We knew that this was going to be a great trip, had been looking forward to it all year. But, there is a little fear/anxiety in the unknown in going for the first time (at least there was for me.) That fear was set aside on the plane ride down. We boarded the plane in Denver. There were two seats on each side so Ella and I sat on one side of the plane and my mom sat on the other. I looked up and saw a young man with Down syndrome coming down the aisle, and wouldn't you know it he sat next to my mom, (his parents sat a couple of rows ahead.) This man was hysterically funny and oh so smart. He told us that he used to work at McDonalds but he started getting too fat so his mom made him quit. He kept track of his calories at every meal, even asking mom what she thought the chocolate chip cookie the airline passed out counted as. He also asked her how many calories she thought he burned walking from security to the gate. He told us about getting lost at a conference in Orlando and how his mom "freaked out" about it. He was reading a magazine (a health and fitness magazine) and there was a picture of Jillian Michaels and he kept going on and on about how sad it was that she wasn't going to be on Biggest Loser anymore. The man talked and talked and talked. My mom tried reading but couldn't because he just kept talking and then even faked going to sleep, but he just kept talking. It was hysterical. I'm guessing that's why his parents sat a couple of rows up, LOL!
The best part of the conference to me was everywhere you looked there was someone with Down syndrome. It was so crazy to me the first day. Every time I spotted a person with Ds I wanted to stare (because that's what I do, it's not often you see someone with Ds.) It was amazing how quickly this became the norm for us. I can't even put it in to words how awesome it was to be surrounded by beautiful faces! In fact we went to the River Walk after the final workshops on Sunday and only saw a hand full of people with Down syndrome and it just seemed so strange that they weren't everywhere. Kind of sad.
I got to meet a couple of ladies and kiddo's whose blogs I have followed for many many years. Unfortunately I wasn't really good about taking pictures because I was too busy taking it all in. We got to see Kayla (Big Blueberry Eyes) and her family while we were there and I actually had my camera on hand. We first met Kayla back in June of 2007. Their family was visiting family in Oklahoma and were coming into town (we lived in Wichita Falls, TX at the time) so Kayla and her mom came to visit us at our house. Ella was 9 months old at the time!! It was pretty cool to see how much the girls had changed!!! Here are some pics of that original meeting and then at the conference!
Hunter and Kayla hit it off and had fun swimming and playing together!
Ella and Kayla
Kayla loving on Ella
Happy 8th Birthday Colin!
1 week ago