Celebrating the 52nd Birthday – Camilla Downs

On February 26, 2022 I turned 52 years old. I seem to be behind in many non-urgent tasks these days. My body decided to get my attention once I hit 50, along with being extremely exhausted. I’ve had my hands full addressing some health issues, along with addressing urgent or deadline intense matters for Thomas and Lillian.

We had a low-key, mild celebration. The Romano Duo and my brother came to our place, with Frank kicking things off by making me a couple of virgin bloody marys. We had lunch together, opened gifts, and then enjoyed a vegan, strawberry rhubarb pie.

We also celebrated a win for Lillian. She has pretty much conquered her fear of cats, so we lit a candle for her to blow out in celebration. There’s something to be said for exposure therapy. It absolutely worked magic when Thomas finally convinced me to allow him to adopt a cat. Chad Basil the First came into our lives in December 2021 for Thomas to care for and have as emotional support. Lillian has slowly warmed up to him, at about the same pace as Basil has taken to open up to us.

It’s been all I can do to keep up with these matters, with my precious walks growing less frequent. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to resume the frequency soon. For a while now, I’ve not been posting as much on social media as I have in the past. I’ve also not written anything for a couple of years. I’ve been, and am, numb and exhausted. I am in the midst of addressing the health issues, with hopes that this helps to lift my spirits.

I have just completed four weeks of physical therapy for my neck, with four more to go. This being an initial step before having an MRI. I’m seeing a GI doctor to address gut issues. I’ve done a SIBO test, and am awaiting the results. I’ve had a full gut ultrasound which indicated a dilated (enlarged) bile duct. I’m now scheduled for an MRI of my pancreas, gallbladder, and all ducts to determine the cause of the dilated bile duct. I’m also scheduled for a colonoscopy and endoscopy in May. The colonoscopy is just routine as I’ve never had one. But the GI doctor added the endoscopy to see if we can determine the cause of some additional pain and discomfort. Additionally, I’m scheduled with a cardiologist to have an echocardiogram performed.

We continue to have many beautiful and exciting events and wins come into our life, too. I’ve posted about those as they happen. I’ve always been one to keep the unlovely moments of life to myself until I’ve had time to process it and/or I’ve determined the solution. This is the Way (for me). I love The Mandalorian, by the way!

Team TLC is looking forward to attending the Chromosome 18 Family Conference this summer in San Antonio, after it has been held virtually the past two years. Our future is bright, with many lovely moments, trips, and celebrations on the horizon. The time I currently find myself seems to be a grease-the-wheel, fill my cup moment as we prepare for the exciting times that await us.

I share with all of you, as that’s who I am, and who you know me to be. This is my path, to be authentic, vulnerable, and to let others know they are not alone. xoxo

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 20 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 16 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

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.


Looping and Dreaming with Visions of Hallelujah – An Update

Have you ever felt like you’ve been in a never ending, looping, nightmarish dream? But, you’re not dreaming and it’s all happening with your eyes open and you’re going about your day?

I finally have a minute to share an update with you, beginning with events of the past week and a half. First, I’m thankful for the beautiful, sparkly, feel good blanket of snow this morning. It’s lovely to have reminders from Mother Nature of the beauty of life, being comforted by the loving touch only she can deliver. Here’s a photo at our temporary place, of the snow covered patio and the wonderful view.

We had to be out of our previous place by November 18th, at the latest, as it had been rented. Management had been giving extensions since August 15th, and in between the last one, our unit was rented. We were supposed to move on the 15th, but learned during the week that it would be Monday, the 18th. On Friday, the 15th, I received a call that we couldn’t get into the place until Wednesday, the 20th. This left us with 3 days, 2 nights of needing a place to stay and a place for our belongings that would be loaded into a moving truck Monday afternoon.

I received a call on Sunday letting me know to hold off on reserving a room at an extended stay hotel as we may still be able to move in on Monday. All day Monday, I was being told that the Certificate of Occupancy may be issued. Meanwhile, we finished packing and loading the moving truck. Not until 5:00 pm was I informed that it wasn’t going to happen, with still not knowing where I would have the movers unload our belongings. And, with still not having a place to stay for the night. Finally received word that I could unload the belongings into the garage attached to the temporary unit. Thank goodness for The Romano Duo and the awesome movers. Not sure how I would have done this without them. Lillian was in meltdown mode from late afternoon until the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Fortunately, we found a room, got my mom and Lillian into the room and then went back to work getting the last of our belongings from the place we were vacating. There was much back and forth and non stop going, going, going. At precisely 11:58 pm, Thomas and I walked out of our old home for the last time. Mom and Frank had left just a few minutes earlier.

