what others
think of you and your actions

be free and relax
into the knowing
of your heart and soul
into the truth of your cells and bones

speak your truth dear one
with a golden tongue
and free yourself.

©2019 Camilla Downs

If it feels the thing to do, you are inspired by this writing, and inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” …

Buy Me A Coffee

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry and Photography: Sun Wishes

Sun Wishes

Went for a walk
Made a wish
Drew in a breath
Pursed my lips
Blew the wish
On waves of wind
To the loving
Embrace of the sun.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

April 29 2019

It was the long walk today. What a beautiful walk it was. Light, free, joyful. Listened to the birdsong. Felt the warmth of the sun and the lovely breeze. Smelled lilacs. Tasted my true self. Sensed newness in my bones. What a beautiful walk it was.

More dandelion photos … I find them incredibly beautiful ….

Latest News: Meeting the Authors

I have fun and wonderful news to share!

About three works ago I launched a website titled, Meeting the Authors, with the main purpose of the site being to interview authors. I have sent interview questions to somewhere around 100 authors in about a 3 week time frame! This is a ton of work! Yet, also fun and enlightening! I am meeting so many wonderful people around the globe!

This website was born from a love of writing combined with a love of reading what others have written. The site hosts fun, quirky, different than the norm, and interesting author interviews and short book reviews.

Being in this arena since 2012, I noticed the need for seasoned and newly published authors (whether traditional or indie) to have online outlets to receive more exposure. There are many, many incredible writers in our world and this is my small way of helping others who love the written word to know about them.

Authors have worked incredibly hard creating these books. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. The book must be edited and designed and formatted for printing as a book. There’s no relaxing once the book is ready to be birthed to the reading world! Marketing the book and keeping the momentum must be stepped into vigorously. Again, this is my small way of helping.

The site features interviews with authors and book love reviews. The book love reviews are short posts to let you know about books I’ve read and loved. I do not have the time to write full reviews. However, if I’ve read a book I enjoyed, I’ll give a brief reason why and a description of the book.

The plan is to eventually have either a podcast featuring author interviews and/or live interviews open for reader questions. You can use the “search” feature on the website to search for books in your chosen genre.

It is my hope that you discover a new author or book that inspires you, helps you to heal, teaches you something about history you never knew, ignites your imagination, delights from head to toe with romantic tales, or helps you tap into your inner detective and sleuth to solve mysteries. And everything in between!!

If you are an author or blog tour organizer, please visit the Contact page to see further details and get yourself on the list to be featured. The interviews are currently booked through November 2019 (can you believe that? after only THREE weeks). However, I have left room to accommodate book launches and am happy to continue scheduling interviews.

If you’d like to support this endeavor, click on over and check it out. Go here for Meet the Author interviews and here for Book Love. And for further support you can “like” the facebook page, follow on instagram, and sign up to receive new posts through email or through WordPress Reader (right hand side bar of website).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, fingers, and toes for your love and support!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Photography and Poetry: Healing with Nature

Breathe it in
Breathe it out

Look up
Look around

Keep walking
Keep writing

Keep knowing
Keep loving

Hold space
For them
For you

This is the Way
This is the unfolding
Nature of life.
©️2019 Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Holding Space …… with Love

As I swiftly walked by the fountain one cold and frosty morning this past March, I was stopped in my tracks. Nature is the most incredible artist. The beauty of these leaves suspended and frozen for a moment in time, captured my heart.

And … I did spot a heart shaped leaf. Beautiful!!

I mean. Just had to give the heart shaped leaf it’s own post. The lil frozen bubbles, the green leaf down below, the frozen ripples, sections partially free from the frozen water. Ahhhhh ….

Seeing these beautiful frozen leaves helped bring clarity to something I was in the midst of …

When it’s my own internal struggles and turbulence I have learned to lean into it, be with it, and try to remember to keep love at the forefront of whatever it is.

What I have not learned is how to do this when someone I love dearly is struggling and I don’t have clarity about how to help them and feel deeply inadequate for the task. Especially when there are two someones struggling. And, sometimes, struggling at the same time.

This is what lies at the forefront of the current journey. It’s definitely not a pleasant place to be. Yet, offers much opportunity to continue to move through one’s own journey while at the same time holding space for those closest to you as they travel their own journey.

***********************

As I am posting this near the end of May, I have moved somewhat beyond this. I say somewhat, as when in a close relationship with others, this seems to be an inevitable place to be at some point. The place of not knowing how to help and holding space for oneself, as well as others.

Aren’t these frozen leaves absolutely magical and gorgeous??

***********************

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo