When 2015 started, Kaitlyn was having difficulty mastering riding her bike. In a few short days, however, she was riding like a pro, and has gotten better since.
January saw us heading to Disney for a long weekend, and we spent three days taking our time in the Magic Kingdom. Kaitlyn fell in love with riding Space Mountain and the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. She is quite the thrill-seeker for sure, and can’t wait to ride the Aerosmith coaster at Hollywood Studios and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom this year.
Kaitlyn and I danced the night away at the annual Father-Daughter dance at the school. I look forward to it every year, and Kaitlyn does, too.
In March, Kaitlyn split time hanging out with Amber’s mom and also with Amber’s dad. To say she came back spoiled would be an understatement!
As the school year wound down in May, Kaitlyn shared what third grade meant to her, and the memories she made. It was a year of growth for her for sure.
Amber and I learned that we can embarrass Kaitlyn quite easily early in June, and we were caught off guard for sure.
We celebrated Kaitlyn’s 9th birthday over the summer with close friends and family, and a tasty homemade cake. It’s hard to believe that 2016 will bring double digits in age for her. Where has the time gone?
The summer flew by it seemed, and we capped it off by spending a week in Panama City Beach with close friends of ours, and Kaitlyn spent one day at Dolphin Day Camp at Gulf World, where her and her friend Wyatt had a chance to interact with some of the dolphins there. Pretty cool.
School started back in August, and Kaitlyn took a few steps outside of her comfort zone and took on extra responsibility at school by becoming part of the Pony Express team. She did a great job and took it very seriously.
October was a busy month for Kaitlyn. She transitioned from the Pony Express to being a Safety Patrol at school, and she seemed to really enjoy that job (part of me wonders if the enjoyment came from being in charge!).
We finally got Kaitlyn’s FSA results, and we weren’t really surprised that she tested in the top tier of students in the state. We were happy, of course, that she performed so well since standardized tests present the occasional issue for her.
Kaitlyn was also selected to participate in Mini Mu in October, and had her first competition in early December. She was nervous and excited, and for Amber and I, it was nice to see her really and truly be in her comfort zone, surrounded by kids who are at least somewhat like her.
Throughout the fall, we continued to support the Seminoles, and enjoyed going to games at Doak Campbell Stadium. Kaitlyn also expressed interest in going to FSU basketball games, which we will do in 2016.
Kaitlyn capped off the year with another wonderful Christmas, and Amber and I were happy that she believed for another year.
Between Christmas and today, Kaitlyn took a trip to Atlanta and Stone Mountain. While she was disappointed she didn’t get to hit Uncle Jason with a snowball (rock included!), she still had a great time being with my parents and her cousin and uncle.
2016 should be another fun and exciting year. Amber and I look forward to watching Kaitlyn grow, and look forward to being with her every step of the way. Of course, I look forward to sharing our experiences, and will continue to do so as long as people keep reading. Having a child with Asperger’s is an experience that Amber and I could never have expected when we got married and then had Kaitlyn, but we have learned so much from her and think that we have done a good job in helping her navigate situations that don’t always come easy for her. It has not always been easy, but we have leaned on each other and come to rely on some really great people in our lives who fully understand and appreciate the challenges we are sometimes faced with.