I’m Kristen, thanks so much for stopping by my little corner of this great big blogosphere. I’m the new girl here so come sit next to me at the cafeteria table and let’s be friends, ok?

I’m a 36-year-old mom and wife in the good old Great Lakes State; Michigan. My two boys are OJ & ET. OJ is 7 years old and he is autistic (more on why I say *autistic* vs someone who *has autism*, in another post). He also has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and ADHD. ET is 4 and while he doesn’t have an autism diagnosis, he does have some sensory processing and social behavioral challenges.

We were provided with almost NO guidance from doctors after OJ’s diagnosis at the age of 2. But with tons of help from his preschool teachers and staff, we learned on our own the best ways to support and guide our boy. I am starting the blog, Obviously Not Ordinary, so that others can learn from our experiences.

The experiences I write about are those of MY OWN, not those of my sons. I’ll be using their initials instead of their full names to protect their privacy.

At Beerfest with my husband. He's my partner in crime.

My husband and I have both struggled with anxiety and depression at different points in our lives.

on the Mackinac Island ferry

My shaggy haired boys on the Mackinac Island ferry.

at the Ypsi Heritage Fest

Antique cars are a part of life in metro-Detroit.

penelope

Here is my daughter, Penelope. She likes Fancy Feast but hates it when her bowl is only half full. She attended Furdue University, majoring in Furensic Science. Go CATS!

I’m starting this blog because I want to share what I’ve learned from our home life on the spectrum, and offer the resources I had a hard time finding when we first began our autism journey.

To be honest with you, I wanna help MY family too. Some of the freebies I’ll post here are ones that I will be working on for our home use too, sharing is caring 😉

Because you know what? Maybe we’re similar parental-beasts and that would be cool because I’m always looking to grow my tribe. Maybe you’re like me and you forgo the fancy wine glass and guzzle it straight from the bottle at the kitchen sink (time-saver, hello). Or maybe we have the same ability to slam two cups (“talls”, whatever) of Starbucks veranda blonde, and then go ahead and nap. Perhaps you laugh so hard watching Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live; you pee a little in your pants, as I will fully admit to doing. OR you hide from view of the kids with the very last Chips Ahoy that you have no plans of sharing. But most of all you try your damnedest to be a good parent, and you’d give anything for your kids.

I’ll update this blog regularly with anxiety reducing strategies that work in our home. I’ll post picture and social stories that do wonders for our daily schedule. Also, I’ll share tips & tricks for staying organized through the multitude of special education meetings you attend. Plus, I’m a freak about researching and testing out sensory toys and tools for the boys so I have SO much info to share about that. Product reviews for you, and you, and you!

The connection between mind and body is also an obsession of mine. I love the way meditative exercise and good nutrition, absolutely has a positive effect on my brain function. I can be the best ME for my kids, husband… and mostly ME. I’ll post what helps to help keep my mind sharp and my body energized & balanced.

My August Leo boys are what make my whole world go around… and around and around. So yeah our kids have challenges but let’s get this out there right now:

I WOULDN’T CHANGE THEM OR OUR LIFE, FOR ANYTHING. They inspire me to be a better person every day. Because of them, I’ve found who I was meant to be.

I love deeper and see things more vividly because that is what my sweet OJ teaches me. I feel my surroundings more intensely and live in the moment (or try) because that’s what my fiery and feisty ET teaches me.

What I really want is for this to be a space that we can share our experiences with each other. I’m so grateful for my community of special needs parent-friends and I want to be that for you. The journey can be so isolating and that sucks because it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re gonna embrace our neurodivergent kids and share their their amazingness with each other. The world needs our unique kids’ perspective. No burden talk here. We may disagree on some stuff but that’s alright, I like that.

Join the group and lets continue to build up our community and support each other!

Our kids might not fit the stereotypical mold of the ordinary offspring. Nope, not at all. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!