Nena grew up in the Duluth area and although some day she’d love to live in the middle of a big city, loves all that Duluth and the surrounding community has to offer. She works as a full-time pediatric speech therapist at a local rehabilitation clinic and hospital. She has been married for 21 years to Scott and became a mom 16 years ago when her son Griffin was born. Five years later, his brother Reese joined their family. Griffin taught her so much about parenting, she felt more than ready to tackle the tantrums and challenges when Reese came along. Then Reese started having seizures at 2.5 months of age and she had to learn a whole new way of parenting. Reese was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease at 15 months old. Mitochondria are energy producers in our cells and mitochondrial disease can affect any bodily system. Reese’s development stopped when he started having seizures. Entering the world of parenting a child with special needs changed Nena’s perspective on everything. In her spare time, she loves word games and crossword puzzles, curling up with a good book, sewing simple projects and going on coffee dates. caringbridge Instagram

Yep, My Kid Used to Lick the Floor

Full confession: Griffin used to lick the floor. Seriously. He always was a kiddo who loved his pacifier. (I, as a speech therapist, was not going to let him use a pacifier, but it...

5 Things to Think about When Finding a Medical Team

Putting together a medical team when you have a child is difficult whether you have to manage extra medical needs or not. Sometimes, depending upon where you are, choices are limited. Finding a primary...

“You Did Then What You Knew How to Do”

When I haven’t heard Reese chattering over the monitor in the morning, I first feel for his breathing. There is a brief moment of each morning that I wonder what I will find when...

I Will Raise Awareness Quietly

I don’t readily embrace the title of special needs mom. Some moms I have met along the way wear the title with fierceness. They are the voices that raise money for cures and design...

What I Would Tell Me

It is a difficult time of the year for me. The busy-ness of the holidays is over. Reese’s birthday is just around the corner, and with each birthday it gets harder. As he gets...

There Is Always Hope

When we are dreaming of children, we wonder in anxious anticipation. Will my daughter look like me? Will my son love to read like I do? We might anticipate girls loving dance classes and...

Mama, You Are Doing a Great Job

{Photo credit: Mary Rasch Photography} I recently had a conversation with a friend on the way to a high school football game. She has great kids. She really does. They are kind, polite and very...