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Back when I was pregnant with Moxie but without any moxie of my own, I was slip-slithery-sliding all over the place in treacly grounds of depression. I was struggling for a type of..what is the word?Relief. That's it. Relief. I was so consumed with worry about who Moxie would be, about her future. Grappling each and every one of my rather massive stereotypes and let's be honest here, prejudices against Down syndrome.


Down syndrome, after all, was the one and only disability I had always been terrified of. Prayed I'd never have a connection with.


Nothing helped me. Not the stories about the "good nature" and "sweetness" of people with Ds. Not the "inspirational" stories that left me feeling completely bummed out that it seemed the only thing I could look forward to was Moxie being a bagger at Safeway. Or a stocker at Starbucks. Great, thanks. Not to sneer at any work – all work has meaning and value – but is this something I'd dream of for my child? No.


I'd cry daily. Lock myself in my office at work because I knew I couldn't be trusted to stay dry-eyed if someone spoke to me of my growing pregnant belly. And come on, who cries when people ask you how you are while pregnant? "You look great, Meriah" "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"


Finally – finally! – I came upon Conny Wenk. She who should be bottled and passed out like a magical elixir to parents like myself. Because she was magic. Her images gave me comfort, vision. Through the power of her lens, she gifted me with a new image of Down syndrome, one of beauty.


Through her work, for the first time in the whole journey of finding my moxie, I found relief.


It was her photo series of Laura Bruckmann that did it:


    Thank you, Conny.

Seeing a girl that looks like my daughter doing something so lovely. Expressive. Captivating. Entrancing. Means the world to me.  

I guess this is what inspiration is all about.


Showing me that our kids can be whomever they want to be. They can be powerful They can be grace. They can be movement and yes, they can be beautiful.




Conny lives in Stuttgart, Germany (the very city my Great Grandpa emigrated to the US from!) and is a professional photographer. Her delightful daughter has Down syndrome and she started a photography note of "A Little Extra" (she also has autism, adoption and 46 plus categories, among others). She captures a stunning variety of families with all the joy and love-life-stuff simply haloing about them like so much a dazzlement of humanized happy sprites.
Here's Conny's Bio:
Photography has always been Conny's great passion. 
But thanks to her wonderful daughter, her passion became her profession. 
Ten years ago, when Juliana was born and diagnosed with 
Down Syndrome, Conny's world seemed to fall apart. 
After she recovered from the initial shock, she began to see with new eyes. 
She became aware that real beauty is much more than meets the eye, and how symmetric the face and body are. It‘s the inner beauty. Somebody with a beautiful mind and soul is a very beautiful person. And a happy one! 
Conny loves photographing children – no matter how many chromosomes they have. She's also the author of five books about down syndrome who have received acclaim and recognition. These books are cherished by pediatricians, field professionals and parents as they candidly show, through heart warming photography and intimate narratives, the love betrween families and friends and the joy that children with the extra and magical chromosome bring to their lives.

Conny has a 2013 Calendar out, chock-full of her magic. She's going to give you a copy in honor of this month being Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Conny will be shipping this you from Germany, so this giveaway is open to the world.

To enter:
– Leave a comment on this blog: What do you love?


(winner decided by


I'm trying to keep this simple, so no extra entries for anything (too hard to count it all and rafflecopter is always breaking down). It would be pretty awesome if  you "like" her page on facebook, show her some love.

And hey, "like" our page too, if you haven't – or do the "follow" thing on twitter.

Giveaway ends: 10/22; winner will be announced via email (so you have to include a way to reach you!) on 10/23, unless I give birth, in which case the winner will be announced as soon as possible.

Even if you don't want to participate in the giveaway, how about going to her facebook page and "liking" her? And definitely visit her blog and site. It'll make you happy.

Note: All photos on this post are the images and property of Conny Wenk – also check out her site, The Girl with The Freckles, also a book.


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  1. Melanie Lindsay says:

    I love my 3 little men who love me no matter what. I love that when I am sad, Ty looks at me as he wipes my cheek (checking for tears) and says, "You alright Ma?"

  2. Love Conny's photos, and I too found relief in them. I'd love to meet her someday.

  3. I love Conny Wenk and her blog helped me a great deal too, in the early days post-diagnosis.  The way she captures the eyes, and the way all the mommas are hot and fashionable — gives me hope. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I LOVE Conny Wenk!  I found her early on in my own journey and seeing her photos made me cry and smile at the same time.

    You should also check out "Shifting Perspectives".  It was started by a photographer in the UK who has a daughter w/ Ds.  My husband is part of a current exhibit (not online).  I am not sure how many people know about this project.

    I'm new here!  Found you through your post on Gillian's site.    

  5. Obviously, I love my family-they are my sun, moon and stars.  But right now I really love to see people showing TOLERANCE.  With the elections coming up, there's a lot of mudslinging and hate going 'round and that drives me insane.  I just wish we could appreciate people for what they are and speak of their good points (not just the bad).  This isn't only in politics though, it's in general all around.  

  6. I LOVE the photos of Laura dancing. And I love Conny.  And a whole bunch of other stuff, even though I'm feeling the arrival of rain blues.

  7. I don´t want to win the calendar, because we have a lot of them here ๐Ÿ˜€ our little girl Jolina is one of the calendar-girls and Conny is the BEST!!!!!!
    I´m waving over the big ocean


  8. What do I love? I love early morning smiles, blonde soft heads that forever smell of that lovely baby smell, and late night snuggles with a bottle and a baby who drifts off to sleep and gently snores.

  9. Today, I love the community I found after having Hailey.  At first I felt so alone and isolated.  That couldn't be further from the truth!  I love, love Conny's pictures!!

  10. I've been completely captivated by Conny for several years now.  She's just AMAZING.  I can only dream that one day she'll be in our part of the US for a visit and I could get Sammi in front of her camera! 

  11. Wow, those images are just beautiful. I love my amazing husband, my three beautiful children, my wonderful friends, and this incredible life I have been blessed with. And, I really, really love naptime.

  12. I'm with Becca-when is she coming to the US (or Laos?!) so I can somehow get Nava in front of her lens?!


  13. Comment  THANK YOU for introducing me to Conny's amazing images.  WOW!  I went to her website and the images – especially of the three teenage girls – took my breath away.

    OK – now onto the question – What do I love?

    I love the word susseration because of the way it sounds in my mouth. I first read it in relation to the sound of the waves lapping (murmuring) against the shore.

    I love being at the ocean because it helps me remember how insignificant my problems really are.

    I love being with a child when they first discover something – and it intrigues them – and they want to know more.  And they look at me to share the discovery.

  14. I love Conny Wenk too and found the same series of photos when I was pregnant.  Such a beautiful dancer.

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