Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I went to a great conference on bullying in Eau Claire awhile ago. There were speakers who were experts in the brain development aspect, the "impact" aspect, and the...well...law enforcement aspect (which I guess is also "impact"!).

I could very well relate to the lady who talked from a developmental perspective about how brains develop differently based on our environment and experiences. How our brain develops obviously impacts how we react to things.

For those of you who don't know us well, our son is adopted, and we adopted him at an "older" age. He was 4 when he came to live with us, and was 5 1/2 when his adoption was finalized. We don't have a ton of information on his first 4 years and what his life was like, but we can assume it wasn't great until his Aunt and Grandma stepped in (Love you Shelly and Judy!!).

No matter how exactly his early life was, it impacted him, and he struggles much of the time with how to act and how to react. He tends to act very impulsively, and react very strongly to everything (happy, sad or mad, you know EXACTLY how he is feeling most of the time).

Add on to this, our son is fairly small for his age, and worse still, he FEELS very small for his age. This means he is an easy target for comments from his peers, which he reacts very strongly to, which results in more comments, which results in stronger reactions...you see the cycle. So...he ends up "bullied" due to his size, his actions, and his reactions.

What happens when a very reactive child feels bullied?

He becomes a bully.

Which means he gets bullied more

Which means he bullies more

again, you see the pattern.

I am still going over the information that I learned at this conference, and plan for Mike and I to have a conversation with both of our kids about bullying. Both receiving it, and causing it.

Those of you who do know us, know that BOTH of our kids have incredibly tender hearts, and hate for anyone to be sad or mad, so I am really hopeful that our conversation can help them respond appropriately if they are bullied, and help them know that being a bully is never okay.

Our world can be hard, and it can cause kids to be cruel. Maybe because they don't have all the "tools" to handle how hard their world is. I don't know. I just do know that I am now much more conscious of this issue than I was before, and hope that I can have a positive impact...


Sunday, May 13, 2012

What I do

I have said for awhile that I was going to share what I do for my job. Well, last week, I was finally inspired to sit down and write this post.

I am a physical therapist, and have worked at a few different places in my career. Mostly focusing on geriatrics (working with elderly people). I love my profession, and am passionate about it.

Because of this passion, I think, I have ended up in my most recent step in my career. 5 1/2 years ago I took the opportunity to develop a physical therapist assistant program at our local technical college. I have long said that I wanted to teach in physical therapy, but knew that I wouldn't leave my hometown to do that. Then, the opportunity came right to me, so I had to try it.

So I went through the process of developing the program (which I wouldn't recommend to anyone in case you were wondering...), and now have  been the program director and one of the two instructors in the program for over 5 years now.

I LOVE teaching. I LOVE sharing the profession that I am passionate about. I LOVE that I (mostly) get the summers off!!

So, what I do...

I create healthcare professionals. Physical therapist assistants to be specific, and this past week I got to celebrate the sending out of a new class. Students that I have spent the past 2 years with. Times that they were excited and eager to learn; times that they were frustrated and worn out. Times that they "got it"and times that they didn't, and I am so proud to say today that I had a hand in bringing them to this point. I was teaching students spanning a 4-decade span. This had many challenges, but many joys. What a privilege.

They still have a couple steps along the way, but they will all go far.

What I do...

(Sorry, this is only some of the 14 students who graduated this past week, and sorry the quality of the picture is so poor! It was nighttime, and I was using my 6-year-old's camera because my camera is being crabby right now.)


Today is Mother's Day. And I am thankful.
Thankful for an incredible heritage of "mothering" from my mom and grandmas
Thankful for my husband
Thankful for my kids
Thankful that the road to being a mom wasn't easy
Thankful for friends and family who prayed for us
Thankful for medical professionals and technology that brought us Aleah
Thankful for a wonderful family and the process of adoption that brought us Dylan
Thankful for the joys and challenges of having kids
Thankful for people who have helped us through those challenges
Thankful for people who have celebrated the joys
Thankful for so many blessings in my life
Thankful for my Savior who gave all of this to me
to make me who I am today