Showing posts from 2016

Set Our Hearts on Fire

There are updates I want to share, like Ezra's nursery theme, but as this is my last post for 2016, I prayed about sharing something a bit more impactful. Today my Chloe + Isabel team leader shared a story I found to be very thought provoking and empowering. As I pondered this story I'm about to share, I kept hearing this "small voice" telling me to think deeper about it. Here is the story:

Two physicians late in years...we'll call them Charles + Isadore, old friends from medical school, were visiting at Charles house one winter evening. Isadore had retired several years prior. Charles was still treating patients. 
As they were catching up, Isadore asked Charles how he could still be working after all these years.
Charles asked Isadore to try and blow out the candle on the table. Isadore did this with minimal effort. Charles then asked Isadore to blow out the fire in the fireplace. Isadore laughed, tried, but of course could not.
Charles said to Isadore..."When …

Ezra The Scribe

It's been a few weeks since I last posted and much has happened. At 22 weeks I'm definitely showing and had my anatomy scan ultrasound. My HunnyBee's movements are getting stronger and more frequent, particularly in the evenings! If you've been following me on social media, you may have seen my Facebook Live video, where I announced we are having our second boy. He will be named Ezra...

Before I move on with sharing details of why we chose Ezra as our HunnyBee's name, I need to share a confession. As I looked through this blog, I was re-inspired by the transparent stories of all the DiversAble Models on here and I remember committing to be just as open and honest with my own story. That said, I have to admit I felt a twinge of disappointment that I'm not having a girl. Then I felt extreme guilt for feeling this way! I have so many friends who would give anything to just have a healthy baby, yet here I was feeling disappointment that I'm having a boy. I prai…

Heart Beat

I haven't posted an update in a few weeks, which always means life is just too hectic. In the midst of this crazy election, I'm reminded that my God is sovereign and I appreciate the miracles I get to experience each day. Last week, I heard my HunnyBee's heart beat for the first time. Strong and fast, in the 130s!

In some ways, this pregnancy has been easier than my Little Bear's, but in others it has been more difficult. The body pains I felt at the 6-7 month mark with Little Bear are back with a vengeance at just over 4 months. Though I have some of my energy back, I find myself still very exhausted a lot of the time. Most of my nausea has passed, though it kicks up in waves. Overall, this is what my doctor calls the "coasting" phase. This will be the easiest part of my pregnancy!

On another note, I will not post my thoughts and feelings about the turnout of this election. As a believer, I have love and compassion for all sides. We can't go forth in fe…

Kicks & Wiggles

Almost 13 weeks in and I'm already feeling little flutters of my baby moving! In my first pregnancy, I didn't feel these flutters until about 18 weeks, but they are definitely there now. My body is very sensitive so I'm not surprised that I'm feeling movement earlier (most second time moms do!). I'm actually excited because those kicks and wiggles, which can become uncomfortable later, are a beautiful reminder that my baby is ok.

I have sparingly taken my nausea medicine (only twice since I got the prescription), and it definitely helps. I am starting to get a bit of my appetite back, though I have no crazy cravings to share yet.

This weekend's major adventure is going to be dress shopping with my ever growing baby bump. I have a big fundraising gala to attend next week and need a dress. I'm loving the new jewelry I got from Chloe + Isabel. I'm loving the Confident Curves options from my La Senorita Jolie business, so I'm going to start there. I…

HunnyBee's First Selfie

Yesterday was the big day! I got my first ultrasound and feel very relieved that everything seems to be going just fine with my HunnyBee. In fact, I found out I'm almost a week further along than we all thought, based on my baby's development. Sunday I will officially be 3 months, the completion of my first trimester.

As for my nausea and vomiting, I've been having good and bad days. Unfortunately, after throwing up mints after trying to control my nausea last week, they no longer soothe my belly. My doctor did prescribe me meds to help control my sickness, but I think I'm going to try and hold out just a bit longer.

I know everyone really wants to know the baby's sex, including my husband and myself. I did ask during the ultrasound and got mixed messages. I will hopefully know after my next appointment, which is a month away, haha! In the meantime, we'd love you to comment your guess!!

Ok, the moment you've been waiting for:


Earlier this week I heard on the news that women who experience nausea during pregnancy are less likely to have a miscarriage or give birth to a stillborn child. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that I know this "suffering" is a blessing. I know so many women battling to have children, so I am blessed.

It doesn't make this discomfort any easier though. Some days have been better than others this week, but the rising hormones are definitely impacting me. I've been taking naps in the early evening and trying to eat small frequent meals. I've switched from Tic Tacs to Altoids since Altoids are sugar free. Oatmeal also seems to soothe my belly for a little while.

