Annual Review

Today is always one of the hardest days of the year for me.


Because it’s the day that I walk over to Ellee’s school and sit in on a meeting with an entire panel of people who are there to evaluate our daughter.  I’ve been there before.  Ellee’s received an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for the past three years.  Some meetings I’ve cried.  Because it’s always hard to hear that your child is struggling.  And whereas I didn’t this meeting, it was still really hard.

Sometimes, in life, we’re evaluated with numbers and percentages.  Sometimes we’re judged based on our performance and sometimes we’re labeled based on the outcomes.  But I’ve learned over the years, that while these evaluations are helpful and in the case of our daughter, they’ve been the reason that she’s received an incredible team to help and support her, sometimes they are still hard to sit through.  It’s hard to look at the numbers and it’s hard to not compare based on where everyone else is.

But with all things in life, I’m reminded that I have a choice.  I could sit and pour over the number and percentages and I could cry, because like I mentioned before, they are hard to process.  Or I could choose to be thankful and have gratitude and I could choose to be reminded of what’s true in life.  So that is what I’m going to do, and in a list form, no less.

  • I’m thankful for that table of people that I sat with today, because every one of them represents a person who helps our daughter.
  • I’m thankful especially for her reading teacher, Linda Wygonik.  Ms. Wygonik has worked with Ellee for three years and she has taught her so many valuable reading and life skills.  She was full of encouragement for how well Ellee’s done this year and I know a great deal of her success has been because of her time with this wonderful teacher.
  • I’m thankful for the kind things that were said about Ellee.  Each one praised her for her hard work and effort.  They said she was a wonderful student to work with and that she always tried her best.  They talked about her kindness and her strengths and these words to my heart were just as important as those percentages on the page.
  • I’m thankful to be a part of a school district that has a very strong special education program.  I’m thankful that our daughter will continue to get the support that she needs next year.
  • And for what’s true… What’s true about our daughter is that yes, she has a learning disability.  Yes, she struggles in school academically.  But that is not who she is.  She is an amazing, wonderful, beautiful creation of God.  He loves her the most and He created her just the way that He wanted her to be.  Most importantly, He has a great plan and purpose for her life.

Today, is always one of the hardest days of the year for me, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad.  When I stop and think of all of the good things that come out of this day, I’m able to shift my focus from the negative to the many, many positives.

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I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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