Lillian Independence Day

March 3 2018:

Every 3rd of the month is “Lillian Independence Day” … Lillian and I choose tasks that I still help her with and she takes them over!

This month: Using scissors to open plastic food packages (rather than asking me to open), brushing her hair after I wash it, and straightening her bed covers. I really like Lillian Independence Day!! xoxo

Lillian and Camilla January 2018 Date Day 1.23.18 #6

One Blood Test – One Phone Call – One Moment in Time


December 11 2015:

The Gift of One Article by Camilla 12.11.15 #1 The Gift of One Article by Camilla 12.11.15 #2

What a magical surprise waiting in the mail today! After it took an HOUR to drive to HDMS to get Thomas this afternoon. It usually takes 12 minutes. Then 30 minutes home as we had to bypass the closed portion of the highway.

It was a blessing to have this waiting in the mail …. along with another envelope with some surprise money for Team TLC. Thank you Veronica Wain for mailing hard copies of the journal. This is the third nudge I’ve received today to share this article again which was published this past fall.

Listening to those nudges … Here’s an excerpt and a link to read the full article. May your heart land on just the right passage at just the right moment …

“One blood test, one phone call, one moment in time, drastically changed the direction of my life forever. I know more about genetics, chromosomes, DNA, motor skills, verbal skills, and now emotional and behavioural issues than I ever thought I would need or want to know. ……. I thought I had life pretty much planned at that point and for a while this brief phone call seemed to have caused my life to break apart like a melting iceberg with pieces scattering here and there. Looking back now, all that was brought into my life, all that occurred, all that began, and all that ended were meant to happen for my own growth and enlightenment. An enlightenment I feel spreads far beyond myself and my family as I believe we are all connected.”

My Journey With Intellectual Disability and Relationships – A Short Memoir

Camilla Downs Interviews Lillian Darnell on the Chromosome 18 Registry Facebook Page

Camilla interviews Lillian on The Chromosome 18 Registry facebook page on February 18 2018. This is part of the Registry’s self-advocate live broadcast series.

Lillian answers questions about being a part of the C18 Registry and what it’s like living with 18p-. She also talks about her debut book at 16 years old.

Learn more about the book here, and learn more about The Registry by going here …

Bingo and Homemade Wall and Bowling and Fortune and Portal or Peephole and Marvelous Mason and Tea Wisdom and Lotus and Shadow Whisperer

February 12 2018:

Tonight it was Bingo!! Yes! We are set! I’ve unpacked the UNO and Bingo. No need to unpack anything else. HA!

I actually won’t be unpacking that much more. We just needed room to move around!

We are using many of the boxes that are filled with books as a “wall” in the bedroom so that Thomas and Lillian each have their own “room”. These two beings wanted their own room, and by damn I have made it where I am and with what I have. Even if it’s bookshelves, boxes of books, and curtains! Will post a picture as soon as I get a few more boxes out of the way. Wahoo!!

Bingo with Lillian 2.12.18 #1 Bingo with Lillian 2.12.18 #2

February 13 2018:

Homeschool bowling with Thomas this afternoon. Brought back fun memories as we used to come here often when they were younger. xoxo

Thomas Bowling 2.13.18

February 13 2018:

More treasures discovered while unpacking. Looks like 1984 was the first message received that It’s an inside job.

Figured this was the perfect opportunity to go through the keepsake box! Found some stuff to get rid of. YAY!! I LOVE lightening the load! xoxo

Old Fortunes 2.13.18

February 14 2018:

Yesterday morning while I was the only one awake and had not yet opened the blinds, I spotted this odd shaped rainbow on the wall (top left photo).

I looked behind to see where it could be coming from and the only opening to the sun outside was the tiny peephole across the living room.

I walked over and held my finger in front of it and that is indeed what was creating this interesting shape.

Then I just had to take bunches of pictures of the peephole! Ha! I adore Nature, the sun, the light, and the amazing colors. xoxo

Peephole Sun Rainbow 2.14.18 #1 Peephole Sun Rainbow 2.14.18 #2 Peephole Sun Rainbow 2.14.18 #3 Peephole Sun Rainbow 2.14.18 #4 Peephole Sun Rainbow 2.14.18 #5

February 14 2018:

I got to spend two hours today with this amazing soul!! His name is Mason, yet I’m calling him Marvelous Mason.

