Enjoying the Journey

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When someone tells me they are getting married, having a child, going through a move, starting a new job or any other new beginning, I will almost always say to them, "Do not forget to take time to enjoy the journey!"

With that said, I am taking my own advice  while I write my book, and I am taking time to enjoy the journey.

This process of writing a book has been absolutely amazing!

I have found so many lessons in writing this book, and so much I am excited to share with others.

While going through the journey that my family and I experienced was painful, and at times something all of us wondered if it would ever end, reflecting on it has not been painful.

It has actually been freeing.

I am enjoying the journey!

Again, thank you to each and every single one of you who have reached out and let us know that you support us and care about our family. It has meant more than you can ever know! I hope my book is everything you hope for, with lessons and opportunities for all of us to grow!








My IDSC Journey - The Book

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I asked the question and you answered. 


Yesterday I asked if I should continue blogging or write a book. 


Overwhelmingly people encouraged me to write a book. 


So I am going to do just that. 


I am actually very excited to do this. 


When I departed from the IDSC I knew that I needed to process the entire journey. 


I knew that I wanted to be sure that I did that in a healthy way. 


In order to do that in a healthy way I began counseling, (which I will share more about in my book.)


I share this now because one of the things my wonderful counselor told me is this: 


"One day, believe it or not, you will be able to understand this journey fully and when you do, you will and should write about it."


I told him I thought that would be impossible. 


I did not think it would be impossible because I did not know how to write. 

(Which I have my flaws. lol)  

I though that emotionally/mentally that would never be possible. 


Well, the impossible is happening and I am more than thrilled!


It is possible. 


Thanks to support from my incredible husband. 


Incredible family. 


Incredible friends. 


I have made the decision to write a book. 


So the next few months I am going to sit down and put "pen to paper" on my computer. 

(Not this one, a new one. This one has had way too many glitches over the years!) 

And I am going to write my story! 


I will share little stories about day to day on Facebook still.  Stories about MaryEllen. Daily life etc. 


But The Story I am going to write in a book. 


A portion of the proceeds I will be donating to an organization which I will announce in the book. 


The other portion will go to Dreamers Merchants Coffee Company which I will use to continue to hire individuals of all abilities in an inclusive environment! 


The new journey begins now! 



Part Two Of My IDSC Journey

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Some may ask, after all these years, why are you now sharing your journey. The answer is simple. All these years later, it is my time to finally share my story. Many write me saying they heard this or that. I remained silent. It is time for me to share how we got here, and why we began in the first place. It is my turn to share what I went through.

So I will continue my story.  

After my conversation with Laurie and Alison, I felt much more confident adding the words For Life to the name of our new organization. 

It meant different things to different people. 

For some, it represented their very strong belief in their pro life views. This is obviously much more politically driven. 

For others, it was a statement of dignity for every life and probably much less political. In fact, I would say that all lines of politics seek this for different groups of people who are marginalized. 

For me, since I'm not very astute at politics, and I tend to look at issues as more a matter of the heart, I'd say I fell into the second camp. 

Even though we really had two different reasons for our adding those words we all felt it was a very important conversation to have. 

Parents were, and still are, being given a negative perception of Down syndrome while they are pregnant or at the birth of their child. 

Where ever you stood on the political aisle, those in the Down syndrome community realized this was affecting the dignity of their loved one. And those of us who began the IDSC truly believed that. 

Ibby was the big sister of the group. Technically I feel like the IDSC formed the night the two of us decided to create a message board that welcomed anyone open to respectful dialogue about the things that mattered to us as parents of children with Down syndrome. Ibby has a wit that balanced the passion of our feelings. She and I spent many, many hours carving our emotions out. After you have a baby with Down syndrome, and you receive a negative reaction from different people in your life, it takes years to process those feelings. And part of the much needed conversations were spent discussing these situations, and how we handle them with Grace! Ibby led us in that department and lead us well. 

Kris is much more of an intellect than me. She has so much information and she had a lot to teach me. She is a teacher by trade, so this came naturally to her. She brought so much clarity to the table. Things that I had never thought of.  Kris's deep belief in the beauty of every life is absolutely amazing. Her wisdom and message was such a breath of fresh air. Something that we needed to ensure that we had a good solid mission. I was so grateful to have her on the team to grow this message.  