This week I'll get my first ultrasound on Thursday and I'm super excited! I'm pretty sure it's still too early to determine the baby's sex, but I'm looking forward to hearing its heartbeat. Next week's update will include the ultrasound image!�������������������������������…

Tic Tac Cure

9 weeks has brought about the discovery of Tic Tacs! The white peppermint candies are the only things that have been able to calm my nausea. A few friends have suggested Preggie Pops, which I'm hoping to get my hands on this weekend. My latest routine has included feeling sick all day, but actually throwing up at night :-/

In 2 weeks, I'll go to my doctor to see my HunnyBee for the very first time on an ultrasound. Although I have faith that everything is just fine, there's always a little worry. Seeing my baby and hearing everything is fine will really put my spirit at ease.

The other big symptom I'm struggling with is fatigue. I just have very little energy and hardly feel like myself at all. The hardest part of all this is still being a good Mom to my Little Bear. As a 2 year old boy, he has so much energy and really loves my attention. I'm grateful for all the support around me, but I'm looking forward to getting my energy back up. My businesses have also …

2 Months + Challenges

A lot can change in just one week. I went from feeling ok, with small bouts of "morning sickness," to having all day sickness. Though I haven't been throwing up, which is progress from my pregnancy with Little Bear, I'm still feeling pretty nauseous. I'm not sure if it's because of my Diverse Ability, or just me, but any change at all in my body affects me pretty severely.

Speaking of my Diverse Ability, let's talk about a few things that are a direct result of it that have come to the surface again. Last week I went to my first OB/GYN appointment for this pregnancy. All went pretty well, though we did discuss my need to limit my weight gain. All women are told to eat healthily and to try not to gain too much weight, but this is even more important for me since I have such limited physical mobility. During my first pregnancy, I gained about 35 pounds. My doctor has asked me to keep a weight gain goal of no more than 25 pounds, though she even acknowledged…

#HunnyBee's Story - The Beginning

When I first started The #DiversAbleModel Project I knew I wanted it to evolve into something bigger than just fashion. I wanted the blog and the project itself to give people a place to openly share their "normal" lives. I wanted to help everyone understand that everyone is part of the #DiversAble population because we all have Diverse Abilities. I'll be honest, it's been very frustrating lately feeling like I just can't get the content that I once had, content that is genuinely impactful and has power.
This may sound strange, but last night I had a dream that I documented my pregnancy journey on my blog. I woke up thinking about all the doctors that have told me how little information on pregnancy and Arthrogryposis (my Diverse Ability) there is. When I was researching the challenges I might face during my first pregnancy, I was so disappointed at the lack of information. For this reason, I'm going to do my best to be part of the solution. I'll try to s…


This young man is Micah Fowler. He is an actor who debuted in the 2013 film, Labor Day. This September, Micah will be starring in the new ABC sitcom, Speechless. All I have to say is FINALLY!!

Speechless is a comedy that will follow a middle-class family with strong personalities, as they move to an upper class area. There are two very exciting things about this show:

1. Micah Fowler will play a teen with cerebral palsy
2. Micah Fowler has cerebral palsy in real life

That's right!! There will finally be a show featuring a real DiversAble Model. Micah hopes this show will help people grow more comfortable being around people with Diverse Abilities. He wants people too see how "normal" we are, to see that we laugh, cry, and have a great sense of humor.

In an email he wrote to The Mighty, Micah states, "In real life, I live every day conquering challenges brought on by cerebral palsy. In addition to the physical challenges, one challenge I have noticed is that somet…

Am I doing something that matters?

When I woke up this morning, I thought to myself, "Am I doing something that matters?" This is a question that has haunted me since the end of 2013. I look around me today and see friends becoming enemies, lives unnecessarily stolen, protests, and overall chaos. God has been gracious in protecting me, but I still think, "Am I doing something that matters?" 

At the end of 2012, I thought I had the perfect life, the one I envisioned for myself. My marriage was on the up, in the reconciliation process. I had my dream job, working for a Christian ministry serving inner-city youth. We just found a wheelchair accessible house in a decent neighborhood with a backyard for the dog, and enough space to start a family. It was perfect!

In just two years, everything changed! After having my #LittleBear in 2014, my husband's Depression began rearing it's ugly head. I was struggling in silence with Post-partum Depression. My job changed leadership and I knew God was calling…


Happy Independence Day!! I know we're celebrating our breaking away from Britain, but today is also about celebrating the heroes who helped make that happen. As I got to thinking about heroes, I realized that people with Diverse Abilities are often viewed as "inspirational," but not really heroes. For this reason, I'm taking you to the U.K. today to meet Emily.

She is a 10 year old girl who was born with Spina Bifida, a Diverse Ability that affects the spine, usually leaving people needing to use wheelchairs. When Emily's father, Dan White, realized there is a lack of DiversAble icons for his daughter to be empowered by, he created a comic book. He calls his comic book The Department of Ability and Emily is the main character!

