Taking Care

How Steven and I are “taking care” of ourselves and each other these days.  When you go through times of such stress in your life, it is important to put yourself first and take care of one another.  Lately it seems extra important so we have been focusing quite a bit on this.  Although very time consuming … very much worth it.

EXCERSIZE.  Our Arizona weather is still not permitting a lot of outside activity, but the nights are at least cooling down a bit.  So Steven and I are trying to take some time to unwind by taking some evening walks.  I am a HUGE yoga fan, but have found it to be too emotionally taxing these days so have looked into some different exercise classes.  Karate seemed like an appealing option to me, as well as a class called pure barre … but after a bit of research I am realizing it it quite expensive to be in classes regularly.  So for now I am enjoying daytime walks with neighbors, swimming and waiting for the weather to cool down so I can hit up pinnacle peak mountain again.

While Steven is out and about at work during the week I try to break from my household chores and new WN computer and art projects and get out of the house at least once during the day.  I have lunch/Starbucks dates with gal pals (or my momma) or sometimes head to friends houses and play with their kids.  I have always loved the energy of surrounding myself with kiddos, so it brings me great joy.  I also have a GREAT friend that has even offered to run day to day errands with me, which I often take her up on … and we always have a marvelous time.  We have even descided we are going to take some gardening classes together down the road.  I am so grateful for such wonderful friends and laughter.

Steven and I continue to see our therapist both together and separately.  I divulge this information as I think it is SO important to share with other families going through crisis.  Life “stuff” is often BIGGER than we are, and it important to realize that.  We don’t at all think it is something to be ashamed of, but rather think all families dealing with exponencial stress should take the time to do this.  Someday one of us might throw out an “arg!” that we have to go … but then we are ALWAYS presently surprised how much better we feel after we leave.

Physiatrist.  Yep, we see one of those too.  What is the difference?  MEDS!  Yep, this one prescribes meds.  I never have thought of myself as much of a medicine taker, but I have learned you have to listen to what your body is going through and respond accordingly.  The stress of extra anxiously or panic attacks is much more harmful to yourself than a temporary fix that meds can provide.  As important as Steven and I feel that it is, to feel the emotions we are supposed to and go through this “process” … we also have come to recognize the brain is a VERY powerful thing.  We want to manage, as best we can.

We really have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with friends for dinner at least one time a week.  It is so wonderful to catch up and see what is happening in their lives and good for us to get out of the house.  I also have a real LOVE for food, and have been LOVING trying new restaurants so I can find a new recipe to try and duplicate home.

We have also taken ourselves to the doctor.  Although, it feels like we have spent more hours in doctors offices than we can stand …. we realize it was always for our WARRIOR.  We need to honor ourselves and do the same ourselves.  So physicals, dentist appointments etc.  If Wylder can do all he did, we can take an hour out of our day and get checked out, get labs etc.  We both realized after going, how long it has really been since we have gone for ourselves.

And most importantly we are communicating with one another.  Even if it ends with an agree to disagree … knowing how the other person is feeling and what they need is important right now.  Making long term goals and short term goals, not matter how “silly” they seem (both individually and together).  This is never a to do – to done project, but it is nice to talk and dream together (even if our dreams differ from time to time).

A sneak peek of the corner of my desk. Steven and I together at 19 years old, Steven and Maddie the day we got her, Wylder’s first birthday, and of course, nantucket island.

Told you we have been busy. We truly feel that one of the best things we can do for ourselves and each other right now is to take care.  It is often hard, but so very important.  I share this so it will hopefully help many of you to do the same (especially those of you with children with Niemann Pick A).   xxoo

a sweet gift from a friend, that hangs from my desk lamp. “bless this nest” with 3 blue eggs in it.



  1. Your wisdom and your courage to share that wisdom is so generous, Shannon….I’m glad you are taking each little step to take care of you, and you and Steven taking care of each other…..I believe Sweet Warrior Wylder James would want it no other way…..live for the moment, love each other, and take care of each other. xoxoxoxox Thank you for sharing such valuable lessons that many of us tend to take for granted.

  2. i am so happy for you and Steven, you are both so strong and wise and a great voice for Wylder and other parents going through this awful and impossible time. I am glad we are friends and I wish we could go run errands together or meet at Starbucks, that would be so fun and therapuetic. much love ,Chelsea

  3. Thank you for being so open and honest with your feelings, emotions, and grieving. Although every family goes through the process differently, it is reassuring to know that other families are going through the process, even if we are across the country (or elsewhere).

  4. Wise words. As always, I appreciate your openness and willing to share. It was great talking with you this week. I’ve taken this message to heart. Hugs!

  5. Alice Daxon says:

    So glad and relieved to hear you are getting all the help both emotionally & physically that is available to you! You are both doing the right thing. Keep up the good work, praying for you!

  6. Cathy Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your journey, Shannon. It is important to take care of us – especially in times of great stress. Your courage and honesty in sharing what is working for you may prompt someone else who is struggling to find their own path to their place of greater peace. It warms my heart to hear that you and Steven are taking such care. I have come to think of you as a friend and we always love it when we see our friends healing from great hurts. xoxox

  7. I love you my friend. You have taught us all such wisdom and grace is life’s hardest journey. You continually impress me as a human being, as a mother and as a wife. You have more kindness and respect in your heart for Steven than most people ever have for their spouses….and this I believe will take you both very far. :) Continue on the “I like you” plan and appreciate your differences also. I am proud to call you my friend. Keep writing…it is your gift.

  8. I think you and Steven are angels the love that u have and show amazes me. I would love to have u as a friend to be involved w my children.. Keeping pushing forward! Stay strong ang love each other… Communication is the key

  9. Steve and Shannon, it was my pleasure to meet and spend time with you in the islands, maybe sometime you’ll cruise to the island of Tennessee, hang out with us and meet our hawaiian ohana here. You have good hearts, and are sweet people. Even though storms come, peace will return to you. God Bless. Tim.

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