My friend Kayla brought strength. A beautiful grace filled strength. She kept a steadfast belief in her son that is contagious! I've marveled over the years how she balances her work and family, and along with that her sense of humor. She was a very integral part of me finding my own strength and believing in the power of my own message. I was so glad to have her on the board, as she was one that could make me laugh while at the same time help us keep focused and not lose track of the mission. 

On a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning, Ibby, Kris, Kayla and I emailed goals back and forth to each other. Most of the messages pertained to teaching others that every life, including our children's lives, was precious and their dignity was not dependent on another person's definition of perfection. 

Unfortunately, we heard from a lot of families that many around them gave them a grim outlook for their child's future. It was not only medical personnel, but also the general population. Since we all had experienced this as well, we knew that this needed to change. 

There were two things we all knew for sure.  We all wanted to support parents who were new to the Down syndrome journey and we wanted to advocate on behalf of our children. 

All of us worked very hard to get the organization off the ground. 

This was the team that began it, and the heart and soul of the organization. 

We wanted to be sure our voices balanced the message from our perspective, while we respected others voices. 

Others were an inspiration to us, even if they did not become a board member. One person in particular was a friend of ours named Chelle. She was the one who pointed out to many of us that parents were negatively affected by the way they were given the news that their child had Down syndrome. Her ability to share this was a cornerstone of our efforts to teach the world about the dignity of our children.

This was the beginning of many years of hard work. 

Years of love, sweat, and tears. 

Years of making sure that we showed respect while we shared our message that every life is indeed precious.



Part One Of My IDSC Journey

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Part One 

It all started in my living room. I was sitting with two very dear friends. Laurie and Alison. 

It was an innocent moment. 

We talked about a whole lot of things. 

We explored God in our lives. Our worries for our children. Our joys. 

It was one of many many conversations. 

These two women invited me into their hearts. And I gladly accepted the invitation. 

One day, I brought this up... I said , "I'm sad that so many doctors, family members, people push to end the life of a person with Down syndrome while a mother is pregnant.
I feel like the world needs to know this." 

And then I said the words that I can never take back... 

"I think I need to start an organization that talks about this issue." 

I'll never forget Alison's response. 

Ever. 

MaryEllen was stacking blocks in a stacking toy. 

She said, "It doesn't make sense. I see her playing here. I see a beautiful little girl." 

She saw MaryEllen. 

It was that simple. 

The three of us had many more conversations. 

Some included my journey. Some did not. That was the beauty of those moments. 

We were just three friends. 

Learning. Sharing our journey. And strengthening each other in the journey. 

While our kids played. 

One day, our conversation went toward the termination rate of babies with Down syndrome. 

We talked about the pressure doctor's put on parents to "make a decision". 

We discussed how society views Down syndrome. 

I had been blogging privately for a long time and shared how my blog posts were being read by more people than I imagined. 

I was scared and happy at the same time. 

And I told them I wanted to change the direction of my blog. 

I had made it about me. My reaction. 

I wanted to make it about MaryEllen. 

I wanted to tell the world that MaryEllen's life is perfect and precious. 

That no matter how many milestones she met, she is exactly the person the world needs! 

That every person's life is precious. 

I looked at both of them and said, "I need your help."

We need a name! 

I explained the process I had been going through. 

Many mama's had shared their input. 

One beautiful Texas mama said, "Call it a coalition. The world will know we are standing together." 

The next mama said, "I'm in Australia, please call it International!"

So we had two starting points. Actually three. Down syndrome was the prominent words. 

At that point, I asked Laurie and Alison, this, would you add For Life? 

Laurie is a women of few words. She said, "You can't not add that. It's the truth. You are discussing their whole life. Yes, For Life needs to be in there." 

Thus the beginning of the IDSC For Life. 

It was probably the scariest day of my life. And the day I've explained more times than any day of my life. 

Thank you Laurie and Alison for believing in my daughter, and in my message! 

You were the starting point. And I am forever grateful! 





Was Julia Right?

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My friend Julia wrote a book, and in it, she shared her truth.

