To Blog or Not to Blog

I started my blog a little more than five years ago. I was under a different blog host and my firs blog was “Great Women of My Life.”  Jonathan had been encouraging me to blog for a good while.  I’ve always enjoyed writing and people say I’m a good story teller so TheSassySouthernGal was born.

Here are a few pictures of Rachel around the time I first started blogging.

Rachel as a Munchkin in CYT’s Wizard of Oz 2011.
Rachel in her Upward Soccer Uniform, 2011

I blog for some different reasons. The most important reason is because I find writing therapeutic. I also wanted to share about some of what we have learned on our journey. I hope that some of our experiences will encourage others. I have some self-imposed rules about my blogs. One very important one to remember is that while I try to be honest, I also protect Rachel.  We are pretty open about our life’s events but the story is her story, and it is her life. I hope others learn, but first and foremost I must protect her. That means that sometimes you don’t get all of the not so flattering or even downright ugly details of events. Sometimes I’ll say, I won’t give you all the details but this was the end result and this is how we’ve navigated the situation.

These are pictures of the 2016 Rachel, five years later.

vandy girl 2 16
Sporting her #FutureVandyGirl shirt
Dancing with friends
Dancing with friends at the NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington

So over the past few weeks, I’ve had about 10 of you asked me if I was still blogging. The answer is “why yes, but not as much.”  I must admit that I am quite honored and fascinated that quite a few of you read what I write. Thank you!  Over course of these five years, I’ve had a goal to blog at least once a week. I know, I’m behind these past few months. There are a couple of reasons.

One, I got a paid job.  Yep, since moving to Kansas eight years ago, I had not had a regular paid job. I know it seemed like I did with all of my volunteer endeavors, speaking, traveling and a little bit of consulting. After being out of the regular job gig for seven years, it has taken some adjusting to balance the paid gig and all of my volunteer projects and life. Blogging falls to the bottom of the priority list. I pledge to do better, but I need a little help from my friends or readers as the case may be!

There is a more significant reason for my lack of blogging. Some days and some weeks I can’t imagine that there is anything left to tell about our adventures that anyone would be interested in reading. Really, I  want you to tell me what you want to read about. Yes, you. What is of interest to you? Sometimes my blogs just pop in my head as we do life. Other times, I feel a deep conviction to share, educate or honor someone. Frequently though, my blogs are a result of inquiries or Facebook threads.

Which brings me to you.  I would be interested in knowing what interests you?  I’m interested in knowing how I can encourage, educate or simply journey with you. No promises on delivering but I can make a commitment to trying.

In case you are interested, these are the some of the topics I’ve blogged about that seem to be your favorites!

Taking Away the Down Syndrome
IEP Wounds
Real Friends?
Dear Teacher
Will Your Child Come Home from the Movie?
Born This Way – A Peer’s Perspective
A Few Tips for Successful IEP Meetings
I’ll Take Her With Down Syndrome, Please
“Rachel’s” IEP
Until We Meet Again, Susan Mom
Dear Teacher – Most Read Blog
Modifications: Ideas from a Mom
Prayers for Baby Bella
Visual Cues, Following Directions & Attention Span
Tired of Being “That” Parent
SassyGal’s Garbage Dip
Bat Mitzvah – Just Like You!
Guess – Who is the Poorest Minority Group in America?
The R-Word Funny?
To Repeat a Grade…. or Not?
Curing Down Syndrome
Happy 50th Baby Brother
Rachel Prayers and Homecoming
One of the Good Guys – #BobbyBandwagon
Consumer Report: Backpack by L.L. Bean
“Those” Kids
Social Inclusion Fraud
The Sweet Sound of Inclusion
Inclusion Done Right: Church Camp
Two Pieces of the Accommodations/ Modifications Maze
What Would I Say 14 Years Later?
Two Suggestions for Church Inclusion
Rachel Runs for Student Council
Reading Thoughts, Tips & Tools

Thanks again for reading. I look forward to hearing from you!



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  1. I love your blogs and your wisdom is hard-earned, inspiring and educational. I will think on future topics but I think the ones that invoke the most passion (and therapeutic need to write) are probably my favorites.

  2. You and your blog have helped guide our path for a few years now. I thank you daily for your honesty and insight. I will think a bit on blog topics. Inclusion has its difficult moments with most of them coming from others. Having the end goal always in our sight and seeing that it is possible once you get past the rough spots keeps me going-and usually with a smile in my heart.

  3. Keep blogging! Not all of your readers know anything about Down Syndrome. You have inspired me and made me more aware. Frankly, your everyday life is great stuff! Blog when you can and don’t make it a stressor, but therapeutic.

  4. My first suggestion is purely selfish: share more about Rachel’s experiences with school, classmates going off to college, her post-secondary plans, any job experiences, and relationship lessons learned (i.e. boyfriends, “mean girls”). These posts provide a glimpse of what’s to come for my own daughter, who begins middle school this year.

    Second suggestion: write more about your work through NDSS and what experiences you’re having with working with local organizations and advocates.

    Thanks, Jawanda!

  5. I was just wondering if I had been missing your blog posts. Your blogs are great. Just the right amount of information but at the same time they are light and very enjoyable to read. Keep on blogging.

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