Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I delight in warm.

Note the scarf, jacket and space heater.
Gloves and wool socks.
Hat and boots.
Hot showers.
Car heater.
Number 3 on the electric blanket.
Hot chocolate (with those mini mallows).
Hoodies and sweatpants.
Sweaters with high necks.
Ear warmers and ear mitts.

Winter is here. I'm permanently cold.
Feeling fortunate that a) I have a "warm-ish" place to live, b) That I served my mission in Canada so I have plenty of warm gear and c) that Utah has seasons.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I delight in other's Christmas lights.

This was my Christmas tree last year and this year I'm afraid its not going to make it out of the box. No, this year, I'm delighting in other people's Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and Christmas decorations. Although, I love love love decorating for Christmas, I'm going to miss out on it at my house, and at my other house (aka, my apartment). Its okay though, living where I live, I'm blessed by the decorations of the amazing homes in the aves, the decorations in the institute building and the lights on the Christmas trees outside the clinic (literally the only bright spot of coming out of a late session is a dark night filled with the light of Christmas joy). Happy decorating!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I delight in family history.

Today at church, we talked about Elder David A. Bednar's talk from October General Conference entitled, "The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn."

I remember going to a class about how to get started doing family history work and how to use PAF files. As my memory remembers (Craig, correct me if I'm wrong) Craig and I went to this class together during high school. He has always loved learning more about the relatives and needed to learn something more about how to use PAF files so he could store all the information he had somewhere besides his head. The course was an hour long and a good portion of that hour was used describing to the other participants (many generations older than us) how to turn on the computer, how to open files (including how to "double click" and how a mouse worked), and how to close files using the little red 'x' up there in the corner. Needless to say, I got a little bored, and while I learned enough to know how to get started, I realized that at the rate around me, family history work was never going to get done. No offense intended to those of the older generation who do family history work. I am so appreciative of your passion, desire, and motivation to learn things (like how to use a computer) that are foreign to your generation. However, in that family history class I took so long ago, I had an epiphany generation is being trained how to do this, and they don't even know it! Computers, and buttons, typing and searching is not foreign to us. Most of us could text or type with our eyes closed. We were made to do this work.

As the years have passed since that first epiphany moment the feeling I had then has only been confirmed. Elder Bednar says in his talk,

It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.

I delight in just how mindful our Heavenly Father is of the skills we need to develop to carry on his work in every capacity.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I delight in the hope of the future.

Thanksgiving was great. Pictures (all 3 that I took) to come. Delicious turkey, salads, vegetables and desserts--yum yum! Being surrounded by people I love, playing games, and chatting it up with family I just don't get to spend enough time with--it was great.

The downside (because somehow there always seems to be one), paperwork. And so, after a good family fix, down to my cave I retreated to write some final reports/soaps.

But then, I had an epiphany--this is the last Thanksgiving/Holiday I'll be spending doing homework! Ah ha!!! Once I made that connection, I was a happy camper. Somehow it all seemed just about time!

And so, a few more things to add to my thanksgiving thankful list:
21. This being the last thanksgiving I'm doing homework.
22. Watching my parents happily prepping thanksgiving dinner together
23. Watching Christin try to take back the garden hose from Rubes. Can you say tug of war?
24. Watching my adorable brother smile as he ate the unique dessert made devised for him
25. Getting a hug from the sweetest Grandpa in the world who I hadn't seen in ages (the one downside to not living in P-town).
26. Cutting out turkey's with Christin
27. Chatting about the day and Christmas with my parents around the table at the end of the day.
28. Knowing I was finally going to see a good friend I haven't seen in ages.
29. The list goes on and on but I'll stop here.

I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving friends/family/mystery readers who read about the things I delight in. Thanks for letting me share. Thanks for your kind comments. I want you to know that I really do believe in hope. Hope of good days today and better days to come. Hope of the hard times getting better. Hope in "an High Priest of good things to come."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankful list 2011