There are many details I’m leaving out. Yet, will share this … By about 7:00 pm, I was so exhausted that I was shaking and kept dropping things. On one of our trips from the old place to the hotel room, I dropped Lillian’s diffuser. Well, I actually dropped it twice. I caught it the first time. The second time, it dropped on the pavement and the lid shattered as it was glass. I totally lost it and began sobbing as I thought of the meltdown that would ensue. Thomas came over and held me in a long hug while I sobbed. I love him so dearly, for how he witnesses me. Thankfully, there was no meltdown as we just used the diffuser without the lid. Whatever! It still works. Just spews water droplets all over.

One more detail. Lillian was melting down over not having a couch in the hotel room. It’s her routine to use the couch for certain things and at certain times. I improvised and convinced her to go along with my idea. I suggested she use one side of the bed as a couch and one side to sleep on. I pulled the ironing board off it’s hook and laid it on the “sleeping” side of the couch so she had a place to put her water and other things.

Tuesday went much the same as Monday. I was told all day long that they thought they would have the certificate of occupancy on that day. It was also a day full of meltdowns from Lillian. Change and being out of her comfort zone are incredibly difficult for her to regulate. They never received the certificate, so another night in the hotel room. I was told the same thing beginning Wednesday morning. The place we were staying didn’t give a sh** about the uncertain situation. They needed to know by noon if we were staying another night or checking out.

I decided to phone the City of Reno Building and Permit Division to find out what was going on. I lucked out and the person who answered the phone was the person handling the situation. She told me the one thing she was waiting on in order to issue the Certificate of Occupancy and gave me the cell number for one of the owners of the project. I phoned him to express my concerns and to ask what the hell is going on. Turns out he had just finished doing what needed done and was headed to the city to deliver paperwork. He phoned me a bit later to let me know he had the Certificate of Occupancy. Finally!!

But, wait. We still had to wait for management to do a walk through of the unit and still needed to sign paperwork. Between all of this, it was nearly 6:00 pm once we got the keys and were inside the unit. Had to get the movers back over to bring a few belongings up from the garage .. our beds, a few pieces of furniture, and some boxes. While Thomas stayed with the movers, I went to get Lillian and the rest of our things from the hotel.

We had opened the windows to air the paint smell, closing them around 9:00 pm. It was then that I noticed the heat was not coming on. Nothing I did to the thermostat made it work. We spent the first night here with it in the upper 50’s in the unit! Fortunately, I own two oil heaters and put one in each bedroom.

HVAC contractor was over Thursday to address the issue. The damn thermostat wasn’t even connected! After much time searching, he could not even find the line for it. He fixed it so that we would have heat until they could come back on Friday and run a new line to the thermostat. He connected the thermostat directly to the heater system in the ceiling; which meant I couldn’t access it and had to decide on a temperature to leave it at. Ugh!

Late Friday morning I went to the post office. On the way back I received a call from the office advising not to return to the unit for a couple of hours as there was an issue with the gas. Ummmm …. my kids are there!! Apparently they knocked on the door and when no one answered, assumed no one was home. (New note added to the file advising of our situation with Lillian and that I homeschool Thomas.) I had to park 2 units away, walk to our unit, with a construction worker, hurriedly rouse Thomas and Lillian, and get out of there! Apparently, a construction worker hit a gas line.

Just as this was happening, I received a call from the HVAC company that they were on the way. Had to tell them not to bother due to the situation. It was 2 and a half hours before we were allowed back into the unit, with another 2 or 3 hours before the gas was turned back on. Which meant that the heat did not get repaired on Friday.

The HVAC guys were finally here yesterday. They had to cut three holes in the wall to run a new line, plus move the thermostat. They left around 2:30. I began to notice that the heat was not coming on. Again, no matter what I did to the thermostat, it wouldn’t work. Called them and out they came again. It’s finally working!! The drywall guy was here until 5:15 repairing the holes. What a crazy time this has been!!

Then, last night at just about 10:00 pm, we got to experience our first power outage in this community. Ugh! Lillian nearly had a meltdown as she was thinking of all the things that she wouldn’t be able to use. Fortunately, it was only off for about 2 hours. I’m so ready for a long run of uneventful days.

