Thursday, June 25, 2009

What an amazing day!

Today was day 1 of the Emerging Leaders Forum and it was PHENOMENAL! It is truly one of the best conferences I have ever attended! I cannot say enough about the people who put it together! They are very effectively modeling to us all that we are being taught. I met Tim Elmore, the President of Emerging Leaders and one of the main speakers, a few years ago and had a nice conversation with him at a conference in Indiana. I was so surprised that he remembered me when he came up to my table before the first session!

The members of his organization are all SO personable, remembering our names and places we are from after speaking with us and are so professional! There is incredible continuity to the topics they are presenting, the speakers are engaging, the content is applicable both professionally and personally, and the method with which they are communicating reflects the needs of the generation of students we are working with (lots of personal stories, images, video/movie clips, etc). It has truly been an impactful day and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here!

It has also been a wonderful to spend this time with my colleagues and friends. We are definitely bonding further as a team, are engaging in wonderful conversations that have flowed from today's sessions, and have been having a ton of fun too! We visited a fabulous mall (Northpoint Mall) after the sessions concluded for the day. Wow! It had every store you could possibly want to visit! We then had dinner at Cracker Barrel - a treat since we don't have them on the West Coast - and then returned to our hotel and had a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub (we also had the entire pool area to ourselves). Ahhh...this is the good life. If only Ashish and Priya were here too! Then the package would be complete!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Greetings from Atlanta, Georgia!

I am currently in the fabulous (and humid) city of Atlanta, Georgia! I am here with 3 of my colleagues (Becky Weber, Ed Klose & Elizabeth Peterson) to attend a Leadership Forum put on by Tim Elmore. The four of us left Simpson bright and early this morning (5:45am PST to be exact) and finally arrived at our hotel at about 10:45pm EST. What a day! It felt like we experienced our own version of The Amazing Race!

All four of us flew from Redding to Los Angeles and then we all split up. My flight left first so I quickly found my way to my gate and boarded the plane to Salt Lake City, Utah. Becky left a few minutes later and went to New Orleans, LA. Finally, Ed and Elizabeth hopped on yet another plane and met up with me in Salt Lake City just in time to board our final plane to Atlanta. Our flight was early and Becky's last flight out of New Orleans was a bit delayed so we ended up landing within minutes of each other (AMAZING!) and joked - via texting - that it was going to be a foot race to the Pit Stop (baggage claim). Becky won since the Ed, Elizabeth and I decided to hoof it rather than take the train. We walked almost 3 miles today (I have a nifty pedometer on my cell phone).

This will be the longest I have ever been away from Priya. It's hard to be away from her and my heart is aching to be with her again. But I'm trying to really enjoy and live out this time that I have here. It has already been such a gift! Priya is being cared for by the fabulous Meredith family. Cristi, TJ & Holli are all staying at my parents' house (thanks Mom & Dad) to give here a familiar place to be while I'm gone. Ashish will be stopping by when he isn't in school, at clinical at the hospital and working. Thank you Meredith family!!! We are so grateful to you for your willingness to help us this week!

Ok, it's 12:30am EST and I can barely keep my eyes open. I have to get up in 6 hours so it's time to step away from the computer. Good night all!

It was a very long day but a good one. I have really enjoyed this time with my friends and am looking forward to all that we will learn and experience while we are here for the next few days.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Smelling the Roses, Tantrums & Hidden Sippy Cups

We've all heard the expression, "Take time to stop and smell the roses." This came to mind as Priya and I took a walk together today. We walked down a street lined with a variety of flowers and plants and Priya was quite excited to stop at almost every single one to "smell" it (her version of smelling involves blowing rather than sniffing). She was thrilled with each encounter, well, with the exception of a few prickly ones that got her in the nose! Ouch! It's kind of ironic since I usually can't get her to sit still for the life of me!

She is also entering the "Terrible Two" stage and boy is it fun! Her tantrums have been becoming increasingly more frequent and intense. Today was probably the worst that we've experienced yet. I'm educating myself as much as possible right now to find productive ways to deal with her outbursts and am grateful to see that some of the tips that I've read are working. We have a long way to go though. Priya is definitely giving us a run for our money! Does she ever have a mind and will of her own!!!

When we came home today we went through the usual routine to wind down and get her ready to go to bed. I went to get a diaper from where I store them and found a wonderful present - an old sippy cup 1/3 filled with nasty, rotten milk! I'm not sure how I missed it when pulling diapers out before, but I had to laugh. This is just the beginning of finding special items in random places - and losing a lot of things I'm sure!

Life is definitely not dull for us with our little monkey running around! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can't Sleep So I'm Blogging...

