Thoughts on Mother’s Day – 2020

I didn’t post anything about Mother’s Day this past Sunday, May 10, 2020. I was feeling down, and dealing with aching teeth. For anyone new to this blog, I have two kids. Thomas who is 14 years old and Lillian who is 18 years old. I’ve raised them alone for the past 13 years.

Mother’s Day has never been about store bought gifts and flowers for me. I do not judge those who find these things meaningful. I have always loved and enjoyed the home made cards and gifts that Thomas and Lillian made me when they were younger. I have attempted to raise them not to feel compelled to give gifts just because a calendar, or someone else, says it’s time to give a gift. I wanted them to give gifts because they were moved to do so, to show love, to show joy, to show appreciation. I now understand why moms around the world keep and treasure gifts their kids made for them as children. These are true treasures.

By afternoon on Sunday, I had received nothing from either Thomas or Lillian. Well, except Thomas told me “Happy Mother’s Day” when he overheard me telling my mom the same. Lillian had been in a snarky, unfriendly mood, and remained so all day. In the late afternoon, I shed tears at something Thomas had said; which led him to tell me he didn’t know what to give me or make for me and he didn’t feel like making anything. I explained that I don’t want him to feel obligated to give me something. But, I sure as hell can be sad and nostalgic for when they were younger and spent days making me a gift. And, my sadness does not mean that he has done something wrong. He understood.


(Throwback to 2014)

Later that night, he gave me a hug and told me I was a good mom. Later, still, he commented that I don’t look 50 years old and that I should have more wrinkles. He said I look 40 years old. HA! Silly Thomas! Oh my gosh! I have been on this freaking planet for 50 damn years! That’s wild!

I felt compelled to share a glimpse of a different Mother’s Day post. I respect how all choose to celebrate this day, and have compassion for those who have sadness in their hearts on this day. We are all different, yet, the feelings of joy and sadness are felt by all.

May you take from this whatever is meant for you. xoxo

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Our Purpose and Path

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping. Here’s a throwback to nearly four years ago!)

**THROWBACK POST**

July 1 2016:

Last night we gathered around and had discussions about where each of us is regarding our purpose and path, about each of our personal visions, how we plan to get there, how far we’ve gotten, what’s holding each of us back, current challenges and where we are as a family.

Then Lillian and I had a beautiful sunset walk.

I came back to an email from Thomas (only a little snippet to follow, per Thomas):

“…… And why? I want to be a role model to others.

Really this is the only time I have wanted to be the leader of something but it is something that I believe is my vision, and my purpose.

You said to do what you like doing and I do know I would like it …..”

Made my eyes pool with sweat … xoxo …

This morning I had a magical early morning walk. Just now looked at the pictures .. the two reflection photos …. and they leave me in awe … May you have a day full of letting go and of being in awe of nature … xoxo

**Update – May 2 2020: There were no photos with the draft post. I was able to locate one of them (above). We no longer gather around and have these types of discussions (which I do miss). With Thomas being 14 years old and Lillian 18 years old, they’ve moved on from doing many of the rituals and conversations we had during their youth. I hope that some of what we discussed and did, is somewhere within each of them, waiting the time when the wisdom is needed.

Lovely and Magical Book – Where Would You Fly on Curled Up With a Good Book

Thank you to Michelle Whitman for this lovely review of Lillian’s book, Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories

This is a lovely and magical book, full of wonderful short stories where you can let your imagination drift and enter the unique world of Lillian. A collection of stories and poems written by Lillian throughout her life, will transport you to new enchanted and magical worlds, full of colour, rainbows and happy endings. The photos and drawings of Lillian are an added beautiful touch.

Personally my favourite bit about this book was the section on Emotions and Feelings. Camilla (Lillian’s Mum) explains at the beginning of the book that this section was born from them working together to understand and process emotions and from that, Lillian produced “Emotions with Animals”. There is a lot both children and adults alike can learn from this section and it really resonated with me, and how I try to live my life. Each mini story talks about a different animal and emotion, for example ‘Calm Monarch Butterflies’ and then there is Lillian’s summary of ‘How To’ (e.g How To Be Calm). There is some fantastic advice in this, and every single one of us could learn something!

Throughout the book there is a mix of short stories (fairies & princesses, legends, tales & adventures), poems and songs – each with their own unique tale to tell. This book is adorable and inspirational, and if nothing else will make you smile. We all love a wonderful and happy story, and Lillian certainly delivers this along with plenty of inspiration and a touch of magic .. Follow this link to read the full review …

Book Review: Where Would You Fly? & Other Magical Stories by Lillian Darnell

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Top 10 Digital Diary Entries for 2019 – Team TLC

I had fun going through the stats for The Team TLC website and gathering the Top 10 Digital Diary Entries with the Most Views for 2019. Here they are …

Top 10 Digital Diary Entries for 2019

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Survival of the Reno Downtown Library

In early November, Lillian and I survived visiting the downtown library so that Lillian could sign volunteer paperwork and get the fingerprinting form. That’s the one library we cannot visit due to Lillian’s depth perception, balance issues, and an uncooperative proprioceptive system. It’s a 4 level building with huge open spaces and staircases. Makes her head spin and legs shaky. It’s beautiful and I love this location. Just not a good fit for her!

