I am Kristen. Wife to Charles. And mother to our two boys, Sammy and Logan. My life since becoming a mom has been all about our children. Providing the best I possibly can for them by advocating for their needs. Helping to mold them into the little people we want them to become. Prior to becoming a parent, I was a firefighter. My career started in wildland firefighting in a remote mountain town in Arizona, followed by being an industrial firefighter for Boeing. Eventually, I had to walk away from my career, as I suffer from chronic sciatica. However, it opened the door for me to be a full time mom, when the time came. I usually enjoy my role as full-time mom. This job has been far from boring, and always keeps me on my toes. In what free time I do have, I enjoy a good book and a glass of wine. And usually can be found sitting behind a sewing machine or working on some craft or another. As for now in this journey with Sammy, I am trusting that God has a plan for our lives, and trusting he will carry me through this adventure no matter where it leads.
My spouse is Sammy's hero, ranks right up there with Iron Man in his eyes. Though I believe that statement goes both ways, as Sammy is truly our hero. Sammy is so proud of his daddy and all that his daddy does. Charles is a full time police officer and is also in the Air Force as a reservist. He takes a lot of pride in serving our community and our country. Charles enjoys riding his Harley, which we hope to one day enjoy doing together, as I now have a Harley too. He enjoys big boy toys of guns, four-wheeling and cars. But mostly, he is daddy to our boys. He absolutely loved coming home to the excited greetings of "daddy" from both of them. A moment we pray we will get again in Sammy's future.
Logan is Sammy's younger brother, who was born April 2015. It took a while for Sammy to warm up to the idea of being a big brother, but now so much of his joy and laughter comes from spending time with his brother. Sammy really grew into the big brother role. Logan is a fire cracker, and certainly keeps us all on our toes. He has no fear, except when it comes to vacuum cleaners. Logan does have a mild speech delay, but had been making huge strides with catching up. We have him currently in speech therapy. We also have him in a study to track early intervention, where he is developmentally screened 3 times before his 3rd birthday for autism and any other delays. It is a relief to know he is being evaluated, so we know nothing will be missed or overlooked with him.
Sammy, our Super Sammy. Our oldest son born January 2012. Sammy already has such an incredible story going into this new adventure. When Sammy was 1.5 years old we had him evaluated for a speech delay, he qualified. After much struggle getting him started in speech therapy, we finally got him going right when he turned 2 years old. By the time he was 2.5 years old, I became increasing concerned about his developmental improvements, and somehow landed on wanting him to be evaluated for autism. By age 3, Sammy was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, where he fell mildly onto the spectrum. The biggest area of concern was his communication skills, but also had issues with both sensory and social areas as well. We jumped head first into therapies, as we were encouraged to hear that if we dove right in his chances of having a more typical life were highly possible. So in we dove. Sammy began about 35 hours of therapy a week. The bulk being ABA therapy. We rapidly saw Sammy making huge gains in his development. Our once barely verbal child was making huge strides. We also enrolled him into a private preschool. One that was a huge part in his journey forward. We saw such positive things come out of him attending a typical preschool and being surrounded by such amazing teachers and staff. The peer to peer was irreplaceable in helping him make these huge strides forward. We have been so proud of his accomplishments in his development. Along the way we decided to also start Sammy in martial arts, another wonderful addition to his therapies. I can not speak highly enough of having him take part in ATA. Sammy has always been special and such an amazing child. He never ceases at amazing me. I am very proud of him. And so excited to see who he becomes as his grow. We know he has the fight and the courage to take on this new challenge, because we have seen him overcome so much already. We will have our Sammy back one day, he will never be the same as he was before. I have no doubt that he will be even more amazing.