Since I can't sleep, I thought I'd add a little more to our blog that I've been meaning to post for a while. Drum roll please...

Priya is finally a forward-facing girl! She has now passed the 20 lb mark (at 20 months!) and can now ride front facing in her carseat. She is much happier in the car as a result of this change! :)
Here she is running to greet Daddy as he was coming home from work. She was squealing with delight and yelling "Dada, Dada!"
Simpson U. has some rather fabulous inflatable water slides for conference guests to use during the summer. One of the perks of living/working on campus is the opportunity to join in on the fun. Two weeks ago Priya got her first taste of water slide action. The water was really cold but she had a blast nonetheless.

Priya loves to run in the opposite direction that we need her to go these days. So this particular day we let her make a run for it! Fortunately, she came back like a little boomerang!

She loves playing with her sunglasses these days - and especially seems to have a fondness for wearing them upside down! :)
On Monday night David Bhasme came by for dinner. He is originally from India but came to Redding to attend SU. He graduated a year ago and will be returning to India soon. Ashish, Priya and I enjoyed catching up with him before his departure.

Priya discovered the sprinklers on campus and got herself thoroughly wet. It was extremely hard to pull her away!!Whew! That was a lot! Thanks for hanging in there!! :)


Mom's group this morning as at Nor Cal Elite Gymnastics Center. I had so much fun watching Priya explore and enjoy herself. She had a fantastic time and really enjoyed being around the other kids again too!

Priya eventually found her way over to the place where the music was coming from and found started dancing in her cute little way. I was cracking up watching her! It was too cute!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Warning...Advertisement Ahead!

I'm not one who easily gets suckered into infomercials, but something recently caught my eye. I was up one night and caught an infomercial for TRUE BACK. Ever since I had my accident in Ukraine and developed Fibromyalgia I have really struggled with a lot of pain - especially in my neck and back. I take frequent chiropractor trips to help ease the pain. But I've even had some chiropractors say that there is nothing more they can do for me! I've tried a number of things and am frequently on the lookout for something that might be able to help. So when I saw this infomercial I was intrigued.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is my neck and back regularly being out of alignment. When I have a Fibro flair up the muscle spasms pull my spine out of alignment. It's expensive to keep going back to the chiropractor and I wished I had a way to realign my back safely without chiro visits.

I searched around online and found a good deal with free shipping on Ebay so I decided to take the plunge. I figured that I could always resell it on Ebay if it didn't work for me. The box arrived about two weeks ago and I am a believer!!!

Now, the True Back doesn't technically claim to realign you, but it has definitely done that for me! It does a great job of stretching my upper and lower back as it provides traction for my spine and when I sit up I hear all sorts of popping and cracking as things are going back into place. It's not 100%, but it sure has made a huge difference!! Somehow it even manages to fix my neck at times too!!! I'm not sure if it's "supposed" to do that, but it has for me!

Below is the scoop on what True Back claims to do:

Simple traction device helps relieve back pain, reduce stress and increase range of motion

True Back® is the convenient, easy-to-use traction device that helps relieve and prevent back pain, spasms, cramps, stress and tension. It has a unique patented design which is quite simple; while laying on the device the spine floats in the center channel. The 30 suspension points molded into the center rails support your body weight and apply gentle pressure to the muscles located on both sides of the spine. The pressure allows the muscles to relax which increases blood flow. Using True Back® for just minutes, two or three times a week, can help relieve back pain, reduce stress, improve posture and increase your range of motion and flexibility. Includes instructional DVD. 24"L x 10"W x 4"H.

Helps relieve and prevent:
  • back pain
  • spasms
  • sciatica
  • stress
  • tension

  • Hooray for True Back! :)

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Body Art

    Grammy & Grandpa came over for dinner tonight, a send-off for their return trip to Canada tomorrow. Priya grabbed a hold of Grandpa's pen and had a little too much fun with it... She was so proud of her artwork she even kissed it!

    If you're wondering what Grandpa did, he wrote PRIYA on her tummy and she scribbled all around that too! Yikes!

    By the way...sorry about my breathing in the video. I'm still a little congested from a cold. :(

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Drawing, getting wet and a little Elmo...

    Priya has really taken to coloring/drawing lately. She goes up to the area where we store our writing utensils and says "B" over and over and over. I'm not sure where she gets "B" from, but it always means the same thing - pencil/pen/crayon.

    She has been enjoying some quality time and Grandma and Grandpa's house again (she's starting to refer to them as Nana and Papa) and has loved hanging out on their back patio. They have a little pool for her to play in and she has a grand time.

    She has also developed quite the fondness for Elmo. She gets rather enthusiastic whenever she has a chance to see him on tv...