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Are You Blind?

“Seeing” isn’t easy in our fast-paced, self-focused society. Life goes by in a blur as we rush ahead from one task to the next.

I’m guilty of this. I’m a super-motivated-achiever type of personality, which can lend to blindness.

It has taken bumps in the road in order to force me to slow down. These bumps (deep hurts, miscarriages, illnesses, tragedies) have brought me a new awareness on life. An awareness that I needed because ultimately we’re all born with innate selfishness. Of course, the way we respond to the bumps of life will also determine our route—toward bitterness or betterment. I traveled bitterness highway for a season, luckily, God helped me find a detour back to betterment road.

What I have discovered along the way is that the hardships have produced an empathy and compassion inside of my heart that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The pain I have experienced helped me recognize the pain in others and sympathize with them. My hardships gave me new sight.

The day my nephew, Levi, was diagnosed with a duplication syndrome, my sight was again, refocused. I became aware of the struggles and obstacles facing, not only a child with special needs, but also the family. I grew observant to those I came in contact with. My heart expanded, longing to celebrate the beauty of all our differences and how we are all uniquely fashioned by a God who does not make mistakes. My nephew might have MECP2 duplication syndrome, he might be non-verbal, and his development comes slow, but he is perfect. No one can take his place. The world needs Levi in it. The same way the world needs each one of us.

No one can replace you. You are uniquely crafted and designed by the hands of a loving God. Even if you do not believe in a Creator—to bad, He believes in You. He made you.

He made our beautifully diverse world with its beautifully diverse colors. Oh, how lovely it is.

Let’s open our eyes and SEE the wonder around us.

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Reflections

I’m glad it’s a new year. Just the thought of a new year is like a breath of fresh air. It’s a clean slate of months. More opportunities. New chances about to unfold.

And I’m ready.

2018 was hard. Very hard. It took its toll physically, mentally, and financially. If I could sum up the year in one word it would be—PAIN. I was in pain the whole year. The tests of 2017 led into 2018, searching for answers to the pain and the constant problems inside of my body. After exploratory surgery and a cystoscopy, we finally reached a verdict. The urologist diagnosed me with interstitial cystitis (a chronic bladder disease) and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Good, I finally had the reason. But now, what to do with that? The answer—a complete life change. My entire diet had to change in order for my bladder lining to repair itself. Everything that was acidic, citrus, or acid-forming had to be removed from the menu. Basically: no chocolate, no sugar, no soda, no alcohol, no gluten, no tomatoes, no fruit (other than blueberries, pear, papaya, watermelon), no regular coffee, no cultured milk (sour cream, etc), and no boxed foods with preservatives. The list is longer but you get the picture. Talk about a transformation. Suddenly, I had to cook everything from scratch and learn to be creative in cooking.

The next piece of the puzzle was physical therapy on my bladder and pelvic floor. When I began therapy in April 2018, I cried each time I went home. I knew the therapy was supposed to help, but it hurt. Advil and I became close friends. Nevertheless, I went, each week, for therapy, knowing the pain would lessen. And it did, over time.

Today is February 17, 2019. I sit at my desk writing this blog, and I’m not in pain. I attribute that to diet change, therapy, but also…To God. I cried out to Him at lot in the last year. I wept. I curled up with a hot pad and wept. I know He heard me. Interstitial Cystitis is an incurable disease, but I’m living proof that pain-free days can still be possible. I have flare-ups from time to time, but oh, to have days where I’m not plagued with pain is glorious! To be able to run with my kids again. To be able to have dance parties with them. To be able to clean my house without paying for it the next day. All these things tell me that God has had His hand on my life. He not only spoke comfort to my body, but He also spoke comfort to my heart.

2019, I’m ready. I’m ready for you and all the possibilities.

A Magical Christmas Adventure

Looking for gift ideas for your kids, nieces or nephews, or co-workers children? Look no further. Give a book. Not just any book–a Christmas story filled with awe, wonder, and adventure. What book is this? THE MAGIC SNOW GLOBE.