if you read my blog on reader, check out the blog's new header in real life!!!
thankful list 2011
  1. The opportunity to live here and now
  2. The opportunity to get a good education
  3. A fantastically supportive and loving family who loves to talk to me as much as I like to talk to them and has recently discovered facetime so I can see them all the time too!
  4. Fantastic people who fill my life with good examples and constant reminders of just how wonderful people can be
  5. To be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know my life is better because of my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ and the opportunity it gives me to change and become something better.
  6. To live within walking distance of a temple
  7. A grad school study buddy who has helped me be a "successful graduate student"
  8. Kindred spirits and friends who "get it"
  9. The ability to write. I may not do it well, but it is a big de-stressor to just be able to write--journals, blogs, study guides, gospel lesson lectures, etc.
  10. Ruby the puppy. Its amazing how having someone in your life with a little 'spunk' really adds to the zest you have for life. Rubes has brightened my life and torn apart my poor families backyard. Penny's a great pup too. She's finally warmed her way into my heart as well.
  11. Books. I love books because I love to read and learn new things. In a sense a physical book is becoming outdated but I will always love them even though they give me back and neck pain as I lug them all over...I still love them and all the treasures they contain.
  12. Grandparents.
  13. Make-up, because it makes me look more awake than I ever seem to feel.
  14. Compensatory strategies like planners, sticky notes, visual diagrams, graphic organizers, and index cards. I'd be constantly late and forgetting more things than I already do without them. It also makes it easy to come up with compensatory strategies for your client when all he/she needs is to employ the strategies I already use daily!
  15. A good ward. I love my ward and I've had the opportunity to serve in the Relief Society Presidency this year. Its been such a privilege to get to know and love all the amazing sisters in my ward. I'm already missing it and I still have a few more weeks left.
  16. Feeling okay about my circumstances in life. This feeling seemed to be a long time coming but this year I really went on the search of some perspective to find it. Life is good, and although so many of my friends are in such different circumstances in life than I, I'm grateful for where I'm at and what I get the opportunity to do.
  17. Lessons learned. I'm grateful for the lessons Heavenly Father continually teaches me and I'm grateful to recognize them for what they are--significant lessons to serve as stepping stones to further growth and attainment
  18. Boots. Not really typical with other things on the list, but I do love boots.
  19. Living in Salt Lake. Its been great, its been fun and I think I might actually miss living in 'the big city.'
  20. Sleep.
The list could go on and on, the things I've named are just a few. The final thing I want to include is being grateful for an extra-adorable little sister who jumps around outside when you come home and draws twenty-something turkeys to decorate the kitchen for thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I delight in breaking down.

I'm in the process of breaking things down. Moving is my least favorite activity in the world. That's why I try and do it as rarely as possible. However, that only seems to work out so well--case in point in my current situation.

Moving entails cleaning up and out the papers I've accumulated. In school, that's a lot of paper and books and more paper and more books. The thing about moving home is that all my stuff has to be consolidated and fit, somewhere. Home does not require needing the toaster, microwave, crock pot, rice cooker, panini maker, dishes, silverware, couch, chair, shower curtain, desk, bed, bookcase, and the list goes on. And so, sorting the 'still needs' and 'not now needs' is interesting. And so, for the next 4 weeks, life is in limbo--somethings here and somethings there and nothing having a home.

In other news, thanksgiving is this week. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten. I love thanksgiving and I'm working on a thanksgiving post, be excited. I am. I'm so grateful for all the things I have to be grateful for. More on that on Thursday. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I delight in ASHA 2011.

picture courtesy of megan b's facebook

I just returned from my third and final trip to California for the year. This time I went a little further south than the previous two trips to San Diego. It was absolutely fantastic knowing it was snowing in my home state of Utah, and that I was no where near there.

ASHA stands for the American Speech Language Hearing Association. I'm currently a member of NSSLHA (pronunciation determined by your region) or the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. Each year, a community of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists gather together for a huge conference (and I really do mean huge). There were classes on everything from total laryngectomees to trach babies and vents, to dysphagia and the lifecourse of the lung, to assessing pragmatics in autism, to ipads and apps. Of course you've also got your typical ebp (evidence based practice) study results for new programs such as hanen's more than words. There were also classes on everything from morphological awareness and literacy, to traditional articulation approaches now taught with ipad apps. There is certainly something for everyone at ASHA and it does not disappoint.

To fill in the spaces, there was always the exhibit hall full of a seemingly million companies selling everything and anything that you might possibly ever/never need during your career. The postcard was just one treasure found at one booth. I also found a place with a notepad of animated vocal fold vibrations so as you flipped through the pages, the vocal folds moved. I kid not. It was hilarious. But probably only hilarious to a "speechie."

I also determined that it is quite possible that to become a "true speechie" you have to have short hair and wear scarves. I've got the scarves but I'm holding out on the short hair, at least for now. There was a booth selling cashmere scarves and it was always swarmed with people!!! I was shocked every time I walked past it!

My stock of pens, sticky note pads, clips, pedometers, sunglass holders, hand cleaner plus holder, waterbottles, measuring tapes, and bouncy balls was restocked. I have 10 or so bags I collected from the exhibit hall as well. On an even better note, I had the opportunity to talk to lots of potential employers from all across the United States. I gave them my resume, and learned more about their company. It was a fantastic experience. Now I just need to figure out what 'experience' I want to have for my CF aka Clinical Fellowship. Decision time.