The date for moving into our unit was December 2nd. I was informed yesterday that it’s been moved to December 9th. I’m okay with that. I’m just happy to finally be here, even if we aren’t in our permanent unit. We will absolutely enjoy the view we have from the temporary unit, while also enjoying having an attached garage! I’ll have a garage once we get into our unit, it’s just not attached.

Now, to back up to the beginning of this adventure. About 4 years ago, I learned of this new community being built, first of it’s kind in the state of Nevada. I put my name on the interest list. After a couple of years, I assumed it wasn’t going to happen and just let it go. Then, around January of this year, I received a call that I was on the interest list and asking if I was still interested. Yes, yes!!

I was told it would be ready for move in on June 15th. I completed the application, turned in paperwork, was approved, picked out our unit and garage, and the waiting and excitement began. In May, the date got bumped to August 15th. Which was fine with me as my current lease wasn’t finished until August 31st. In the beginning of August it was bumped to September 15th. This went on with bumping it every 2 or 3 weeks … up until now. I am deeply and incredibly grateful to and for management at The Vintage as they worked with me on these continual extensions.

If you’re still here, thanks for reading what I write. I know this was long and included much details. Yet, it’s my nature to share with you what I’m experiencing. Plus, I wanted to have this for myself … as a reminder. During all of this, I kept thinking I was crazy and making a mistake for not walking away. I absolutely would have walked away, long ago, if there were another community like this in our area.

For all of Lillian’s meltdowns throughout these past 5 months about moving, about leaving the home she’d known for going on four years …. Not one complaint, not one comment about the change. She LOVES having her own room and bathroom. Loves it. I knew she would. She also reminded me of something I needed reminded. I cannot remember her exact wording. She said something about the courage and tenacity (my word) it took to stay with this, to get us in here, all the phone calls, everything I did, and continued to do to make this work. I forget sometimes that I have two young people watching how I handle situations, how I live life. At times, I totally suck at handling life, at other times, I suppose I shine, even if it’s after the fact …

Hallelujah! We’re nearly there and I have some great material for a future book! HA! Much love to all of you!

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!

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.

World Poetry Day 2017 – Wadsworth and Dickinson and Millay and cummings

In honor of World Poetry Day, I’m sharing some of my favorite poems. Beginning with a Renga poem that Team TLC wrote together in September 2015. We wrote the poem in TLC order.

Renga is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry. Poets work in pairs or small groups, taking turns composing alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long. The next poet add the second stanza of two lines.

You Are Here in Sand 2.13.13

Love is Magical

Cows are loud and can moo
sometimes they say,
I love you!

Cows have milk,
and cows eat grass.

You are surrounded by love
every breath you take is love
You are love

Guinea pigs wheek and guinea pigs meek,
lovey dovey guinea piggy moo!

Love is the butterfly
gracefully it flies
magical is it’s color

Love is magical
the alchemy of peace.

Airplanes flying
through the air
fun galare!

How beautiful the bird flies,
as the wind.

Love is the tree
Love is the flower
Love is the silence.

Flowers blossom
pollen falls.

Rainbow is the sky
Rainbow is the water
Rainbow is the colors of the earth.

Nature is love
Nature knows how to be.

Team tlc
always kind
always thinking.

Kindness is always there
Kindness is like friendship

A wise man
is kind to the kind
and kind to the unkind

A wise man
under a tree

Blue bird flies to Alaska
Red bird flies to Hawaii
White bird flies to Australia

The magical hummingbird
arrives on a warm summer day

best food ever
try some

Most delicious food ever

Mindful eating
Mindful living
The way of peace and happiness

Eating is fun
and yummy

Apple trees grow with sunshine
Butterflies grow with food
Cake gets eaten fast or slow.

Beings, trees, and insects
We are all one love.


Little Kindness

by William Wadsworth

Small service is true service while it lasts,

Of humblest friends, bright creature, scorn not one;

The daisy by the shadow which it casts

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.


Nature is What We See
by Emily Dickinson

“Nature is what we see –
The Hill – the Afternoon-
Squirrel-Eclipse-the Bumble bee-
Nay-Nature is Heaven-
Nature is what we hear-
The Bobolink-the Sea-
Thunder-The Cricket-
Nay-Nature is Harmony-
Nature is what we know-
Yet have no art to say-
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.


Afternoon on a Hill
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!


love is a place
by e.e. cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds.


There are many more poets and poems I really love!! Yet, this post would have gone on way too long!!


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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
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Movie Musings: Parents and Fireflies and Writers


The Parent Trap Movie 2012

My choice: The Parent Trap – Loved by all of us – lots of laughter!