The book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it allowed me know my dear friend in a way that I would never had known her if I did not read it.

She was raw and real in it.

I brought the book with me to the National Down Syndrome Congress to sell.
(100% of the profits go back to Julia and her family.)

Sharing her book with others got me thinking so much about conversations that Julia and I had.

What I loved about Julia is this, even though she and I had completely opposite reactions to our children's diagnosis, she loved me fiercely. And let me know it.

And I loved her as well! I was so excited to have a friend in my life that got me!

We talked about each of our journey's for hours.

Anyone who knows Julia knows that every aspect of life became part of her schtick!
(Did I spell that right?)

And her reaction to her son's diagnosis was no different. It is almost impossible to explain. But she wanted people comfortable even in the hard stuff.

After she wrote her truth, she used humor to talk about her reaction, the book, her journey.  I never left her without laughing.

I loved how she made everyone so at ease with her humor.

The world is missing out on a lot of joy since Julia died.

But her book tells her heart.

As I stood at my Dreamers table in Dallas, parents asked me about her book.

I told them it is funny, raw, and honest.

She makes us all search our own souls as she calls herself out and challenges others to do the same.

In the back of the book she apologizes to her audience.

I have never seen an author do that.

She is keenly aware that in making an observation about herself, she may inadvertently hurt someone else.

And she does not want that.

Nor do I.

So I brought up Julia's point about prejudice on my page.

The reactions have actually been very beautiful.

Each reaction true to each of the individuals who wrote them, just like mine was true to me, and Julia's was true to her.

The day that Julia collapsed from cardiac arrest we had been on the phone and texting.

A lot.

Julia and I had conversations like teens do on the phone. I will freely admit that.
And our texts were the same. lol

On that day we were celebrating.

She was going to be going out and speaking about her book.

About her truth.

She was scared but super excited.

She called me to talk about it.

Little did I know that this would be the very last conversation we would ever have.

I assured her she would be fine. That she would do beautifully!

And I made her a promise.

Quite literally only a short time before she said her last words to anyone, I made her a promise.

I told her, "Everywhere Dreamers goes, The Book about James will go too."

And I fully intend to keep that promise.

Her book was the first thing I packed when I got ready to go to the convention.

When I was at the convention, and I shared it with others, I could hardly share it without crying.

I actually did cry each time.

Julia died from her cardiac arrest on October 30th, 2016.

The day she collapsed I had earlier celebrated with my dear friend. I heard her last words to me, and without knowing it was the last thing I would say to her, I told her I loved her and how proud I was of her.

That day I lost my rock. I lost my dear friend.

But she is still with me.

I realized this when I was speaking this weekend about her book.

I know it for a fact, when I wrote on Facebook her belief that she had a realization that she felt she had a prejudice when her son was born, I know she was in that conversation too.

Thank you to all of you who have kept it so respectful.

I know this would make Julia very proud.

It would also cause her to call me and have some punch line about it. I am not sure exactly what part she would turn into a joke. But she would.

And we would laugh, talk, and love each other through the chaos of social media conversations.

And we would celebrate that one more conversation was done well, and our children will benefit from that.

I miss you Julia. I always will.

Thank you for being "that" Down syndrome mama in my life!

You know the one, the one that gets my heart!

To Julia!
With love, Diane


If you would like to purchase Julia's book, email me at dreamersmerchants@gmail.com. It is $15.00 and 100% of the profit goes to Julia and her family!

CELEBRATING Living in the Hearing World- 2 Year Anniversary- Celebrate with me! You could WIN!

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June 1, 2016,  is the day that changed my life forever.

On this day, I learned that I was born severely deaf.

Everything I had ever known my entire life was about to change, in an instant.

When the audiologist told me the news, I literally went into shock.

I lived in that state of shock for about a year.

Learning new sounds that I had never heard my entire life took more work than I knew it would.

My husband and children taught me every new sound that I had never heard before.

Some sounds terrified me.

Some sounds confused me.

And some sounds made me dance like I had never danced before.

The first year of hearing I could not get enough of the sound of music.
(Yes, stealing that line! lol)

Every moment I possible could, I had music playing around me.

