The Words That Stopped Me In My Tracks


We were hiking with 2 of Sabrina’s friends when I heard the words.

We had stopped to take a snack break. Sabrina was hoarding the can of Pringles, and we were all laughing about how she had pushed her friend’s hand away when the friend tried to get in the can (Sabrina’s can, apparently).   As we laughed, Sabrina’s sister gave her a huge hug.  And then heard the words.

“Sabrina, you are so loved.”

I stopped what I was doing and looked up and just stared.  I stared at her friend’s face, the one who said it.   She was looking at Sabrina with a huge smile on her face.  I looked at her other friend’s face, and it was completely unmoved, like those words had been casual words, and nothing out of the ordinary.  I looked at Sabrina, who was nonchalantly chomping away at her Pringles, unaware of how huge those words were.  Then I looked at my younger daughter’s face, Sabrina’s little sister.  She too was staring at the friend who said it.  I could tell it made an impact on her.  She looked back at Sabrina, and then gave her another hug.

Those words had a big impact on me.  I flashed back to 3.5 years ago, before Sabrina was at our neighborhood school, and how the thought of hearing something like that from one of Sabrina’s typical classmates would have been a complete dream.

Sabrina’s sister and I talked about it later, and she repeated the words to Sabrina.  “Mama, she said ‘Sabrina, you’re so loved’!  It was so sweet!”  They had a big impact on her, too.

This is why I love sending Sabrina to school every day.  Because Sabrina is building a little community of kids who see what a sweet little soul she is.  A community of kids who know her, who warmly greet her in the morning and say “Come on, Sabrina, let’s stand in line together.” A community of kids who are excited about and proud of her accomplishments, no matter how small.

Isn’t that what any parent wants for their child?

Some soul searching

Copy of A couple of quick thoughts from PortugalAs I eluded to in my last post, I haven’t spent much time blogging here since the summer.  I’ve been feeling a lot of different callings and not sure what direction those were going to lead me in.  Sometimes it’s tough to figure out what you want to do when you grow up. :-)

I think for a lot of us, and certainly for me, life is about constantly questioning, learning, trying your best to fulfill the callings and the passions that show up in your life.  For many years I wasn’t living in a way that allowed me to have the confidence to listen, go forward, and pursue them.

Obviously, I have since found a passion in inclusion.

For the past 6 months or so I’ve felt an intense need to do something else, something more.

Maybe call it my mid-life crisis? :-)

I’ve been trying to work out how to fulfill the passion I have for advocating and for being “mom”, while at the same time honoring that I am my own person outside of those roles.

I want to be involved in the community.  To Connect.  To Gather people.  So much more to do on a lot of different fronts.  While still being present for my family.

Ooh, that elusive “balance”, right?

As a result of much of that soul-searching, and feeling deeply that it’s time for me to do something more, at the end of the year I launched Nelia Nunes Events.   I’m excited about the possibility of merging my passions, while at the same time exploring options that aren’t related to inclusion and my kids.  And seeing where it’ll take me.  

Time to plan some cool stuff.

For starters, I’m working on putting together a “Topics In Inclusion” mini-series. Look for more on this coming soon.

It’s been an interesting journey, I know it’ll continue to be.  Can’t wait to see what it brings.  Thank you for coming along on the ride.  



Back From Maui









We are back from our 1 week trip to Maui, Hawaii.  It was amazing.  We all such had a wonderful time, and we really enjoyed spending that time with Ken’s family.  Before we left I posted photos of 1 of the 2 social stories that I made for Sabrina.  This was the first time that I had done something like that, but I’ll definitely be doing it again.  I think that she really got a lot out of it.  She clearly enjoyed looking at it, and I think it really helped her be comfortable with the trip.

Photos really are the best way to describe the trip.

Here’s Sabrina at the airport, during dinner, waiting to board the plane.  All smiles.









Sabrina in the plane, before take off.









Our condo had a view of both the beach and the pool, and Sabrina set her sights on the pool.  When it was finally time to go down and swim, she ran ahead of us and jumped right in.




I was able to get away for a few morning walks on the beach.







We had some “ears” as we call it (after all, there were a lot of new sounds, etc), but overall Sabrina was very happy.


At the luau.


Sassy Alexa.



Sisters at breakfast in Lahaina.


A sensory heaven for Sabrina.









Ken’s parents and a family friend watched the girls so that we could go parasailing with Ken’s sister, brother-in-law, and nephews.

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Sights of Maui.



Me. Enjoying some peace at the luau.










































And finally, on the plane on the way home.  This was right before Sabrina zonked out for the entire flight, which was a red-eye.


We were all sad to leave Maui, but if I had to guess who was the saddest it would definitely be Sabrina.   In Maui Sabrina was able to enjoy warm weather, she got to be outside all day and evening, and she got to swim all day.  Her dream vacation. :-)