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Why I'm Not Sending Out Christmas Cards

I love Christmas time.

I love the festive music, twinkling lights, and glittery ornaments. 

I love the Hallmark channel's holiday movies (even the uber cheesy ones).

Sweaters.
Hot chocolate.
Peppermint bark.

I love Christmas time.

I could give you a whole host of reasons of why I decided not to send out Christmas cards but I won't.  
Am I too busy? 
Aren't we all? My time isn't any more valuable than yours.
Cost of picture cards?
I can design and print them at home if I wish to do so.
I do not wish to do so.

The reason is this...you know what we're doing, what we look like, what we've done. Social media is a year-round Christmas card. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE receiving cards and letters, especially if the family has little's. I won't be offended if you stop sending me cards but know I love them. 

What would 2014's Christmas letter comprise of? Well...
Phil is still the regional director for LensCrafters.
I am still an author.
Logan is still a homeschooled teenager (he did publish a short story).
My grandpa and grandma passed away. *insert Debbie Downer music*

There you have it.
Christmas letter. Check.
I'm not downplaying any of our accomplishments, but through some form of communication, you know what we've done.  

To those in our family not on social media, i.e. grandparents, uncles, aunts, I am sending them a handwritten cards with a photo of Logan.



















Handsome bugger, isn't he?
Christmas photo. Check.

Last Christmas, I received a few cards from people I never to talk with during the year. Never. Not even on social media. No fault on either part, it's just what happens, but I found it interesting. Is that what those people thought? Do we feel obligated? I know when Logan was little and going through many health issues, I would write my Christmas novel letter with motive. I wanted those people who ever said anything negative or derogatory about Logan or Phil or our situation to eat their words. Show them we are doing just fine, thank you. 

That was the twenty-something Andrea.
I'm 34 and could give a Kris Kringle what people think or say. That prove-to-you mentality sucked the holiday spirit right from my soul. 
















I guess I am sending out cards but only 7. 
To be honest, handwritten cards are obsolete and that saddens me. And signing your name on a card doesn't count (cheaters). 
DO NOT SEND ME AN EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARD. Unless you are my family in Sweden. Don't send an email Christmas card to anyone.
















Perhaps one day I will send Christmas cards again. Maybe during monumental years, when Logan graduates, or when we move overseas, but until that time please know, we love you all and have a fabulous, quirky holiday season. 
xxoo




A Little Quirky Goes A Long Way - For All Ages

Ever wake up, especially on a Monday, and know it's going to be a rough day? We all have those days of wanting to crawl back into bed and hibernate beneath the covers until the Earth's next rotation. 

It's ok. Sometimes it's what we need.

For Logan, his emotions are heightened and with the covers over his head, he's anchored. He feels calm and is able to collect and process what he is feeling. 

As Logan approached the teen years, I didn't want him to fall into the sullen-teen category. I didn't want him to lock away his emotions and hide because they were frightening or too much to handle. For kids on the autism spectrum puberty can be a tough road. I'm the adult, I can work through the hard moments with him, but for Logan, well, he'll explain...

I feel a lot. I feel my emotions and I feel other people's emotions. Some days I'm overwhelmed and my stomach hurts, I cry and I don't know what to do. It's awkward talking to my mom about certain things going on with me, but she listens even if she doesn't have the answers. I talk to my dad when he gets home. He never makes me feel bad about what I am feeling or what I am asking about. I think parents need to be patient with their kids. Not just because they are quirky but being a teenager is scary. I think about graduating, getting a job, figuring out what I want to do all the time. I want to make the right choices now because when I have a wife and kids, I want to be able to support them. I stress out, but I am told not to and to be a kid, but then I'm asked to make decisions about my education and my life. It's confusing. Adults want us to be both at the same time. How are we to pick a future when we can't pick a favorite band or cereal?

Wow. Makes you think. Demands and pressure can be good in moderation. I feel it's motivating and they need to see what real life is about. However, too much, too fast can lead to regression and depression. It took a lot for Logan to express his emotions, his thoughts with us because he didn't want to disappoint us or think he was dramatic or overreacting. 

We didn't think or feel any of that. 
We were proud of him. We cried right along with him. Huge moment for our family. 

I decided it was time to quirk up our environment. It had grown far too serious. Including his schoolroom. I hopped on Amazon and Etsy and clicked until I felt the quirky force within me. 