To see ALL of Team TLC Movie Suggestions go here to The Team TLC Book and Movie Guide.

Grave of the Fireflies Movie 1.15.17

Thomas’ choice: “Grave of the Fireflies”

Thomas says, “Not what I was expecting. It was sad.”

Lillian says, “Sad, yet had good parts and interesting songs.”

I say, “Quite emotional. A young boy trying his best to care for he and his younger sister. Causes one to think of and know what’s truly important in this life.”

Finding Forrester Movie 2017

Camilla’s choice – “Finding Forrester”

I say, “I love this story. ‘The first key to writing is just to write! Write from the heart. Review with the head.’ I love this story! Oh. Did I say, I love this story. I could have done with a lot less inappropriate language, yet, I understand it was representative of the characters.”

Thomas says, “Good movie. I liked it a lot. Funny in some parts, suspenseful, liked the characters. Really liked that Forrester wears his socks inside out due to the seams on the inside. I agree and wear my socks inside out. The people who make socks make them wrong.”

Lillian says, “Good, awesome, and my favorite part was near the end. I liked it!”


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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
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*Finding Forrester Movie Review, *Grave of the Fireflies Movie Review

10 Most Popular Posts for 2016


Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2016 blog posts)

  1. Dear Meltdown, Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  2. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  3. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months
  4. Photo a Day for 365 Days – Thomas’ One Year Anniversary
  5. The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting
  6. 2016 Chromosome 18 Conference – San Antonio
  7. A Rapturous Dance With Life
  8. The Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell
  9. The Tao of Letting GoLetting Go Burning Ceremony, and There is More Than One Way (These 3 blog posts had the same amount of views)
  10. A State of Pure Awareness

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….


Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views for 2016 (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  4. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  5. Taste the Wind
  6. Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  7. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  8. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures
  9. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  10. Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  3. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  4. Help Team TLC With A Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  8. A Moment of Defeat
  9. Lillian and Being Different Presentation
  10. Creativity and Resourcefulness

Here’s to a 2017 in which we all go within to BE the change we wish to see in the world. BE Love, BE Peace, BE Compassion … We must BE this within in order to experience it without.



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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
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How to Celebrate an Eleventh Birthday

A wee bit late posting this ….. November 13 2016:



“We’re the weirdest people I know.” ~Thomas Darnell (11.8.16) …. To which we both burst out laughing and let even more weirdness ensue. It’s true. I’m not your average person, nor the average mom. But, that’s another story for another time …. This one’s for Thomas ….

Happy Happy Happy 11th Birthday Thomas!!!!

Here’s to you! As you begin your 11th trip around the sun, may you live your life to the fullest. You have blessed me with countless gifts from the moment you joined us.

Your tender heart combined with your honesty, compassion, and empathy are indeed precious. Rounded out with your true confusion as to why age seems to be such a big deal in this world, by way if its limitations; have made for interesting, fun, and life shifting adventures and conversations. Your soul knows no age and you have not forgotten that.

“It’s like I’ve lived this life before, I have nostalgia almost every day, like I’ve experienced this all before.” said often by Thomas.

He wanted cheesecake for his cake. So that’s what I made for him with shaved dark chocolate on top. Oh my YUM!!!

He so loves and enjoys reading National Geographic so I got him a subscription for the print edition. Lillian made a handmade card and then a “mystery box” (which he renamed a “memory box”).

With help from me she collected items from around the house to put in the box and then she handmade a coupon for one stone or crystal from Stone Age with some of her own quotes on the back. Other goodies from The Romano Duo!!

Snapshot of Thomas: Some of his favorite topics are minecraft, LEGOS, coding, math, and learning about topics that interest him. He loves fibonacci numbers, bernoulli’s equation, and the law of infinite probability. Some of his most cherished things to do are reading, being outside, going on adventures, and swimming.

And as of about two weeks ago, has a PUBLISHED BOOK!!! Wahoooo!!!

He asks a billion questions, makes funny noises, teases his sister too much, has sensory processing issues, gets overwhelmed in crowds and noisy places, takes longer than the average person to process questions asked of him ….

He calls me out when I’m not “doing” as I say, he holds the biggest freakin mirror in front of me when I need it most, and he has a heart of gold.

Thomas, I love you throughout all of time and all dimensions and am blessed we chose to be mother and son in this life.


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November 14 2016:

Birthday treat for the 11 year old this morning.

