Alek and Doug are joined by #MomLife columnist Steph Hightree, and Mark Quinn of Heart 2 Heart Autism Center to discuss the Three Rivers-based center and the services it provides. The quartet also talks about the importance of respite care, the stigma and misconceptions surrounding autism, and coping mechanisms for parents/caregivers of children who have autism and/or other cognitive disorders.

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I promise you it will be OK. Do I expect you to feel better tomorrow? Not at all. But I do hope that you start to heal soon. You are not alone in this. Contrary to popular belief I used to be young and in love, and I have experienced heartbreak myself. I may not be an expert but I can help you navigate this new normal.”

Doug and Alek wanted to discuss all things holidays, and felt it was necessary to bring in an expert, so we called Mrs. Christmas herself, Steph Hightree. These three wise people discuss Steph’s lack of egg nog experience, ridiculous Hallmark Christmas movie plots, determining whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not (it certainly is), surviving Elf on the Shelf, and their favorite Christmas songs.

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “When did I make Christmas all about presents, and less about traditions and family time? I remember the first year I was a mother. I was so excited to buy Cadence gifts, even though she was only 3 months old at the time. She would never know what she was receiving. She wouldn’t even be able to open the gifts. But that wasn’t the point. I just loved the act of giving her things. And it has progressed every year since then. The gifts have become more elaborate, the quantity has increased, the price more expensive. But do they really appreciate the work that I put into this every year?”

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “Today I want to talk about teenage dating. How can something be so terrifying and exciting at the same time? Yes, Cadence, I know you’re going to kill me for writing about your dating life, but here we are (feel free to insert a shoulder shrug emoji right here). At this time I’d like to make the official announcement, Cadence has a boyfriend. There I said it.”