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Hi I'm Julie Hillyard

I am a Mom, teacher, pianist, business owner, wife, friend, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I had the blessing of traveling the world with Dr. Stephen R. Covey for several years (dream job!!!), but chose to give that up when I met the man of my dreams and we started a family. We love running, biking, hiking, and traveling together. We have three fabulous littles and our middle little has severe autism, sensory processing disorder, and a variety of developmental delays. I am learning to love a life I never anticipated that is filled with unique challenges every day.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised LDS, and have always felt like what I believed and what I was taught at church made logical sense. I admit, I love logic--it works for me. When I was in my 20's, I had completed a mission for the LDS church which strengthened my belief immensely, and was working closely with Dr. Stephen Covey, an incredible example of someone who lives and breathes their faith. I heard him give lecture after lecture about the prophet Joseph Smith and the very personal lessons we learn from his experience with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. One of those lessons is that of the Divine potential that each of us possess--the knowledge that we literally possess the DNA of divinity which provides understanding of both WHO we are and WHOSE we are. Still, however, it spoke mainly to my mind. Fast forward a few more years....I am now married to the man of my dreams and have a child who was diagnosed with a disability that scared me to death--autism. At that point, I realized that what I believe about his potential could/would change my little boy's life. Because I knew in my mind--and as I poured my heart out to God, I became undeniably sure in my heart of hearts as well--that Matthew has an incredible spirit. No label will change his potential and, as his mother, I have the responsibility to communicate his worth and potential to him in a way that inspires him to see it as well. That sure knowledge--of WHO I am and who he is combined with the knowledge of WHOSE we are--has become a guiding force in my life and one that gives me perspective as I struggle to cope with some of the challenges that come with raising a son like my sweet Matthew.

How I live my faith

I strongly believe that God often gives us experiences that change and teach us so that we are able to help and lift others. My husband is a pediatric dentist with a passion for helping kiddos who have special needs and, because of our experiences with our own special needs child, I have a strong desire to help other parents facing similar challenges. We have recently hosted a series of events for parents called the Power of Potential with the goal of helping us to focus on our childrens' potential rather than getting caught up in the behavior and other challenges that might sometimes distract us from what we know they can become--we will find what we are looking for, so if we look for the best in our kids, we will find it and treat them differently as a result. I also started a blog called Small Victories Big Miracles to remind me to focus on the little things that I might otherwise overlook that represent miracles I need to be grateful for. It's been an exercise in vulnerability for me because it is a "heart on my sleeve" blog and I prefer the "super-woman-has-it-all-together" persona that I used to be able to pull off.