Reblog: From No Bed to Plush Bed

October 15 2020

This is what I will attempt tomorrow. Thomas has not had a bed since 2015. By choice to begin with, as he wanted to try Japanese floor bed style. Then later, I simply was not financially able to get one.

Since moving into our new place (November 2019), he’s been sleeping on an air bed. If all goes well tomorrow, he will sleep in a brand new cushy bed tomorrow night, plush style with a new platform frame, new mattress, new sheets, and a new pillow. My patience evades me when putting things like this together. Pray for me …

  

October 16 2020

I did it! The new pillow hasn’t arrived yet so that’s the last piece, along with a new comforter as it gets cooler. Tomorrow we’ll get the nightstand moved next to the bed and move the books to another spot.

I’m excited for Thomas. He deserves this! Having gone 5 years without a bed, never having a brand new one. I went all out. Organic and vegan … everything, plus eco-friendly and non-toxic. None of us can handle toxic fumes.

Go here to see the full post ..

From No Bed to Plush Bed – New Bed for Thomas

Reblog: Sunrise With Wild Wind Bloopers at Sunset

Sunrise With Wild Wind Bloopers at Sunset

September 24 2020

Thomas and I went for a hike on the Tamarack Lake Trail earlier this afternoon. Incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

Thomas had fun hitting rocks into the lake. I included some blooper photos of trying to take selfies with the wild wind that was blowing, and a blooper of what happens when Thomas takes my photo … He keeps taking the photo until I take my phone away! Crazy kid!

      

Go here to read the full post and view more photos …

Sunrise With Wild Wind Bloopers at Sunset

Kayak Lunch on Lake Tahoe – Thomas and Camilla July 2020 Date Day

Thomas and Camilla July 2020 Date Day

July 17 2020

Thomas and Camilla July 2020 Date Day – Kayak picnic in Lake Tahoe …. …

I have wanted to do this with Thomas for many years. Happy that we finally got to do it!

  

Go here to see more photos …

Thomas and Camilla July 2020 Date Day

 

Throwback Post – Relaxes the Soul

**THROWBACK POST**

May 2014


(photo from Pixabay)

Ocean
Moving, Beautiful
Rushing With Waves
Relaxes The Soul Of Others
Water

Poem by Thomas Darnell (my son, at age 8 years old) … May 2014 …

The true love and happiness in this young man’s heart blesses me more than words can describe! xoxoxo

(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.)

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: Being a Sibling to One With Special Needs

(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.)


(Thomas and Lillian – 2010 – Geiger Way Lookout)

**THROWBACK TO 2014**

After a huge Lillian meltdown this morning which caused him to be a wee bit late for school.

I am trying to help him notice when it’s not a good idea to push Lillian. He does try so hard, but just wants to not have to try sometimes. Lillian is making huge progress, yet, we still have those moments. Thomas’ teacher shares often with me how she enjoys his presence in the classroom as he’s so empathetic and compassionate.

I have recently pulled back from intervening when they decide to be unkind with one another. I’ve explained that I have taught them methods to use and I model those methods. It is up to them whether they use them or not.

This morning it escalated, I remained calm and not involved. It escalated and escalated and escalated. There was screaming and door slamming. I remained calm and not involved. I got scratched and pinched, I remained calm. I kept emphasizing that I’d be happy to help her get calm and to let me know when she was ready. And. Finally, Lillian asked for help in calming down. I walked her through a meditative breathing exercise and we moved on …. I don’t always remain calm. I did this morning and it makes such a huge, huge, huge difference when I do. Mindfulness is an amazing way to live …

Yes, this. I am blessed and grateful that we are a team. I am having the time of my life on this journey with them. The joy, suffering, happiness, peace, love, and all … xoxo

**June 2020 Update** – Six years later. I’d love to say that Thomas and Lillian get along fabulously now. They don’t. Lillian is 18 and Thomas is 14.

Thomas has much anger and unsettled feelings about being Lillian’s sibling. The years of horrific meltdowns. I mean we just had one at 1:30am this morning. I’ve told him as often as I could remember that it was okay to be angry, okay to have whatever feelings he has about the situation.

Much of my time being spent with Lillian. Not having a typical sibling, with a typical sibling relationship, doing typical activities as a family. These all became too much at some point, with him internalizing much. This is something we will be addressing at some point this year.

Lillian has much jealousy towards Thomas, for all the things he can do that she can’t do. Jealous of my time spent with him, jealous even when he and I speak to one another. Jealous may not be the word to use here, it’s quite possibly stems from something else. She may have internalized some trauma from her childhood. All issues to be addressed when she is ready to do so.

I do not share to receive comfort or sympathy. I share as that’s what I know I am to do. I share so other siblings and parents know they are not alone. As I know that in the past I have felt guilt and shame when observing a sibling with their special needs sibling getting along fabulously, with compassion and love. Wondering what I had done wrong. I now know I have done nothing wrong. People are just different.

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.

The Rain Felt Cold – Christmas 2019 Gift for Thomas

**THROWBACK POST**

Homemade gift I made for Thomas. This was great fun! Using a book that was destined for the trash, I randomly opened the book and scanned for phrases to make into a poem. Found Poetry! Challenging! 💜💜💜

I stood on the porch,
The rain felt cold on my face and neck
I looked out at the city and thought
it was beautiful. The rain had cleaned the sky
The skies cleared
The seas calmed
And I suddenly knew
that the story wasn’t finished,
It was the kind of day you felt you
could build a future on.

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.

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.

These Were the Days – Eight Years in the Making

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up (this one from my birthday in February) … Much love!

February 22 2020:

8 years in the making …. Team TLC – Thomas, Lillian, Camilla … 3 family members …. 4 published books …. There are more to come. However, I need to take this year to press the reset button, for my physical health and for the emotional health of Thomas and Lillian. We’ve drifted from the Team in our Team TLC; which I know will happen as they get older. Yet, I’ve let vital areas slip by the wayside over the past 4 or 5 years, especially this last year.

One major struggle is about to end for us. Once that gift is showered upon us, the rebuilding of Team TLC begins. Of course it will look and feel different than when Thomas and Lillian were younger, and that’s the beauty of it, tempered with the longing of the way it used to be.

I get the feeling the next book will be authored by all three of us. We shall see. I never really know until I become focused on the book’s creation. xoxo

There were days
She could see no reason to continue

There were days
Shrouded in darkness and despair

There were days
Bubbling with joy and love

There were days
She knew the reason to continue

These were the days
The 18,250 days of riding the wheels of her life.

Thank you for being along for the ride. It’s a joy to share it with all of you. If you’d like to learn more about our books, go here … https://camilladowns.com/books/

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.