Saturday, November 24, 2012

Batch Full of Gratitude

So about this time everyone has a food baby, is in food coma, or feels like they gained 10 pounds. I completely understand. I'm not much of a thanksgiving feast person. That doesn't mean I'm not thankful, in fact that's my favorite part of Thanksgiving.

I will say... this family knows how to cook on turkey day. It's no joke. All tradition, with a counter full of food and a big scoop of goodness.

A thanksgiving favorite is made by cousin Madison. She can whip up the meanest ambrosia in town. By "meanest" I mean the best EVER! My sister-in-law asks for her own container of left overs to take home.

The family drew numbers before supper and sat wherever the corresponding number was. They were all scattered amongst two tables. I did this on purpose. For years there has been a kids table and an adult table. Spouses sit together, boyfriends and girlfriends sit together and it's the same ol thang every single time.

So this year, you were forced to sit next to the long lost aunt you haven't seen in years. Or your annoying brother who chomps on his food. Just kidding. We don't have crazies like that. I did this to create conversation. It was a fantastic idea. Maybe even a way for us to reflect and be thankful.

Speaking of thankful, I'm sure if we all took time to write down everything we were thankful for it would create enough room for it's own shelf on a book case. I think ultimately our life would be better spent, living gratitude, than writing every great deal down on paper. So instead, this year I wanted us to write ONE word describing what we are thankful for. Something that is pinned to the inside surface of our hearts, every day.

It was special.

Each generation had different perspectives on what they are thankful for. As we went around the table to announce our thankfulness they began to change with age. Youngsters are thankful for jobs, and friends, Whereas; the grandmas and grandpas are thankful for health and freedom or Mountain West Conference Champs.

Handsome older brother, Drew. Last Thanksgiving before he deploys.
So here were are with stuffed bellies, getting settled back in after much frolicking around town from one event to another. In two short days the fall decor will be making its way back in the boxes and the poinsettias, Christmas lights, and advent will appear. Just another triple batch of good and glowy things.

This is Thanksgiving at its best.

Happy Day Folks!


What's your favorite part about Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two Cities Half Marathon 2012

At the beginning of November I ran my 4th half marathon. It was my 3rd half with Two Cities in Fresno, California. There were about 7,000 participants this year, fewer than the past couple years.

The last minute entry fee for this race is $110.00 and $95.00 for the half.

The expo was downtown at Chuckchansi Ball Park . The way it was set up was designed for the participants to walk by each booth in hopes that they would purchase the latest goodies before race day. I ran into a good friend as she was working at the Fresno Heart Hospital booth.

I didn't have to wait in lines to get my race info. Although, they had multiple steps in order to receive everything needed before race day. One station for bib number, another to pick up bib, and then across the concourse in order to pickup shirt. so yeah, kinda inconvenient.

I decided to run this race a week before the actual event. A good friend, Skinny Chick sent me a text asking if I wanted her bib because she was injured. This is the second year I've ran Two Cities under someone else name and without training. The most I trained was 3 miles. Not to mention I came down with a cold three days before. Fantastic. When I do train, I usually run with a local training group, Sierra Running Company.

This is the first year that Two Cities created a Clovis and Fresno Half marathon. I would have chosen to run the Clovis route if it weren't for the colored bibs for each race. Little too obvious.

My mom and cousin were out at Copper River Ranch to support me at mile 6 and mile 10. Thank goodness for their support before the Godzilla hill at mile 7.

The Finish - 2:31
The finish line was inside Woodward Park. It is a slight incline barricaded with cheering fans. Runners were greeted by volunteers handing out water, medals, and a sweatshirt. I dig the fall colors this year.

The Summary
Overall, I enjoy this race since it is local and practically in my backyard. I think I will continue to take advantage of half marathons within my city since they're cheaper than most and convenient to get to.

Read my race review from last years Two Cities Half here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Beginnings

Lately I haven't had an opportunity to blog because of late night thoughts being scattered elsewhere. So much to write about and no words to format those thoughts. By the time I get home and showered from client drool, runny nose stains, and boogers, I'm ready to just sit on the couch and watch TV.

I went through a interview process a little over a month ago. Three interviews to be exact. After waiting a week, I was called and offered the job. The following Monday morning I began training. All like that!

Now that my training is complete, I currently have my own caseload of kids. It's insane how much my language has changed towards my family and friends. The verbiage we use is much different and a whole lot shorter in the workplace then at home.

Family members think I'm a little crazy.

The type of work that I do is considered ABA... Applied Behavior Analysis. We go into homes and incorporate therapy to children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders. It's one of the only Evidence based therapies for Autism. We use highly structured techniques that teach kids how to learn in a classroom environment and in everyday situations such as dinnertime or the neighborhood playground.

Goals for the children range from communication to toileting and everything in between. The intent is to create a developmentally appropriate and comprehensive curriculum for each client. Some of these kids get up to 30 hours or more per week in therapy.

One of the many goals we work on is eye contact... When someone is talking or your name is called to make appropriate eye contact with the person who is speaking. This can be very difficult for spectrum kids to master, whereas for a typically developing child it comes natural.

Over the past few weeks I have learned a ton about each client. Every child with Autism is different. Some whose problem behaviors we are replacing with socially acceptable behaviors and others just increasing language and gross motor skill. It's been fun and challenging figuring each kiddo out to make the sessions as successful as possible.

So that's what I've been up to in a nutshell.

Check out Life with Greyson and Parker for a parents perspective of how ABA has made an impact in her sons life.

What's something that has made an impact in your life?