Marvelous Mason was born deaf and lost his eyesight about two years ago. He’s 9 years old and is the most joyful being I have ever met.

He wags his tail joyfully and loved playing tug of war with his stuffed Scooby Doo! He likes it to be thrown so he can fetch it.

It takes him a while to find it as he checks around the room smelling for it. He is not as familiar with his home here so he bumps into the wall and chairs when he’s walking around. Still staying joyful and wagging that beautiful tail!

I am deeply inspired by Marvelous Mason. As I watched him find the couch and walk alongside the couch knowing he wouldn’t bump into anything.

I get to spend another two hours with him next week too. His human can’t leave him alone due to his anxiety from not knowing this part time home (as they only live here part time). He’s taking it out on the front door and causing a wee bit of damage.

He did great with me there. We played for about 30 minutes and then he jumped on the couch, moved a pillow that was in his way, and took a nap. No attacking the door!

I’m pretty sure Marvelous Mason is sharing a story with me …. We shall see!!

Mason the dog 2.14.18 #1 Mason the dog 2.14.18 #2 Mason the dog 2.14.18 #3

February 16, 2018:

Yogi tea wisdom … xoxo

Yogi Tea Wisdom Love 2.16.18

February 16 2018:

Ya know those days when you’re morning meditation felt like 5 minutes, and then you have an amazing, off the charts Reiki shaman session that felt like 5 minutes too, and then you go to the grocery store and use 3 forms of payment just so you can pay the tab, and then you come home and check the mail and you receive a surprise early birthday gift of a lotus gemstone chakra pendant?

That’s the magical day I’ve had so far! Wheeee!!! Thank you Momma for the beautiful, shining gift. And the lotus is no longer a broken bird.

Lotus Chakra Pendant 2.16.18

February 16 2018:

And then there’s this … While I was at my Reiki Shaman appointment this morning, I missed quite the rainbow show from our amazing crystal friends. Lillian had fun with this one and her shadow. I call her the Shadow Whisperer aka Shadow Fairy. Love this picture she made. xoxo

Lillian Rainbow Finger 2.16.18

Veggie Burger Swooning and Rainbow Reflections and Water Balloons and Veggie Stir Fry Soup and UNO

February 7 2018:

On a veggie burger marathon lately. This time on a slice of sourdough bread and then layered with sautéed onions and mushrooms, yellow mustard, ketchup, chopped dill pickle, hot and sweet jalapeño, and kalamata olives. With a side of potato medallions and cherry tomatoes. YUM!!! sEriousLy … Swoon Yummy!! xoxo

Veggie Burger with Potato Medallions 2.7.18

February 8 2018:

Pretty rainbow reflections with LEGO village shadow. We so much enjoy having crystals hanging in the window. Makes such beauty!

Prism Rainbow 2.8.18

February 8 2018:

Finally gave in and I’m unpacking the boxes I had packed last summer in anticipation of our move .. that didn’t happen. Look what I found! Yes! Water balloons! Thomas and I went outside in 50 degree whether, in the dark, and tossed a water balloon. One of us came back inside wet, and it wasn’t Thomas!! We’re gonna have some fun with these!!

Water Balloons 2.8.18

February 9 2018:

Turned the yummy veggie stir fry into a yummy veggie stir fry soup today. Yum, yum, yum!! xoxo

Veggie Stir Fry Soup 2.9.18


Tonight it was UNO!! My favorite card game! What’s yours? xoxo

UNO with Lillian 2.9.18 #2

UNO with Lillian 2.9.18 #1

Sunny and Peaceful and Rock Love and Grumpy

January 28 2018:

Sunny, peaceful, feel-good walk with Lillian this afternoon. Sat for a while this time.

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #1 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #2 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #3 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #4 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #5 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #6 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #7 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #8 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #9 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #10

January 30 2018:

Solo walk this afternoon. As many times as I’ve taken this same walk, I still come across new rock love. Love, sweet love …

Solo Walk Vintage Lake 1.30.18 #1 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 1.30.18 #2 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 1.30.18 #3

February 2 2018:

Virginia Foothills Park this afternoon to hit tennis balls and enjoy a short walk.

