Thursday, April 2, 2015

Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness Blog Hop!

Hello and welcome to the Light It Up Blue For Autism Awareness Blog Hop!

I'm not lucky enough to be a parent yet, but I'm a big sister, a little sister, and aunt.  I've got a large family, and that means a lot of love.  That also means, I end up caring deeply about children, Autism has not touched by family as of yet; but it's touched some of my dear friends, and their children. 

For a short time after high school, I was lucky enough to get to teach dance, one of my favorite students was Ali.  Ali was a little ball of energy, still is only, she's not so little anymore! I developed a strong bond with her, and will always consider her mother, Carmen, one of the strongest women I know.  She's done everything for Ali, given her a love for dance and music (the girl's got moves), the opportunity to love animals, horses, dogs, I'm pretty sure Ali loves anything with 4 legs.  We had our ups and downs when it came to dance class, but ultimately, Ali showed me a whole new world and taught me patience I didn't know I had, and a love I will never forget.

 After completing just enough college to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program, I moved to Florida for 4 GLORIOUS months and became a Disney slave (if you know me, at all, you know this was the best time of my life).  During my program I worked at the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway (Speedwhat?), one of the full-time cast members was Aimee.  Now, I would love to say Aimee and I were best friends, but we weren't. She was, and still is, one of the kindest people I've ever met, she never treated me different because I was literally the youngest person working there (barely out of high school folks!) She is a kind, patient person.  She has two absolutely ADORABLE children, her youngest was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two.

Little Mr. Dom, has stolen my heart.  This kid, he's so cute.  Currently, Aimee and her husband, Kevin, are working on fundraising towards getting Dom a therapy dog!  He's had a huge amount of success with the dog that visits during his speech therapy sessions.  I've done a few small things to help how I can, on April 2nd I will be wearing a shirt that another of the Cleffi family's friends created to support their fundraising efforts, I've also been able to create a few sets of cards for Aimee, some to sell at a craft fair, and some for personal use.  

Please visit their fundraising link, if you can, donate a dollar or two, otherwise, just read a little bit about this amazing kid and imagine how much a parent must love their child to want so badly to give them everything they can to succeed in life, to say nothing negative about their struggles and to simply ask for help when they need it, sometimes from a perfect stranger, sometimes, from an old friend.  You can also follow Dom's Ninjas on Facebook.

Back to the Blog Hop!  We have so many fantastic sponsors that have shown their support for Autism Awareness and you can see the complete list here: Autism Awareness Blog Hop

  Please take a few minutes to look around at what these wonderful artists have created.  If you would like a chance to win a prize from one of these fabulous companies leave a comment on this blog, and any of the other blogs participating in today's hop! Winners will be chosen at random and will be announced on Monday April 6.

 Now here is the card I created for today's hop! 

The image is from the The Amy Doodle Stamp Company, puzzle pieces are used to represent Autism and blue is the color used to represent it.  Now what you can't really see it that my card isn't done in the traditional sense, normally, your crease would be at the top of the card, mine however, is different, not less.

I folded my card on the bottom, why? A few reasons, I wanted to be different.  Also, I wanted to use this adorable heart punch and I couldn't make it work any other way.  Sometimes, with Autism, it's different than what you would expect, things don't work the way you want, but in the end, if the child gets what they need, a dog, a horse, to dance, to see Mickey... what ever it may be, the hurdles are worth jumping to get to the end result.  

Aimee and Carmen, I love you both, I hope that when I am lucky enough to become a mother, I'm half as good as you are, because even then, I will be a wonderful mom.  Thank you for being an inspiration and for allowing me to be part of your children's lives, they truly are blessings.

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