If I heard music in a public building, I could not help but dance. I had a few people join me! Which was awesome! Perfect strangers many times! lol

This week I am celebrating two years of hearing as well as modern technology will help me hear.

(These digital machines (digital hearing aids)  are just that, machines!)
Thank you Starkey Hearing Technology!

And I would like to celebrate!

I need a fun way to celebrate.

I mean, I could go to lunch with friends, or have a big dinner with family.

I could go to a movie, subtitles and all.

I could hand out balloons that have "I HEAR YOU!" printed on them!  lol

Dinner with my hubby and kids is this weekend, so that is already happening. (check)

But I want to have fun with this! The hard work is behind me, and I want to doing something fun to celebrate that!

I am looking for a unique way to celebrate this day with the world!

Which made me think of all of my friends who joined me on this journey these past two years!

So here is where you come in!

I will send to the person who comes up with the idea that I choose to celebrate this remarkable anniversary a pair of Dreamers Crazy Socks!

Trust me, you want these!

So y'all, start sharing ideas with me! I mean, I did this with naming rights of my hearing aids, and that was so much fun!

Get creative! My family and I will pick a winner as soon as the right idea comes our way!

PS The more fun the better! We love fun ideas!




Dreamers Hat, Shirts and Socks OH my!

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We are excited to extend our gift line of Dreamers apparel and mugs.

Many of you have already been purchasing our great mugs.

Thank you so much! Every purchase helps us create jobs in production, distribution and Coffee Bar Events!

Our signature Dreamers Mug!

Add 4 Dreamers K Cups for a
sweet little gift! 

Who doesn't love warm socks, with warm coffee, to
warm their heart!
Now you can join the #jobsmatter movement by ordering our newest items that we are excited to offer, our hats and t shirts! Not to mention our awesome John's Crazy Socks Dreamers Socks that we LOVE so much! 

Women's Fitted Shirt 

Uni-Sex 
One Size Fits All 
One Size Fits All 

One Size Fits All 

One Size Fits All 
One Size Fits All 
One Size Fits All Cotten Woven Socks
From John's Crazy Socks
 Every time you purchase with a purpose, you help us grow this company so that one day, MaryEllen is working right by my side, helping me run it...


...while we hire those who love to grow the Dream right now! 


From all of us at Dreamers thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 


#worlddownsyndromeday 3:21 #LIFEisbetterwithyou T Shirts

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For those of you who LOVED our WDSD #LIFEisbetterwithyou #LIFEisbetterwithME shirts, we will be offering these again next year! Look for our announcement earlier than this year when we will begin selling these!

We are happy to keep sending these shirts out, however, we will not be able to deliver in time for World Down Syndrome Day any longer. Thank you to all who ordered!

I am so loving the reaction to our World Down Syndrome Day apparel! I was going to write a blog post about them, but I was so busy taking orders I did not have time to blog.

So here is my post!

All of our shirts will be created in a Uni-Sex t shirt, unless you otherwise ask for a women's fit. We have found that many do not want the women's fit. But we are ready if you do want a women's fit.

Also, these are the colors we have to offer. Please scroll down to see them.

We also have long sleeve shirts and sweat shirts added on. Again, please scroll down to see them.

When you order, there is a drop down box. You will be able to choose what style you want.

When you check out there is a box to give us more specifics.

Every color you see in this blog post is available in any cut or type.

 In the comment box let us know what you want. We need the size, the color and the cut.

Oh and do not forget to let us know if you want it to be a #LIFEyou or a #LIFEme.

This is what the comment box looks like. It is right above the Place Order when you click Check Out: 

This is what the additional comment box looks like when you order.
It is right above the Place Order box,


To order, please go to dreamersmerchantscoffeecompany.com and choose this link. 

Since we are pulling this together in short notice, please be sure to give us as much information on your order as possible so that we can process it as quickly as possible.

All orders will be shipped two day shipping. Which means we expect that every order should get to you before WDSD on March 21st. Thursday, March 16 is the last day we suggest you order to guarantee this. Thank you!

Again, to order GO HERE! 


Women's cut (However these come in unisex too) 


Men's Cut or Unisex 



Long sleeve 


Sweat Shirts 

Sweat Shirt Sizing Chart