Well, we’re HOME. We left on Thursday afternoon to drop the girls off at my parents house (and all the junk that two girls require for a two-and-a-half-day-stay… good grief…) and head up to Vail for the PEP Conference. Yes, you read that right- without the kids. It was a first for Addy. Yikes.
The timing was pretty perfect, though- we had a pretty decent snow storm on Wednesday. So by Thursday, the highway up was mostly clear, but it was GORGEOUS!
And, oh my word, did we have FUN!
The PEP (Parents Encouraging Parents) conference has been happening in Colorado for about 30 years now. And, funny thing- my parents went for me when I was a baby.
What is it you ask? It’s a three day conference to connect parents of kids with disabilities with each other AND to the school systems. It’s for the whole state, and it’s free. Yes, FREE. Two nights in a NICE hotel and all your meals (except one) are paid for. It’s put on through the Department of Education and includes educational professionals, law professionals, and leaders in the community that have knowledge in Medicaid, insurance, and outreach sponsors.
And it was AWESOME. There were about 120 people from all over the state, with all different ages of kids and different disabilities. We took classes on transitional IEPs into preschool, how to navigate the private insurance world, Luke went to a Dad’s only group, a talk put on by a lawyer who’s won all kinds of awards for his help in the disability world… We had small groups that we go to know really well, met people who live near us, and others who have kids like ours. I met several professionals in our area (teachers, Special Education Directors, and therapists), and I think I found some new opportunities for both Piper and me.
There are a few things we had discussed that I thought were really neat and I’ll share them when I have a few more minutes. But it’s late. And Addy’s overly clingy (she keeps grabbing my face with both hands and kissing- over and over and over) so I’m nearly certain it’s going to be a long night.
But gosh darn- it was SO worth it!
I am so excited about so many things tonight!
Really, if you live in Colorado- you HAVE to go. I promise, you’ll love it. There’ll be two more conferences before the end of the year- you can learn more here. If you’re interested in going, register soon; spots usually fill up quickly.
Big major, huge, ginormous thanks to my parents for taking the girls for the weekend- even IF Addy didn’t sleep… Love you!