Monday, July 30, 2012

Escaping Reality

Living in a crazy world, that is constantly throwing us information and busy schedules, it tends to make it difficult to unplug and find peace. The " I need to", " I should do", " I must do" compete with our ever so frantic lives and soon creates stress.

When I was young my most enjoyable days were being outside. Nothing greater than riding my bike, walking to the local corner store for slurpees, and climbing olive trees until the street lights turned on. Even then I was able to find peace.

As I grew older and became an adult it turned into a struggle to find use of the simple activities that are truly enjoyable. Even simple things like going for a run on some local trails didn't prevent me from "hurry up and get back to"... the email, the missed calls, social media accounts, or whatever else was waiting for me.

So after some thought, I have come to an answer to find this peace, which was to explore things I have never done before. In order to find quiet and peace is to venture out to the edge, the place that allows me to release all the "human" thoughts and concentrate on simply just "being".

This weekend I made time to make peace with Yosemite Valley. I was able to look up and stand in complete awe of the soaring peaks that brought a sense of calm. It was breathtaking and emotionally stirring to know that there is something greater.

Hiking 6 miles on the mountain trails, splashing in a Tuolumne River, and driving through the rolling hills just outside of a hectic environment was so relaxing. This was the place to pause, reflect and gain a sense of perspective again.

After hiking a couple miles it was time to refuel with some nutritious food. Nothing better than a packed picnic lunch. 

Pirate Booty does the body good!
Maybe some day in my lifetime I will have the privilege of calling myself an Ahwahnee Hotel guest. Oh how nice that would be. Good food, nice people, and a spectacular atmosphere. While stopping for a bite to eat at the hotel, I cheated a little and had a beer. Ahwahnee Amber Ale that is. 

Before heading back somehow getting across the river was a must. Guess crossing with our shoes on wouldn't hurt. 

Where is the jaw dropping, eye opening, place that you enjoy? Where is the magic for you and more importantly, where do you find peace?


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Small World Small Fresno

I'm just loving every bit of this summer vacation with perks of not having to work. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but nothing beats having the ability to sleep in until 8am, slowly nurse a cup o Joe, and enjoy my summer day job of laying out.

I guess this whole, getting paid less during the school year to receive a paycheck in the summer isn't so bad. 12 weeks is enough vacation. I'll just say it now, I could not be a stay at home mom. Nope couldn't do it.

I think I'd pull my hair and my eyebrows out... oh wait, I already do that. Props to those mamas who do and find joy in it, but it's definitely not for everyone.

This summer has had many moments that are either by coincidence or a God thing. One of which was today at my neighborhood Starbucks. I don't normally take my dogs because its a bit of a challenge for them. Walking a 1/2 a mile while stopping briefly in the shade is enough. So today we drove.

A lady stopped by to meet the boys (my fur children). She recognized them and told me a detailed story about rescuing two dogs that looked exactly alike. Long story short, it was Fritz & Franz.

Since the rescue of F&F and the experience of bailing them out of dog jail, we have moved across town. Running into a lady in a completely different location, who ran two blocks through traffic to get these guys was one of those moments.

How on earth did I run into a lady that happened to have a connection with my dogs three years ago? Really how? Some would say it just happened that way, but in my opinion God placed us both there at the right time to make that connection.

Thanks God, thank you for showing me that you are there, and thank you for knocking me on the head once again. Sometimes we need those little reminders to appreciate what we have. Lately the man upstairs has been nudging on my heart about various people to pray for. People that have it a hell of a lot worse than I do. Yet I still find room to complain, or show frustration. Just a small connection with a women revealed to me that I need to be more thankful and more appreciative for the things in my life.

Friday, July 13, 2012


These past 4 weeks have been a humongous eye opener for me. I've learned a ton about myself, while working in a behavior classroom of only 5 students.

I've learned how to gage behaviors and determine whether to react as a 10 or 1.

I've learned to embrace the word celebrate and use it daily.

This past weekend my heart ached, as I thought about a parent of a child with Autism. I see this mom every morning when she drops off her child. I see exhaustion, discouragement, with a little bit of hope left on her face. Hope that today will be better, that good news will go home on the daily report and that maybe, just maybe she will be told that her child had an awesome day.

Today I reached out of my comfort zone and asked her if I could give her a hug. I encouraged her to breathe and celebrate the great accomplishments her child is making.

That's just what she needed.

For many parents "normal" is a word they want to hear. For others it's their biggest nightmare. And if you're like me "normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

Having one child with Autism may seem like a lot, imagine having twins who are both on the spectrum? Both with limited vocabulary, both not potty trained, both with self-injurious behavior.

Imagine that.

Think about being the parent, wondering what else you can do to make things right. Juggling ways that would make all the pieces fit together.

Our classroom is made up of only 5 kids. They are given all the accommodations in the world, that's what special about this school. The school ranges from 3 years to 7th grade. A majority of the students that attend will most likely never be in a mainstream school. It's also a school that parents fear of having their child attend. It's not a neighborhood school, it's a commuter, medically fragile, short yellow bus school. But we celebrate that.

At the end of the day what matters is that the kids are going to a school where they are accepted and praised for what they can do! It's a place where we celebrate the things that might seem so small. For it is not about grades, it's about goals.

As you head off to the weekend, do me a favor and remember to celebrate the little things.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

What I love about Sundays

This past weekend was beautifully hot here in the Central Valley. The typical 100 degree July temperatures. It was just pure magic. When I say magic I mean, a nice coffee walk with mom, a wannabe tan, and a run on some local trails.

What I love about Fresno, California. 

The rolling hills are beautiful, aren't they? Where I live, I'm lucky enough to see them every way I run.

This is what I enjoy, but these guys are tired. They've lived beyond their miles and need to retire.

This weekend was fun. I was able to pause, reflect and breathe. Sometimes a good run helps me do just that. It helps me let go of control and not worry about the unknown.

Sunday's help me catch up on sleep and feel well rested just not exactly rested enough to tackle another week!

Hope your weekend has had it's share of magic too!