In this story, you will join twins, Willow and Wendell Potter, on an exploration of magical worlds, transported through none other than an antique snow globe.

In each new land, the twins will discover secrets to real Christmas magic and the joy that fills the holiday season.

Here’s a few pictures from the book.

Fairy Forest

Toy Town
Mermaid Reef

Superhero Levi: A Book About Celebrating Differences and Disabilities

Superhero Levi teaches children about special needs and disabilities, emphasizing that all children are gifted and special no matter what their differences might be.

I wrote this children’s book based on my nephew, Levi Slenk. Superhero Levi is his story, told through his voice. Though Levi is actually non-verbal, his actions show his personality and through his mannerisms and noises, I hear his words. And so, I wrote them down, unfolding his world.

Now, I can share his story with you.

 

Hello, step closer, don’t be shy.
I’ll introduce myself; I’m Levi.
There is a secret you might not know.
I’m actually a superhero.

I climb mountains Mom calls the stairs.
It’s hard work getting way up there.
I reach the top feeling quite proud.
Mom claps her hands, cheering real loud.

Clearing my plate is no big feat.
I eat like a sturdy athlete.
But give me beans, I’ll put up a fight.
Every hero has a kryptonite.


Whenever I travel to various places,
I wear special shoes and ankle braces.
They help me stay strong and tall.
Because sometimes even heroes fall.

My hair cuts a wave like a surfing pro.
Adoring fans want to snap my photo.
I’m an expert with poses to strike.
My posts receive plenty of Likes.

 I grow my powers through exploration.
It helps me use my imagination.
Lickety-split, this bowl is a hat.
Only a hero could do that.

 
I brighten the house with toilet paper,
And destroy a book like a bold crusader.
From the fridge, I make water pour out.
Mom arrives with an impressed shout.

Bars or boards cannot hold me back.
I open my bed with a Judo attack.
Dad tries to fix it in a hustle.
But nothing restrains me and my muscles.

 
When it’s school time, I wait for the bus.
A lift scoops me up without any fuss.
It’s a short drive with pals at my side.
We’d rather not stop; come on let’s ride!

I trek the halls with my sweet set of wheels.
My school friends follow, hot on my heels.
Our teacher directs us as we go.
She helps us to learn; I love her so.

Superheroes have archenemies.
Mine is called Physical Therapy.
I escape it through devious schemes.
Feet dragging, tears, and pretending daydreams.

To read the rest of the story visit: Superhero Levi

Dive Into A Summer Book

Click on the title below to see a preview on amazon.com

Ramble and Roar: A 1920’s Novel 

Superhero Levi

Superhero Levi: A Children’s Book About Disabilities and Differences

It is important for all children to be taught at an early age about the beauty of differences. When we look around at our highly diverse world, we see many differences: differences in appearance, differences in language, differences in physical movement, differences in customs. These differences are wonderful. However, when children are not taught how to receive and celebrate differences, they might respond in a shy or negative manner when they encounter someone unlike them. I find this to be true when children encounter another child or adult with disabilities. Instead of engaging in a conversation, they might simply stare or avoid eye contact. By teaching our children about special needs and disabilities, we promote a healthy and beautiful interpretation of the word “different” for all people are wonderfully made and gifted.

Superhero Levi is a story based on my nephew, Levi Slenk, who has MECP2 duplication syndrome. In a first-person narrative, the reader joins Levi in his struggles and victories that are different from those another child his age might face. Though he has to work hard, he never gives up. No matter what life may throw, he knows he can take it because he’s a superhero.

This book teaches children about special needs and disabilities through a viewpoint that they can comprehend: a superhero that embarks on a life adventure, encountering obstacles and triumphs. This story can be used in a home or classroom to teach children about disabilities and to encourage all children to press on no matter what difficulties they might face in school or in life.

Superhero Levi is now officially available for purchase on amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle book.

On Release Weekend (July 20-22) 10% of each book sale will be given to Heartwood School, in Lansing, MI. Levi attends this school. Heartwood School badly needs a new playground that will better accommodate their students with special needs.