The most amazing vegan root beer float with coconut bliss ice cream and Oogave root beer. Plus a treat for me: Aztec D’oro, made with almond milk.

But first, a toast to Thomas’ 11th trip around the sun with this amazing and yummy water.

Thank you Great Full Gardens for the birthday discount … we are over the super moon thankful to you for that!!!

thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-1 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-2 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-3 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-4 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-5


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

Wonderfully exciting news! Thomas, my 11 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer, is now published. It’s here. Be inspired! Order one for yourself or as an inspirational gift! 

Latest Articles:
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Movie Musings: Souls and Reason and Grace


My choice – “Dean Spanley”

I say, “Wonderful. Reconciliation of a father and son by way of conversations of migrations of souls. A journey of a father who finds his heart again. Peter O’Toole is fabulous in this movie! Loved it!”

Lillian says, “Good, my favorite part was the dog scene, and liked the plot.”

Thomas says, “I didn’t understand some of it, my favorite part was the ending, I like how few actors were in it, and I liked the original plot.”
(We talked about it afterwards and watched the interviews with producers and actors ….. and now Thomas understands.)

To see ALL of Team TLC Movie Suggestions go here to The Team TLC Book and Movie Guide.


Extra Team TLC movie night last night – My Choice: “It’s a Wonderful Life” ….

I say, “Absolutely adore this movie. It was Frank Capra’s favorite out of all he directed. One mans life touches the life of so many others. No man is born a failure. You are here for a reason.”

Lillian says, “Good, Christmasy, great, inspiring, heart warming, and my favorite parts are the dance in the gym and the end.”

Thomas says, “It was good. I like it every time we watch it. Inspiring and heart warming.”


Lillian’s choice: “Grace Kelly”

Lillian says, “Good, musical, awesome, favorite part was the end, and Cheryl Ladd is beautiful as Grace Kelly.”

I say, “Really interesting to learn more about Grace Kelly. I very much enjoyed watching this with Thomas and Lillian.”

Thomas says, “Liked the flow of the movie, liked the story, and it was interesting.”

I help to support my family with my writings. So … there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to Amazon for more information about a book, and you buy something, we get a few cents (and it doesn’t cost you anything more than usual). Oceans of gratitude … xoxo


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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Get one for yourself or as a gift and be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
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*Dean Spanley Movie Review, It’s a Wonderful Life Movie Review, Grace Kelly Movie Review

A Rapturous Dance With Life

Lake Mead July 2016 #15

I did it. I did it. I did it.

I drove Team TLC 3,400 miles. Thursday, July 7, 2016 through Saturday, July 16, 2016 I drove 3,400 miles roundtrip to attend the Chromosome 18 Conference – Reno, Nevada to San Antonio, Texas .. 1,700 miles each way. A conference Thomas and Lillian have their hearts set on attending every year. We began attending the C18 Conference in 2009 when it was in Las Vegas and have gone every year since then.

We arrived home at midnight on Saturday, July 16th. I was kind of it out of all day Sunday. Then Monday, I woke up ready to go! By Monday afternoon, every muscle in my body ached and I felt weighted down. I was completely out of it for 4 full days. It took about 7 days before I felt like myself again.

Yet, I DID IT!! … xoxoxo

The plan was to leave at 5:00 am on Thursday, the 7th, so that I could drive as far as possible before darkness fell upon us. I am completely out of my comfort zone driving in the dark in unfamiliar places. I could not get to sleep the night before. I was worried and having anxiety about this trip due to finances, honestly, not even having enough to cover the trip.

Yet, I know how deeply important this conference is to Thomas and Lillian. Each for their own reasons. Thomas is the sibling to a sister who has a chromosome deletion. He has, and is, developing deep friendships with the other siblings his age and being mentored by the older siblings.

Lillian’s friends are her peers that she has connected with through this conference. She communicates with some of them all throughout the year. When one texts, blogs, post on Facebook and Instagram, emails, chats on Facebook, or uses skype; the spoken word is not needed.

In our world of verbal communication difficulties, social media has helped create a world that would not exist for Lillian and one where she has true friends. She has no local friends, yet she has friends all over the United States and the world … As far away as Tasmania, Australia.

C18 Trip July 2016 #17

After having about 3 hours sleep, I could not seem to get ready as I was overwhelmed with the enormity of this trip. I had an adult meltdown which delayed our departure. We were finally on our way at 7:00 am; two hours later than I had planned.

