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Dealing with Disappointment

February 28, 2016

My father was a submarine commander, SSBNs, the kind that just sit on the bottom of the ocean and wait. Huge payloads of nuclear weapons on board, waiting for months and months.

This meant as his son, I sat at home, waiting months and months. I’d hit a routine of playing outside with The Gang. But every time a car came up the road, there was a hitch in my breathing, hoping it would be dad. Thousands of cars, thousands of curious, hopeful glances… thousands of tiny disappointments.

And here I am now, a full grown adult, getting the same way about a close friend. Promising to come hang out. I get this way before every IEP for Rya, hoping for amazing news. Waiting for call backs or clients or good news.

I guess this nags me because I have no idea how to cope with this kind of disappointment. No clue how to navigate these little challenges to my hopefulness.

But you know what; Dad, I’m still looking for your car to round the corner. I won’t hang my head at each turn, I can still be full of hope. I just go to bed with little knots of doubt and a slightly empty feeling.

More ‘Fun’ at Shriners!

January 9, 2016

Per usual the fun stuff rarely outweighs the purpose of the visit.

But we still managed to have fun as a family!!!!

Rya was IN the Nutcracker!!!

December 14, 2015

So my little girl who was initially said to be no more than a vegetable, danced in the Nutcracker this weekend! It was amazing, a very talented dance group that she belongs to. Wasatch Dance Center.


A big thanks to the Wasatch Dance group for putting on such an amazing performance!!!! Rya was great on stage!

Still Pushing Forward

November 25, 2015

The challenges of raising a little girl with a disability is starting to become less of our major challenge. You eventually hit a very comfortable routine: PT, psychologist, adaptive activities and it becomes predictable. Not easy. Just predictable.

We’re also challenged with blending families, financial challenges and general life issues.

But we’re happy and lead a wonderfully blessed life.

Here are some recent photos…

A new blended family photo.


Halloween for Rya and Sy.


Sy being very upset about picture day.12039575_10208036060882076_6255791737579196775_n

Our (almost daily) gorgeous sun rises.12042743_10208235716473341_1646075557141303216_n

Rya at her dance class (they’re doing the Nutcracker this year).12065565_10208081455016901_1078409847742486954_n

Zoe flyfishing with me, finally!12140629_10208210030791215_8039204245141359004_n

Sy’s final result of picture day.12141605_10208121886027651_7891235928598823491_n

And a gift from my dear wife.20150926_131114

How to wipe out hope in one simple statement

September 24, 2015

When the doctor delivered Rya’s diagnosis back in 2009 I was distraught and confused and emotionally deflated. Through out those early years of not knowing if she would ever walk, I got through it by telling myself that the physical challenges are going to be easy. I always thought, “Wheelchairs would be fine, I just want her to be intellectually ok.” Time and again in my blog and conversations with doctors, friends, family and even strangers, I would say roughly that same sentence over and over.

Of course, when talking to neurologists they always said the odds are in her favor of living a normal life. And that phrase is so comforting yet SO loaded. I’d like to think I’m not dumb, in fact, most folks would say I’m pretty sharp. But now when I look back at every doctor’s visit where I was fed that phrase, I was relieved. But what *is* normal? What does that even mean?

Well, for a neurologist I can sort of answer that….now. It means, “Hey she might walk, she might not. She might talk, she might not. She might be intellectually normal and she might not.”

3 weeks ago we took Rya to see a psychologist to address some behavioral problems. We brought all of her IEP assessments, tests and most of her medical records.

We sit down with the doctor thinking we’re going to talk about coping skills, parenting techniques and her general behavior. And we do. But during every lull in conversation the doctor looks down at the paperwork and and remarks about her IQ and cognitive assessments. Me being me, I just try to stay focused on what I think is the issue…but eventually he matter-of-factly says, “With her IQ scores and cognitive tests, she’s never going to intellectually advance beyond 9-10 years of age.”

The air left the room. I had been sucker punched. I was oblivious to that possibility. I had worried about it for so long but hadn’t ever considered that possibility. I had always thought that the worse case scenario would be that she’d be mentally slow.

I couldn’t process his statement. I had this montage running in my head of every time a doctor told me “she will probably have a normal life…”   I couldn’t process anything for about a full day afterwards either. It really wasn’t until 2-3 days later that I was able to think about it objectively.

Now, this is just one doctor after one visit. So who knows… so here some great pictures of her and the family….
1977053_10207300275927912_1986237383376437255_n 11224720_10207826750529448_227133604743828481_n 11695762_10207523983280456_5524755611315745541_n 11751969_10207523982800444_3879036912497933045_n 11917670_10207826750049436_8968326155939191839_n 12011194_10207991363364666_4110307704769460775_n 12039575_10208036060882076_6255791737579196775_n 12039702_10207990862312140_3759138412939771285_n

Fun times, KT tape and graduation!

July 8, 2015

In an effort to get healthier and just to get outside more, we’ve been doing some hikes and walks. Nothing fancy, just walks along the river and other fun places.


As you can see, the kids love it!

We also got the little ones some more Sunday clothes. Kids are now super stylin’!

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We recently stopped using the day brace on Rya’s hand opting for some KT tape instead. And after about a month the results are ASTOUNDING! Her brace had some limitations: first it did nothing to extend her arm at the elbow, it also didn’t extend the thumb upwards/outwards (it just sort of created some space between her thumb and her index finger).

So I used several different tape methods to solve the above problems. Now her arm extends with no pain at the elbow, all her problem joints are experiencing less tone and she’s using her “magic arm” way more!!  Plus she’s sooo proud of how easily her arm stretches that she shows everyone, such a cutie!!


And we graduated kindergarten!!!!!!

Just updates

March 11, 2015

I love having Utah’s backcountry as my backyard, it takes me longer to suit up for flyfishing than it does to drive to the river. Rya goes skiing with the National Ability Center every Wednesday. Hiking in the most beautiful canyons is minutes away. And I still get 20mbs up and 20mbs down for internet, how awesome is that?!

Rya has all her braces and splints finally. Two wrist braces, one for day use and one for night-time usage. She also got a new leg brace, an AFO (ankle-foot orthotic).

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She also got new glasses, she absolutely loves them. But I spent the better part of an hour fixing them, not even a week old.


Sy is still superhero-crazy, we’re super excited for May to come so we can go see Avengers: Age of Ultron! Here he is asleep, likely dreaming of smashing things like Hulk.