In the schoolroom we have a "Quirky Kit". When the Debbie Downer's knock on our door, we answer it with a mustache or tiara or both. The multi-colored pencils are for Logan to express any feelings or anything on paper--in funky twisted colors, of course--and the uniqueness box is a reminder of how awesomely different we are and we shouldn't be any other way. I've changed out some items over the years, but my now 14 1/2 year old still loves it.    

We have a quirky wall which really doesn't need much explanation. 


For us, the teenage years have been great. Logan is more affectionate with me and Phil. He's tip toeing out of his comfort zone, trying new things. Who would have thought that? Not me. Not Phil. Logan has self-published a scary short story and he wants to write more (music to my literary heart).When my parents were visiting, Logan put his arm around my mom's shoulders, he rested his head against hers. It was monumental and very sweet. 

Of course, we have off days and a fuzzy fake mustache or a felt pirate patch isn't going to make it better, but we have fabulous days filled with silliness and weird conversations. The good outweigh the bad. 

I've been asked, "Why do that to your house? You decorate for your kid? That stuff is weird. What would people think?"

I reply with, "Why not? Weird is awesome. I decorate for us. And who is coming to my house, the Queen of England? Even if she were, I wouldn't change it."

#twisteddarkhumor

This is what works for our family. This is what helps our high functioning spectrum kid. I would glue mustaches to every wall if that brought him out of an overload, emotional funk or inspired a new story or song. Or even a new scientific theory (that's happened before). Really, I think everyone should have a quirky kit on hand. A few items to make you laugh, be silly, bring out your inner kid as an adult. 

It's not about either/or, it's about living life and being happy. It's about showing the world YOU!
Quirks and all.






What Autism Means To Me

What Autism Means to Me
By Logan 

It is awesome to be different, it’s genetics. Our DNA makes us all different, that is what God wanted. Acceptance is a big word but really, it’s easy to do. Why would God place us all on the earth to be the same, I don’t want to be like everyone else. Why do some accept people in books and movies like Harry Potter, people who aren’t real but I’m real and you don’t accept me? I do awesome things, I’m a great friend, and I’m an awesome gamer and Nerf player.  We all have special powers, your powers aren’t any better than mine, they are just different.
I forgive the bullies who were mean to me. I forgive the grown-ups who were mean to my mom and dad. I think that they bully because something bad happened to them and I feel sad for them.

Any kid that is different just wants to be accepted, to be loved, to have a friend, to be who they are with all their quirks. It is not nice to have people make fun of you, tease you, bully you, laugh at you and to stare at you. If you have questions just ask me but don’t point and be mean.

If you accept God and Jesus why can’t you accept who He has created? He created me, He made me different and He made me awesome! I know sometimes I don’t always look people in the eyes or answer loud enough or know what to say but I love everyone and I am listening, sometimes I just need a minute to think or to know what to say. I am not being rude, I just need to think.  I want you to hug me but sometimes it makes me feel awkward just give me time and I will hug you back. I like high fives and fist bumps to show people that I love them.
I am not a number that the doctors put out, I am not just Autistic or a math genius, I am more than that; I am me, just call me Logan.  And watch me change the world.


Fruit Infused Water - Not Just For Detox Purposes

My kid loves his milk, especially chocolate milk. Other favorites are Gatorade and green tea. Like my husband, Logan isn't a fan of plain 'ole boring water. For me, I don't like the flavored packets. Too many ingredients I can't pronounce. 

I have been drinking fruit infused water for quite some time now. I started mostly to rid my stomach of the icks and calm the tantrums down. With my diverticulitis, anything can set off an attack, even some foods I have ate for years. 

My picky drinkers are now hooked on fruit infused water. My favorite, if I have had a cocktail or gone out to dinner with girlfriends, is a natural slim tummy detox blend. As my clean eating journey continues, I find so many great recipes all over the place and this includes water. 

Logan was curious over the weekend about the fruit infused water I was drinking. I made a batch for him in a mason jar, because for some reason, beverages taste better in a mason jar. He sipped it down with his curly straw and wanted more. 



















It's amazing how the body can feel refreshed and clean when drinking more water. My husband added blueberries and blackberries to his purified water pitcher in the refrigerator. *thumbs up*

I leave my extra lemon and orange on the counter because I end up using all of it within a couple of hours. They'll be fine in the refrigerator, too. 

Happy Tummy Fruit Infused Water

What you will need: 

3 thin lemon slices
3 thin orange slices
Fresh mint leaves
Ice
Water

Fill your glass with 5-6 ice cubes. Add your sliced lemon and oranges. I shred my mint leaves by hand but you can cut them if you prefer. Add the mint. Fill your glass with water. Stir. I pop my glass in the freezer for a few minutes. I love it extra cold and with a curly straw. 