There was a huge amount of anxiety over having to go there. I had spoken to them about her difficulties and they were going to let us in the back door so she didn’t have to walk through the front door and through the huge open areas. My contact was not answering the phone, so I figured we’d give it a shot going through the front doors. Didn’t go so well. We inched along with Lillian getting more and more uncomfortable and beginning to have an anxiety attack.

We made it to the elevator and I got us off one floor too early. Ugh! We inched towards a corner surrounded by book shelves and two walls to help her feel better. And … then we were stuck there! I asked a library worker to let them know we were here, but stuck where we were! HA! Someone came and let Lillian know if we got back on the elevator and went up one floor we’d be directly by her office door so she wouldn’t have to see the open area.

That did the trick! After signing paperwork, she took us back down the elevator and let us out the back door directly by the elevator. Whew! I am deeply proud and happy for Lillian having not spiraled down further while in the midst of it. I helped her slow down her breathing, breathing deeply, and distracted her by looking at books and talking about them.

As I’m stuck on the 3rd floor of the library, in the Sci-fi section, in a corner, with Lillian attached to my arm with a death grip … I’m thinking how utterly hilarious this is …. Lest I begin thinking how not hilarious this is and spiral down into my own meltdown. Good material for future books. Life is the best material …. for living, for sharing, for meeting our edge …

(November 2 2019)

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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.

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.

Keep Believing – Adventure is Always There

Dear Lillian,

I am proud of you.
I love you.

You did it
You continue to do it.

You shine that bright sparkling smile
Upon all who’s eyes you meet.

You did it!
From high school
You have Graduated!

You, we, did it different.
And, that is okay.
In fact, it is perfect for we.

Not everyone is meant
to do life as it has always been done.

This is what creates
the rich and vibrant soup
of human life.

There are those who follow the path
of doing it different.
There are those who follow the path
of the way it’s always been done.
No path is better than the other.
Whether the same path as another is
followed or a different path is followed.

The paths are equal.
Yet the benefit to humanity
is vast in the variety
and depth of ideas,
the dynamic expressions,
that bloom when each of us
travels the path of our hearts.

You continue each day
in the face of chronic pain,
communication challenges,
depth perception and balance difficulties,
fine and gross motor awkwardness,
emotional struggles,
indecision worries,

You continue each day
with that bright sparkling smile.

You continue each day
Knowing what you want in this life
Knowing what you want to achieve
Knowing how you want to live

You continue each day
meeting all that life has put forth for you.

I honor you.
I honor and support the fierce
warrior within you who
knows her heart’s desire.

I honor you.
I am proud of you.
I love you.

YOU DID IT!

Happy Graduation to YOU!!

Love,
Camilla
Mom

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.

Latest News: Making My Way Through The List and Cover Reveal Coming Soon

Finished what should be the last major go through for the book. A 3D image of the cover coming soon for a cover reveal. Now to decide on a few things regarding formatting and layout of the book, finalizing the book blurb, getting review blurbs, LCCN, Bar Code Graphic, and probably a few things I’ve left out! Sounds like much, yet, should go pretty quickly.

Two to three weeks working my way through the “Lillian turns 18” next month list, along with other “must be addressed” items.

SSI figured out for the moment
I have a better grasp on Supported Decision Making now and know I don’t have to feel rushed for that one.
Have researched and messaged back and forth regarding changes to the dosage of CBD oil
One issue almost completely taken care of – just waiting to receive something in the mail.
Still working my way up the ladder with the SRC issue. Got the supervisor of the supervisor’s email address yesterday afternoon.
Have gotten Meeting the Authors nearly caught up
Got 2 boxes packed for our upcoming move 😂
July and August date day with Lillian
Now … hoping to make my way back to my book this week and plan for Lillian’s 18th birthday!!

Thinking I may take a day or two off in October … July, August, and September have been and will be intense! Whew! (Leaf shaped heart photo from October 2018)

FINALLY got the issue with SRC resolved! Took nearly a month and going as far as the supervisor of the supervisors. Now I know why I like emailing as opposed to the phone. I had a timeline that indicated I had turned everything in as asked, when asked.

Recap: Turned in all documents in May having to do with a service for Lillian. It was approved. We used it for June and July. Got a message in July they had canceled the approval and had put her on a wait list as they didn’t get the documents needed. I kept getting “nothing can be done” until I sent an email this Monday to the supervisor of the supervisors. Done. And, retroactive to include July as I didn’t know they had not paid the provider for July.

So …. when dealing with agencies, keep notes on your calendar and email whenever possible!! Whew!! One thing completely off the list! Onward! 💜

And a side note … I am kind in these communications; but firm. I also make sure the supervisors know that the person they supervise has been pleasant and helpful and that I appreciate them (if they have and I do). I did let them know about a rude individual who had contacted the provider about not receiving a form that was turned in …

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.

 

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.