Happy Birthday to Me!

On this day 32 years ago, my mom gave birth to me in a tiny hut in a refugee camp in Thailand.  My parents couldn’t be more happy to bring me into this world.  I was their first born.  My arrival meant they were a real family.  If you think you’ve seen an over protective father, you haven’t seen my dad.  All their love, joy, hopes and dreams, there it was in a tiny innocent precious body.  Little did they iknow, less than two years later they would beimmigrating to the United States, learning a new language, and finding out that their daughter was blind.  I can’t even begin to imagine what they must have felt.





They traveled up and down California searching for an answer.  Doctors said my vision would improve, other doctors said it wouldn’t.  Through it all, they protected me, sheltered me with unconditional love.

However, that protection and sheltering caused me to grow up never truly feeling adequate, and led me to continually second guess and doubt my abilities.  My constant need to prove myself and compete with other woman in my life are from my parents unknowingly putting me in competition with my younger sister.  She spent her childhood making sure her big sister was safe,  going to blind camp with her big sister, driving her sister around, ultimately missing out on being the younger sister.

That was then.

This is now.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for everything I did and didn’t do.  I don’t let my past or my circumstances control who I am, who I want to be, and what I want to do.  I especially don’t let my blindness play any role in my decision making.  I live to be a positive role model for my daughter and son, and everyone whom I may come into contact with.

As many of you know I am in a leadership program on emotional intelligence.  Yes, it started with a lot of self discovery and break throughs.  The main focus however is the 100 day stretch of living outward focused.  We are the source of a world transformed by joy, love, and giving.  This week we will prove that even the most outrageous and impossible tasks can be done.  My team and I are raising $175,000 for Tuesday’s Children to benefit Eddie Rivera, a 9/11 first responder who’s health has failed him since he volunteered in the search and rescue efforts after those planes hit that tragic Tuesday morning.  I am committed to personally raising $2,500 by Sunday.  I am asking each one of you to please support me in reaching my goal by donating here.  As a firefighter’s wife, this is especially close to my heart.  Everyone in the entire world is still effected by the events of that day, some more than others.  Today, on my birthday, I ask you to make a difference in the lives of those who were there at ground zero on September 11th, and those weeks after searching for survivors.


A Happy 5th Birthday to Marley with a Celebration of Braille

Miss Marley with ehr new Hello Kitty, both of them in glasses

Today was a very special day in our house.  Marley finally turned 5.  We’ve been talking about this for months.  We celebrated with a combined birthday party with Jackson’s 3rd birthday last month on a birthday picnic adventure.

All week longMarley’s been asking me, “Is it November 6th yet?”  Before I even got out of bed this morning, there she was next to my face,  “Mommy it’s my birthday today!”

birthday candles in birthday pancakes

How did we make this day extra special one for little Miss Marley?  It started with a birthday breakfast with birthday presents, and birthday candles in her birthday pancake.  Next, we brought cupcakes to share with her class, where the birthday song was sung to her again.

birthday cupcake at schoolLastly, we ended the day with reading three of her new Braille books before bed tonight.

About a month ago, I asked my friends and family to join us in helping to grow Marley’s personal library by sending her books in Braille.  Marley loves books, and I want to continue fostering that love by giving her as many books as possible.  I personally Braille most of our books, but the process is tedious and time consuming.

For those of you who participated in Marley’s Braille birthday, I want to send a special thank you to each and every one of you.  Expect a Braille holiday card made by our very own Miss Marley in the mail in the near future.  And for any others who want to contribute to Marley’s love of literacy and Braille, feel free to contact me for where to send a book.

Books have been ordered and are coming from all over the country.  This is one lucky and loved little girl.

Titles on the way to Marley’s Braille book collection so far;

“101 Dalmations Meet the Puppies”

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”

“The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto”

“Riddles and More Riddles!”

“Fourth of July”

“Plattypus Probably”

“Snake Charmer”

“Crickets, Jokes, Riddles and Other Stuff”

“Elmo says Achoo”

“Thomas the freight train”

“1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”

“A Charlie Brown’s Christmas” with sound and music

“Ahoy There, Little Polar Bear”

“Clifford’s puppy days Pumpkin Patch Puppy”

“Dora the Explorer, I love my Mami”

“The Great Turkey Race.”

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: Together Forever”

“A Color of His Own”

“A Pocket for Corduroy”

“Alexander and the Terrible,Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

“Amelia Bedelia: Bookworm”

“Amelia Bedelia: Rocket Scientist”

“10 Fat Turkeys”

“Angelina and the Butterfly”

“The Cat in the Hat”

“Green Eggs and Ham”

And a $40 gift certificate to Seedlings from Marley’s Great Grandma and Great Aunt Faith.

Once again, Aaron and I thank every single one of you from the bottom of our hearts for participating in such a memorable birthday.