I know Logan will be mixing up different fruits and herbs and will probably figure out a way to blow up the kitchen. (Thank goodness for renters insurance) 

Forever my mad scientist. 


Until next time, stay quirky and hydrated!




Don't Snort Coke - A Lesson on Context

No matter what is occurring within our lives, we can always take away a new homeschool and/or life lesson each and every day.

My friend, Lucy called me while I was driving home from Target.

Me: Hel-loo?
Lucy: What the heck are you doing?
Me: I snorted Coke up my nose. Ah, it’s burning.
Lucy: You did what?
Me: Coke shot up…up my nose in the car.
Lucy: When you say Coke?
Logan: My Coke exploded.
Lucy: What?
Me: His soda. His soda exploded as I was going to take a drink and it shot up my nose.










The lesson of the day is context.

Keep in mind the person on the other end of the phone conversation hasn’t a clue what exactly you did or did not snort up your nose. In this case, using the name brand was a fail, the word soda or pop would’ve been a wiser choice however, less funny.

Also, I recommend not snorting Coke, liquid or otherwise. Just say NO.

Until next time, stay quirky my friends.

*Names have been changed to protect the crazy*



Quirk Out Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is the first giveaway for The Quirky Mustache. Allow me and the kid to share some of our favorite stache goodies. 

Toss your name in and share the quirky love.

Good Luck!




In The Dark There Is Love

In the shadows there is light.

My family said their farewells to my grandma yesterday. I was honored when asked to add to her obituary and write her tribute. 

It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do because doing so, made her death real. A fact my heart was not yet ready to accept. But in the silence of my room, the words came...

I found him whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

A love of imperfection and beauty, two souls brought together over 60 years ago—formed into one—and when one half ascended to heaven, the other wandered the Earth incomplete.

The love and devotion my grandma held for my grandpa was amazing. She taught me quite a bit about marriage and what family truly meant to her. While my son, Logan, was ill in the hospital, she would sit with me in his room and fuss about the nurses when they would poke and prod her great-grandson. “Can’t you see he’s sleeping?” She would say. With gentle smiles, the nurses would proceed with their duties.

Exhausted one afternoon, I cried on my grandma’s shoulder. “What if I can’t do this? What if Logan gets worse? What if my marriage falls apart? I don’t know what to do.”
“You do know what to do.” She said. “You’re here with Logan. You are fighting for him and for Phil. That is what we do. We fight for family no matter what.”

Those words never left me.

To her, family was the air she breathed, the sunlight on her face, and the nourishment to her body. She loved beyond the boundaries, which were set. She embraced life and the people within it. Her faith unyielding even when loss shadowed her, grandma’s spirit remained lifted.

That’s not to say we didn’t have our fair share of humorous conversations. Her attempts to scold our antics were faint at best. With each wide-eyed gasp, “Andrea” was a laugh and a smile.

Though, my family lives 1500 miles away—which she never neglected to reprimand me on and that we only visited every two years—we managed to make her chuckle, cringle, and scratch her head at each quirky gift we would send to her. I am confident she has a collection of fuzzy mustaches and stuffed animal monkey’s concealed somewhere.

As somber as my heart wants to beat, it cannot.

She filled our lives with happiness and love and we, as her family, must pass it on to the next generation. Show them what family truly is. What it is to love and be selfless. What it means to put others before us. To hold tight to our faith and to know in the end, our family will guide us Home.

I was blessed to able to speak with her before she let go of this world. Through her tears and pain, her only worry was of Logan and if he would remember her. I promised her that he would never, ever forget about his great-grandma and all that she had done for him.

And he won’t because she is love.

Dorothy Mae Buresh is love.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7

For those who know her: Dot in her blue dress is happy and dancing with the angels.

Yesterday while I was in my office, I heard Logan talking. I crept through the kitchen.




    











Logan was saying a prayer for his great-grandma. Bells from our neighborhood church chimed 12, the time her funeral was set to begin. I quickly snapped this photo before Logan knew I was there. It was such a beautiful moment. And for the first time in days, my heart lifted. 

I felt peace. 

Even in the shadows, there is light.
Behind the dark clouds, there is sun.
With every prayer, there is hope.
With each tear shed, we will heal.
Together. As a family. 

It is what my grandma would have wanted.