As the leader of the D.O.A., Emily is equipped with a "multi-functional airborne wheelchair." She also "stands for truth and justice!" Her team of superheroes is called the Strongbones Superheoroes, in honor of her dad&#…

Dreamy Eyes Artistry

If you've been reading my blog from the very beginning, then you know that my Diverse Ability is called Arthrogryposis. When I was a teenager, I had to write a paper for school that was basically a mini-autobiography. At that time, I began researching all about this "disability." What I got out of my research was that Arthrogrposis is a birth defect that affects the joints and muscles, mainly causing severe joint contractures. It affects each person differently and doesn't always affect the same joints across the board. The one word that continued to stand out to me during my research was RARE. My condition is described as rare. During adolescence, when we want nothing more than to be accepted, to belong, the last thing a young lady wants to hear is that her differences are RARE!

Throughout my life so far, I've been truly blessed to meet other people with Arthrogryposis. Unfortunately for me, most of them were male, or were females at a very different point in l…

Same & Different

"In some ways we are different, but in so many ways we are the same."
My 2 year old Little Bear (son) is currently obsessed with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, a PBS show created in honor of Mr. Roger's himself. I'll admit, I wasn't a huge Mr. Roger's Neighborhood fan, but the man and his show are pretty iconic. Who can forget his jingle? How about his sweater? C'mon, you know you do.
I love Daniel Tiger for many reasons, but today I caught my son watching an episode called "Daniel's New Friend; Same and Different." It featured a character using crutches an wearing leg braces and focused on all the characters differences, and similarities. This made me tear up because I don't think parents today share this concept enough with children. Particularly during puberty, all kids want to do is fit in. We've all been there, and I'm not sure it can be fully prevented, but I'm so excited that my Little Bear will learn that "in …

DiversAble Hair

And I'm back! I spent the last 4 days in Indiana for a friend's wedding, so I couldn't get here. However, I'm back and ready to share more DiversAble goodness with everyone.

If you know me, or followed this blog since inception, you know I have severely limited use of my hands/arms. My husband takes care of most of my activities of daily living. I get compliments all the time on my makeup and hair. I've taught him my style preferences and we still have lots to work on, but I owe my stylish looks (and my bad hair days) all to him.

This is why I was so excited to find out my Chloe + Isabel business partnered with celebrity harstylist, Jen Atkin! This woman has styled the best of the best celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, and the Kardashians. Whether you like all the celebrities she has styled or not, you have to admit the #girlboss has skills. She also has a vision of inspiring other people and empowering them to learn the skills she has. One of the…

"You've got to be kidding me."

Hello Everyone and welcome back to The (improved) DiversAble Model Project's Blog!! If you missed my LIVE re-launch video, be sure to check out my video post from Friday. There you'll learn more about what happened to the blog and why I'm relaunching now. You'll also get an explanation of our new tagline, "Unveiling True Beauty."

To kick-off our first "official" post (I guess they're all official, right?) I had to share this video! It has gone viral over the weekend, so many of you may have seen it, but this young girl's reaction reaffirms everything this blog stands for. Watch and then continue reading to understand what I mean:

There are so many amazing things happening here! Emma Bennett is a 10 year old girl who has a prosthetic leg. Her mom, Courtney Fletcher Bennett, had an American Doll shipped off to an organization called A Step Ahead Prosthetics. This organization specializes in designing prosthetic limbs for humans, but added thi…

ReLaunch LIVE!

#micdrop ;-)

The Relaunch is coming!



I'm so excited about this relaunch, so I wanted to share this video of a DiversAble Model to give you a SNEAK PEEK of the type of inspiration you can look forward to!

My friend Trisha, uses a wheelchair or a walker. Not many people realize how much strength and coordination goes into walking. Trisha walking on crutches is a huge accomplishment and reminds me that we need to take time to appreciate our baby steps, in business and life!!

Click Here for Trisha's video:

DMP Blog Re-Launch - COMING SOON

You read that right! After a (way too long!) hiatus, The DiversAble Model Project Blog is relaunching on Friday, June 3rd. We're coming back bigger and better, as we work on some major partnerships.

You can look forward to meeting powerhouse DiversAble Models and discovering ways you can positively impact change. We've finally come up with our tagline/mission, which we'll reveal in our Relaunch Post!! Of course we have new products to showcase and the inspiration behind them. Plus, you'll get lots of Behind-The-Scenes peeks at how a DiversAble Business is run.

Be sure to stay tuned to our social media to stay updated on all the happenings in The DiversAble Model Project:

Instagram: @mandi_box (

Comment if you're even half as excited as we are to see what's coming next!!