SHOP NOW

What Do You Get When Peaky Blinders Marries Downton Abbey…

What do you get when the television shows Peaky Blinders and Downtown Abbey marry and form a baby?

Peaky Blinders
Downton Abbey

 

I’m glad you asked.

From the love of their union comes a child known as Ramble and Roar.

Ramble and Roar is the combination of high-level mobsters and dream-driven flappers. There’s danger, humor, longing, and a wild array of adventure. With twists around every corner, it’s hard to know who to believe or what is true.

Find out more about this unusual baby today.

It’s now on sale on amazon.com: paperback $9.75 and kindle $2.79

 

Ramble and Roar: A 1920s Novel

I feel like swinging from a chandelier. Too bad I don’t have one of those handy.

No worries, today is the official release of my 1920s novel, Ramble and Roar! It’s been a crazy journey in making this book. It started as an idea in 2008, and now it’s 2018 and available to buy. Over the last ten years, I’ve researched the roaring 20s, moved three different times, had two children, started a hobby farm, wrote several drafts, and started my publishing company. (And that’s just some of it). There were times when I wondered if I ever would get this book into a tangible form. I dreamed of the day when I’d hold it in my hand, smell the pages fresh off the press, and clasp it to my heart, thanking God.

Most of the time, dreams only happen in our sleep. When we open our eyes, the dream ends and reality begins again. But once in a while, our most delightful dreams do become our reality. Today, I’m fully awake and this dream is real.

I’m 33 years old and releasing my debut historical fiction novel, Ramble and Roar. It’s an adventurous story about a debutante-turned-flapper named Eliza Belcourt who travels to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a famous jazz singer. But her sparkling dream comes with a price, and the Irish mob is ready to collect. As Eliza grasps for success and love, she finds that her city of bright promise might offer only dazzling lies.

Ramble and Roar is an honest, daring story that captures the pleasure–seeking decade of the 1920s in all its glory and grit. This story was a fun challenge for me to write. It took years of research in order to capture it accurately, but I’m pleased to finally share it.

Now, all that’s left to do is to continue dreaming of the next adventure.

If you’d like to buy a paperback copy or eBook: Click on the link below. It will lead you to my Ramble and Roar page where you can select your preference for purchase.
https://catiecordero.wordpress.com/rambleandroar/

 

 

 

A STORY OF LOVE AND LOSS: I NEED YOU TO VOTE TODAY: Here’s Why…

You probably don’t know my dear friends, Jake and Kari Dunham, but I’m asking you to help them today.

For anyone who has experienced Infertility or Miscarriage, you understand the longing, heartache, and pain. Jake and Kari understand these two things all too well.

JAKE AND KARI HAVE A BEAUTIFUL STORY. They have been married for 11 years, but they knew each since the fourth grade.

They became best friends and that friendship never stopped. Only grew stronger.

 

They married on May 4, 2007. They’ve wanted a baby since. They tried many procedures that have not worked. On April 15, 2017, Kari finally received a positive test, Jake and her thought their dream was finally coming true. But on April 29, the doctor called saying the pregnancy was ectopic and would require immediate surgical attention. After 10 years of hoping for a baby, their hearts felt shattered.

But the desire to grow their family has never left. Only grown stronger.

And now, they have a big chance. The Fertility Center is offering to pay a full procedure of IVF to a couple in the Flip the Script contest. There are 8 finalists. Whoever receives the most votes will win.

Jake and Kari NEED this. They need to win because IVF is very expensive. Please, help make their dream of a baby into a reality.
WE NEED YOUR VOTE. Voting is open until Thursday, May 3rd.

HOW: click this link: https://www.facebook.com/tfcmi/ (This is the homepage of the Fertility Center. Then scroll down to Our Story: Jake and Kari Dunham. LIKE their actual post, not the video.) LIKING THEM IS YOUR VOTE.

Thank you for taking time out today to help them.