I’ve been incredibly grumpy today which has involved much unfiltered commentary and language. I’m incredibly blessed I can share with Thomas and Lillian that, frankly, there was much anger within me today. And, I can further apologize for my colorful language, letting them know I’m doing the best I can at processing it.

And … they give me the space and understanding I need. Blessed we three chose one another. xoxo ..

Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #1 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #2 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #3 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #4 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #5 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #6 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #7 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #8 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #9 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #10 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #11 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #12

My “word of the day” on Friday was an F-word that wasn’t Friday!! There was much anger and bitterness within me. I knew why it was there, and also knew it was a conditioned response. 

So I did my best to let myself stay with it and not push it away. The discomfort was there most of the day, yet by end of day had released some and yesterday morning had released fully. It was an amazing and magical day!!

Solo Dance Party and Soul Book and Fuji Apple and Veggie Chili and Peace and Love

January 7 2018:

Just finished a solo dance party …. The Bee Gees, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, Chic, and Lipps Inc …. Felt so good!


Ending the day with a food-for-the-soul book and a juicy, crisp Fuji apple. xoxo

Book and Apple 1.7.18

January 8 2018:

Veggie Chili tonight …. from beginning to end. So beautiful. And delicious with a piece of sour dough garlic bread! Mmmmmmm ….. xoxo

Veggie Chili 1.8.18 #1 Veggie Chili 1.8.18 #2 Veggie Chili 1.8.18 #3 Veggie Chili 1.8.18 #4

January 9 2018:

Peace. And. Love. And arts and crafts with Lillian.

Peace and Love Arts & Crafts with Lillian 1.9.18

January 10 2018:

The stuffed little vegan chili burger that could ………..
……. fall apart with the first bite!!!! So, so yummy!!!

Foodies artichoke burger, sautéed sweet onions and mushrooms, Roma tomato, mustard, ketchup, sea salt, black pepper, sweet & hot jalapeños, a dollop of my veggie chili, and romaine lettuce …. all snug inside of two slices of garlic sour dough bread with a cute lil kosher dill pickle.

I knew there was a reason I chose a bowl instead of a plate. Ha!!!

Veggie Chili Burger 1.10.18

Lillian and Thomas are not vegetarian. I made a cheese, mushroom, and onion quiche for Thomas (which I haven’t made in years and years). I mostly don’t eat eggs so he gets it all to himself!

Thomas moans and groans about me being vegetarian leaning towards vegan; yet, he will scarf down that yummy vegetarian goodness!! Steals my food all the time! I prefer to let them make their own choice about becoming vegetarian. I am at about a year and a half of being vegetarian.

January 11 2018:

It may look odd, yet it’s one of my favorite dessert type treats. Frozen wild blueberries in almond milk. Some of the milk freezes into blueberry milk ice chunks. I let it sit for 5-10 minutes before devouring! Yum!!

Wild Blueberry Almond Milk 1.11.18

Staying Strong with the Once Per Week Library Volunteering

January 10 2018:

Today was volunteer day! Staying strong at keeping with our 2 hour a week commitment! Here’s Lillian pulling holds and pushing the cart. Instead of doing them together, now we divide the hold list and she’s pulling em by herself now!

We also may or may not accidentally find books we want to check out too! (That’s what the bottom shelf of the cart is for holding!! Right??)

Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #1 Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #2 Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #3

Celebrating Brushing One’s Hair


November 25 2015:

Brushing one’s hair. Simple for most. Not so simple for those with motor skill difficulties. I was moved to share a moment of deep gratitude.

Lillian. Has. Mastered. BRUSHING HER OWN HAIR!!!! At 14 years, 2 months old she can finally do it! It takes her about 6 times as long as the average amount of time, yet she CAN DO IT!!!! …….

Sending this with oceans of strength, courage, and PATIENCE that you never give up on yourself or your loved ones. I have found there are times to let those in our care rest, and not push them; and there are those times when we say, “No. You can do it. I know you can. Once you know you can do it too, you WILL do it.”

And I know one day, yep, one day she will be able to wash her own hair. She doesn’t believe that right now. Yet, I know one day she will, one day she WILL. Love, sweet, love!! xoxo

Lillian with brushing hair post 11.25.15