Beth and I thought we would start this series with a bit of an introduction in case some of you are new to the blog.
I'm Steph and I'm Beth's mom. I'm 46, been married for 20 years, and Beth is my middle child. I also have a 16-year-old daughter, Emily, an 11-year-old son, Andrew, and we live in northern Indiana.
Beth is in 8th grade and was diagnosed with epilepsy the week before she started kindergarten. She's been living with epilepsy for a little over eight years and just when we think we've got it figured out, it throws us for a loop. Sometimes a life-changing loop like it did this past year.
Even though we're choosing to write about epilepsy, epilepsy doesn't define Beth (or any of us). Everybody has something to deal with and this is just her something. We try to deal with all the issues life throws at us together as a family and we're just like every other family. We have the same crazy, busy, chaotic schedule that every family has - carpools, cross country meets, teens learning to drive, kids forgetting their lunchboxes, two different schools with different start and end times, music lessons, a golden retriever who sheds half his body weight, two crazy cats, and a temporary hamster. On top of that, add an aging minivan that needs new brakes and new tires and a husband who works 60-70 hours/week so that I can stay home and attempt to manage all of the chaos. But in spite of all that chaos, our goal is to be a family unit and our family unit comes first. We are happy, loving, and probably a lot less organized than I'd like us to be.
Maintaining just a bit of sanity is my goal most days so I try to find time to scrapbook, quilt, or crochet a bit, too. And I generally become obsessed with a new something about once a year.
Parenting has thrown us a few curveballs and I'm worked full-time, part-time, and stayed at home. Eighteen years ago, I started out as a lawyer and legal writing professor but have also worked part-time as a photographer, editor of a local parenting magazine, scrapbook designer, and social media director. It hasn't been a straight path or maybe even made sense to anyone other than us, but I wouldn't change any of it.
One of our goals with this 31 Days series is to simply bring awareness to those around us - explain what epilepsy is, explain what it isn't, and try to put some resources out there. We're also looking for resources and stories and other ways to raise epilepsy awareness. Please link us up to anything or anyone that you think might be helpful. :) Next month is Epilepsy Awareness Month so we're hoping to have a resource page here on the blog ready to go for November.
And one last thing - as a mom, this is tricky to navigate when it deals with writing about my daughter. There will be some privacy issues as we go and Beth and I will deal with those when they come up. But there may be times when some details are left out or we're intentionally vague so that her entire life doesn't become an open book. Thanks for understanding!
*If you'd like to read all of our 31 Days posts about living with epilepsy, click on the button on the sidebar or start here. And if you're wondering what the heck is going on and who Beth is, click here. :)