There was much excitement as we began the road trip. Lots of talking, observing the landscape, and silliness. About two hours into the morning, we lost cell phone service due to the rural area we traveled. We were without cell service for the next five or six hours until we reached Las Vegas. During this time, Thomas and Lillian became absorbed in reading books, magazines, or using their computers or phones.

Which left my mind much time to mess with me. I had stepped way out of my comfort zone with this trip. I had never driven this far, much less driven this far being the only one in charge of packing, driving, and navigating. Plus, we had never driven this far as a family. Our max road trip travel time was to the 2015 conference in Salt Lake City; which was about an 8 hour drive from Reno.

Thoughts of us being stranded due to car problems kept entering my mind like a dark storm cloud encroaching on the brightest of days. Thoughts of the lack of finances for this trip took their turn in the dance also. Not to be left out of the dance, thoughts of my insanity at attempting this cut into the dance too. All of this dance to be completed with the veil of anxiety and worry weaving in and out like a breeze blowing through the trees.

Thankfully, I am a student of mindfulness and emotional connection. And, since there was nothing else to do but sit and drive, I took this opportunity to put these practices to work. It was a rapturous dance between being mindful, connecting with emotions, and embracing the fear wanting to dance with me.

This trip proved to be challenging. I had not anticipated this dance with life in all of its flavors and colors in such a way to cause the suffering brought on by my thoughts. It was my goal to have this trip be a learning experience for me of not knowing, not planning, and just going. That’s certainly not for everyone.

Yet, I felt this was important for me. It’s a huge step out of my comfort zone. One step closer to trusting myself, trusting internal messages, and letting go of how it’s supposed to be done. As mentioned earlier, I’ve never driven this far alone … Much less alone with Thomas and Lillian. In addition to driving this far in Rosey, our 15 year old car, with dancing through this trip on less than a shoe string budget and letting go of worry that the string will hold tight.

I had moments where I was so extremely hot and exhausted I had visions of taking an ice bath and moments when I was so tired I was shaking and wondering what in the heck I was doing ….. Yet, I know. I may not know on the surface right now; but deep down, I know why I do what I do.

This was also a dance full of wonderful, bright moments. We shared inspiring comments and tons of love that furthered each one of us. Definitely some amazing growth for all of us happened! WOW!

We had a ball and laughed tons and enjoyed the beautiful landscape as we drove by it. Lillian was being so helpful and encouraging Thursday morning before we left.

Thomas was awesome and inspiring with his comments as we drove the two lane highways in the middle of nowhere in Nevada and Arizona. We saw a huge sign that read, “Nothing” and had a great laugh about that! Just after driving through Boulder City and Hoover dam, Thomas said, “I love it here.” He was so impressed with Lake Mead and said he wanted to live there.

Thomas went on to say that he always has deja vu and he has lived this life before. He said it all seems so familiar. He was incredibly inspired by the beauty that passed before our eyes. He also commented that he wants to buy land and simply let kids play on the land.

On the first day of driving, Lillian got sick to her stomach. We ended up spending about 30 minutes at a gas station bathroom and Thomas was extremely helpful. When we were looking for a place to stay and it kept getting darker and darker, I apologized to them as I had planned on stopping sooner. He said, “When you get a rock in your shoe, just shake it out.”

Rosey did a pretty good job. She had a wee bit of problems getting overheated but that was resolved with turning the air conditioner off while traveling up and down the mountainous areas. I had to give her some oil and coolant on the way there and some oil on the way back home. It’s scorching hot checking oil and fluids in over 100 degree weather!

With an hour and a half to go before we arrived in San Antonio, the epoxy glue I use for the driver side mirror had enough of the heat and was simply melting away! A couple of years ago I bumped the mirror backing out of a covered parking spot. So, for about 20 minutes I was holding the mirror until I could pull over. Bungee cord to the rescue!! Before we headed back home, the hotel gave me duct tape and that worked great for the ride back home.

I feel strongly guided to be establishing a new relationship with myself and the world and to model this for my kids, have them actively participate, and to help them know that there’s more to life and living than traditionally meets the eye.

I want them to never lose touch with their true self and to grow into adults knowing their given talents and having a solid and clear courage and conviction in sharing that talent with the world!

I continue to learn so much daily … About me, Thomas and Lillian, others and simply just living and dancing with life! xoxo

C18 Trip July 8 2016 #1

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

Wonderfully exciting news! We’ve completed the first book trailer for my 10 year old son’s, Thomas Darnell, upcoming book, Biggest Little Photographer. You can learn more and pre-order here.