News Anchor to Homemaker is a Down syndrome blog that focuses on real-life inspiring special needs stories and parenting articles from a Christian faith perspective, written by Jillian Benfield.
Hi, my name is Jillian Benfield. I started this Down syndrome blog (at the time it was a food and family blog) in late 2013 a few months after leaving my News Anchor/Reporter job in Augusta, Georgia to follow my husband to Las Vegas, Nevada while he completed a 1-year Dental residency program through the United States Air Force. It was the perfect time to take a break from news because we just welcomed our daughter Violet into the world a few months prior. Here are some pictures and video from my 5 year broadcast career in South Carolina and Georgia:
After living in Las Vegas for a year, we were stationed in Alamogordo, New Mexico (just a tad bit smaller than Las Vegas!) If getting that news wasn’t enough of a surprise, we also learned we were pregnant on the same day! Two weeks after we arrived in Alamogordo we received the real shock…our unborn son likely had Down syndrome. Once we got the official diagnosis, we had to move for the third time during the pregnancy to Arizona.
Although this blog originally started out as primarily a food blog, it has taken a big turn as our lives have changed quite dramatically! News Anchor to Homemaker is a Down syndrome blog that includes my writings on parenting, military life and mainly how our faith is impacting all of the above.
Meet Our Family
That’s me. I’m an over-thinker. Therefore it is almost necessary for my health to have this blog. With the exception of math, school came fairly easy to me as a kid, but it just never interested me. That changed in 8th grade when my teacher Mr. Gadipee showed me I had a knack for writing. I combined my newfound interest with my then long time passion, performing, and decided on a career in Broadcast News. Fun fact: the first time I was on TV was actually for a singing competition in Orlando. I went to University of Georgia because of their outstanding journalism program and that’s where I met Andy. I may not be in television any more, but my parents say Andy was worth the out-of-state tuition! Marrying into the military and having a child with Down syndrome have changed my life’s course, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When I am not writing this blog, I am taking the kids out on one of our daily adventures, working for my part-time Public Relations job or having a glass of wine with my best friend at the end of the day. Read some of my favorite posts here, here and here.
Andy is my husband and editor-in-chief. When he is not overhauling my grammatical errors, he is drilling on teeth or doing CrossFit. Andy is a dentist in the United States Air Force. He was recently accepted into the Orthodontics residency program, which he will start in June 2017. What attracted me to Andy was his ability to make me laugh. Although he’s extremely type-A in all things work related, he’s a goofball at heart. Andy’s joy and positive energy are contagious and I feel so incredibly fortunate to be the person he’s chosen to spend his life with. Read my favorite posts about Andy here, here and here.
People may think that because I spend the majority of my time writing about her brother, that Anderson rules the roost, but let me assure you that it’s Violet’s world and the rest of us just fit into it! Violet is two-and-a-half and she owns it. I thought by being the first child, she would take on a lot of her dad’s (also first born) traits, but in actuality, she’s more like me…pray for us during her teenage years! She loves attention, hates being alone and is an expert negotiator. She’s also very affectionate, never misses a chance to say, “I love you,” and always keeps us laughing. Read some of my favorite posts about Violet here and here.
Anderson is kind of the star of this show (the blog) and kind of wherever else we go. He always has an audience. Anderson has taught us so many life lessons and he’s only been on this planet for 10 months. He has an infectious smile and radiates joy. We used to be so worried about how Down syndrome would affect his future. And there are still some real concerns today, but we are so excited about the impact Anderson is having on the world already and we can’t wait to see where life takes him. Read some of my favorite posts about Anderson here, here and here.
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