What I haven't even talked about yet was the amazing people I went with. 10 girls from my same year in the program also went to ASHA. I stayed with 2 of them. We had a blast together. Searching for dinner in little italy, looking for the the pizza place in the gaslamp, eating dessert for dinner at pinkberry, going to the social gathering for the Intermountain West Universities where I saw professors from my days at BYU as well as talked to professors and supervisors in a more casual setting than the clinic.

The trip was great. The learning was incredible. The company was better than ever and the food was really yummy. Now back to real life, papers, clinic, reports, and projects. At least I have a more distant goal insight than just making it through grad school. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I delight in Disneyland Part 2!

This is a complete report so bring on more pictures. We were there for 5 days. I wouldn't recommend this amount of time for most however, since it was LB and I's 'first' trip we actually remember, we decided we should take advantage of all the time we could. As most people who have a child in their life with down syndrome know, the words, 'hurry' mean 'go slow as snails.' Our goal was to have plenty of time to move slow as snails, see it all and enjoy. 5 days allowed us to do that.
When you walk around with someone as cute and as memorable as Christin, you make friends fast. A family with 2 children with cerebral palsy were there the same days we were. We ran into them almost every morning and took turns taking pictures for each other.
Disneyland decks out for Halloween!
Space Mountain.
We loved the Alice in Wonderland ride AND the Queen of Hearts bathrooms.
General consensus: favorite ride was the matterhorn. We even rode it one night when there were fireworks going on. Super memorable and amazing!
Gotta love those tea cups.
I love the store behind this teacup--the Mad Hatter store.
LB's hiding in the elephant behind me.
Here we are on the storybook land ride. We went on it twice. The first time was at night. Apparently there's a cat that lives in Cinderella's palace, with the scale of the castle taken into account, the cat looked huge. It definitely added to the experience!
Christin saving me from Monstro!
Main Street USA
We'd never been to a lego store before. It was Ah-mazing! Seriously though, I hope one day my children love legos, because I think they're amazing and they promote creativity!!!
Splash Mountain: during
Splash Mountain: after. We all got soaked.
This picture is for my first mission companion--Only she'd get it, if she remembers.
Another day at Disneyland
Oh, we have a good time!
Anyway to save on the walking was a good idea for LB, especially by the end of the trip. Here we are riding on the official Disneyland Fire Truck. Walt himself used to drive it around the park himself. We became friends with the driver...he took good care of us in getting us from the entrance of the park, to the magical castle.
If Disneyland hadn't won my heart already--this huge piece of petrified wood sealed the deal. Me and rocks=love

Somehow we missed this ride the first few days we were there. Thunder Mountain was a great discovery!
Woody and Christin
We love Toy Story!
We also love that they had a petting zoo. Random? Yes. Fun? Sure.
Nemo pumpkin.
A trip to toon town.
Animation studios---We didn't know what to expect, but we are sold. I think Mom could have stayed all day! Here's mom's version of winnie the pooh. I think her's looks the most true to life.
Here's mine.
And finally, Christin's. I'm pretty impressed at how awesome she did! Click the picture to see it a little more up close. LB is the artist of the family!
Oh the street where we want to live! :)
#1 Recommendation: To escape the mid-day heat--go to the Aladdin show in California Adventures. Its approximately an hour long and it is broadway quality. I kid not. They were super accommodating to let us sit second row so Christin could see. When Aladdin winked at her and waved...I thought her little heart was going to explode with happiness! We would have gone again, but it doesn't play everyday. So make sure to check out when it does play and GO!!!
Christin really does like this ride. Even though, she looks less than impressed.

Mom giving Christin a hug. She needs lots of those!
The shuttle bus.
Star Tours: This was Mom's favorite ride. We went on it 3, maybe 4 times. It's a good cool ride and with our pass, it made the line super short. Super blessed!
It was my favorite ride when I was 6 and it probably still is. Its a small world after all is fantastic!
Our landing spot around 12 everyday. We'd sit for about an hour or so, drink our diet coke, coke zero or regular coke (we all have our preferences). From this spot, we could watch the princess' come and go and do some great people watching.
Christin and her fairy godmother, contemplating what to wish for.
My favorite ride: Peter Pan
Christin's battery was empty by the end. A nice train ride around the park was a perfect (and cool) way to end our trip. I did a little sleeping as well on our ride around.
Long story short: Craig would LOVE Disneyland, but not all the little kids and their parents. So, we brought him a few things on his wish list. 8 of the 80.
Matchy matchy! How cute is she? She loved Disneyland. We all did. Christin is ready to go back anytime. We've decided to make it a more common occurrence. It was a smooth trip. We didn't have to rent a car. LB didn't get sick from the food (EVER) (*this is amazing coming from someone with Celiac right?). She never had a seizure (and we battled 90-100 degree temperatures all week). It was fantastic!