Love, Juliebug: March 2017

Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. It’s highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness -- it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism. This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions. I encourage you to test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!

Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.
It's that time of year birthday! This year I've turned 41. No shame. For so many years I struggled with my age. It was mostly due to a preconceived idea of something that should have happened by that point. Or, it was due to my anxiety about growing older. This year I've been trying to enjoy each moment. That's not to say I've been successful but I'm in process and that's okay.

Here are some things I've learned this year:

  • Perfection is not only not required, it's not real.
  • Take each day a moment at a time.
  • You are not powerful enough to ruin God's plan for your life and that's a good thing.
  • Be who God made you, not who you think people need you to be.
  • Celebrate each year you're given because many aren't given that chance.
These are seriously things that God has been whispering to me for a long time until that whisper turned into a shout. "I hear you, I do." I still struggle. I'm human. Those things I listed may seem cliche to some but they are words I still need to read every day. 

So, I thought you might too. Have a great day! 
Well, it's official. Our house is on the market. Suddenly it has all become very real. If you're just tuning in, we are moving to Arizona. Yes, again. It has been five years since we made the trek from Arizona to Wyoming and we have no regrets but still, we feel it's time to move back.

This is not to say it will be easy. After all, we have an amazing church and friends that are family. And yet, we are thrilled to be moving back down near family and good friends there. God has truly blessed us wherever we've lived and I am so thankful.

Please say a prayer that our house sells quickly and that we find a place to rent that is perfect for our needs. Throughout all this chaos I've had to keep reminding myself that God is with us. He is in control so when I feel out of control it is still okay. I'll keep you posted as I can.

Okay, I know I've done a few Christian artists and the reason for that is I am a Christian. However, my plan is not to strictly use Christmas music. That being said, this week's pick is also Christian. Tonight is my daughter's first concert ever and we are going to see Sidewalk Prophets. I cannot wait! So, here is one of my favorite songs by them. It is called "The Words I Would Say". Honestly, they have so many amazing songs but this one particularly hits me each time I hear it.

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time or know me personally you may know that I tend to fear the unknown. I want to know the plan. I want no surprises. How boring is that? Very. Many times, because there is no way to know the future, I end up stalling and not taking a single step forward out of fear. So, this phrase honestly helps me put things in perspective. Curiosity is to be celebrated right? Fear, not so much. So, instead of freaking out and fearing the unknown, let's try to look forward to it with excitement and curiosity. I think it would be a game changer.

1. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

2. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

3. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

4. Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

6. Good As Gone by Amy Gentry

7. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

8. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

9. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

10. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

11. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

12. The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

13. The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle 

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