Archive from November, 2013
Nov 30, 2013 - My Story    2 Comments

Vacuums and Maturity

Basically, I got a blank check this week.

I earned a special gift at work and was rewarded with a certain number of points to spend in an online catalog of prizes. I flipped through the virtual pages and gazed longingly at many fabulous prizes. IPods, luggage, cameras, Keurigs, iPads, and foot massagers ranked high on my list. But that was until I saw this beauty:

dyson vacuum cleaner

My eyes widened. My jaw dropped. It was breathtaking. (And not just because it could suck the breath right out of me!)

Then I stopped, sat back in my chair, and thought, “How old am I?” At what age did home appliances outrank video games and fancy cameras in desirability? Dyson is undoubtedly the pinnacle of vacuum cleaner technology, but the fact remains that it is a vacuum. It’s designed to collect, dust, dirt, and hair. Why was it so exciting to me?

I think it is a reminder to me of the theme of my year: Adulthood. I have made job changes, financial decisions, and changes in sleep habits because adults do those things. Adults plan for retirement. Adults budget. Adults eat enough fiber. Adulthood is both a decision and a process.

Fancy vacuums represent adulthood to me, that’s why it was so attractive. It showed me I was on the path of maturity.

When did you realize you were an adult? Was a vacuum involved?!?

Nov 27, 2013 - Occupational Therapy    1 Comment

Life in the NICU

Somethings on YouTube are just for fun, some are educational, some are ridiculous, and some are life changing. This particular video strikes close to home for me. I work with the littlest of patients. Those who have more wires than they are weeks old. I am surrounded by stories like this everyday. One father made this touching tribute to celebrate his wife and his son.

This video summarizes why I do what I do.


Addendum: The maker of the video, has removed it from several sites. Hopefully these links will let you see the joy!

The video can also be seen at:

Nov 23, 2013 - My Story    2 Comments


My brother is a rock star.

I am his groupie.

I traveled back home last weekend to watch him compete (and WIN!) a state wide marching competition. I also had the pleasure of hearing Wind Symphony perform a special Veteran’s Day concert.


I was so impressed with the entire band. These are high school students, I kept reminding myself, but they were disciplined, mature, gracious, and team-oriented. They stood at attention, carrying (in my brother’s case) a forty pound instrument while the standings were announced. They encouraged one another and worked for a common goal.

SUDA is the band’s catch phrase or motto. It stands for: Spirit. Unity. Discipline. Attitude.

And boy do these young adults have SUDA in spades!

My brother is a rock star. Not just because he is very gifted at music, but because he drives himself to do more. He does drills to build up strength for carrying his tuba. He does lip exercises to create the perfect buzz. He gives high fives to his band-mates after their concert solos. He takes his job seriously.

I am proud to be his groupie!

Right now, they are standing on the field at Florida’s State Competition, ready to showcase Carmen and their efforts. Good luck, Golden Regiment! You’ve already made us proud!



Nov 21, 2013 - My Story, Uncategorized    3 Comments

Happy Blog-o-Versary

I began I Think on Paper one year ago today.

One year of writing.

185 posts.



Happy Blog-o-Versary, IThinkOnPaper!


I’d been contemplating starting a blog and letting some of my crazy free for years. I love writing and feedback and, one year later, it holds true that I process life best by writing. Thanks for being my virtual sounding board. Thank you for comments and feedback and suggestions on posts. Thank you for reading and not being afraid of my crazy.

Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Happy Blog-o-versary, everyone!

What would you like to read about in this next year?


Nov 19, 2013 - Devotional    No Comments

Ubiquitous Work

Everywhere I look, work has been done.

Every chair set up for a conference. Every clean floor. Every nicely folded shirt. Every customer service question answered. Every meal cooked. Even tasks completed by machine were designed, coded, and constructed by someone.

I marvel, thinking, “For everything I see done, someone had to do that.”

I think everyone feels somewhat squished at work. Everyone has some sort of productivity standard to strive toward. Everyone has someone pushing them to more — more efficiency, more widgets produced, higher scores, or more money.  More patients seen, more trash cans emptied, more food cooked, more files reviewed, more code written, more minds expanded. Realistic or not, we all have our expectations of more.

I have observed this many times at the hospital where I work. I know my productivity standards and I’ve gotten to know some of the standards and expectations of other departments. A lot is expected of everyone. I am constantly amazed how many dedicated people it takes to make something as large as a hospital run. Work is truly ubiquitous.

“For everything I see done, someone had to do that.”

work in progress

As I continually realize this, it makes me less focused on and anxious about my own numbers and productivity. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still know my requirements and strive for them everyday, but I realize that helping others with their tasks is beneficial too. I spare a few minutes to grab supplies, take out a trash bag, console an infant, and make some copies. And although these aren’t technically my duties, they help someone else make their productivity and expectations just a little bit easier. It’s made me be less focused on only my job and truly try to help the team. I’m far from perfect at it, and I definitely lose this ability on particularly busy days, but it has created bonds among my co-workers that are far more valuable than a few minutes lost helping someone with a task.

See if you can change your mind set and marvel as I have that, “Everything I see done, someone had to do that!”

Nov 16, 2013 - travel    2 Comments

Sky Mall

I am not an obedient flyer. I walk on the wild side. I don’t look at the safety pamphlet in the seat back in front of me.

I go straight for Sky Mall.

It is amazing. It is a game for me to find the most outrageous thing possible. I flip carefully looking at every page — after all, I’ll be squished in this seat for several hours, so no need to rush. My mouth hangs open and I vacillate between thinking, “Who would ever need that?” and “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

I gawked at:

Human sling shots. (The newest craze in outdoor games. ER copayment not included.)

Talking Smurf toothbrushes (Will they sing when they sense plaque?)

Bigfoot: The Bashful Yeti Tree Sculptures (Make those pesky trick-or-treaters wet their pants.)



And a Harry Potter remote control wand (How does it feel that two dead AA batteries can squash your magical dreams?)

I look at these items and laugh, thinking, “Who buys this stuff?”… only I still kinda want one.

I love Sky Mall. It is always good for entertainment. It is a better page turner for me than any People Magazine. But, despite how it’s marketed, I don’t need anything in its pages. I do not want to be ruled by having the latest and greatest stuff. I refuse to keep up with the Joneses. I will draw a clear line between needs and wants and spend my money in that order. I will save where I can and seek to invest in eternal matters.

Thanks for keeping me company on so many flights, Sky Mall. And thanks for reminding me that my money is limited and should be spent wisely.  Looks like my front lawn will have to remain unadorned by a tastefully, shocking Bashful Yeti sculpture. And I’m totally okay with that.

Nov 13, 2013 - My Story, travel, Uncategorized    1 Comment

Leaving on a Jet Plane…

Here is a compilation of the New England Autumn beauty I got to experience during my recent trip to Rhode Island and Massachusetts!



Here I am enjoying cable TV and room service. Oh,simple joys.


Paddling my way?


Yes, that is a carved pumpkin!


John Hancock’s punny family crest (complete with roosters and a hand!) He designed it himself and apparently had a sense of humor.


Our tour guide for the Freedom Trail who informed us that Paul Revere shows up nearly everywhere in Boston’s history, much like a colonial Kevin Bacon.



We waited in line several hundred people long and fought our way to the counter to enjoy a delightful and totally-worth-the-hassle cannoli at Mike’s Pastry.



The Head of the Charles Regatta… how quintessentially Bostonian!


They were filming something just across from Cheers and Boston Commons. We watched for some time and all they did was walk back and forth in the “rain.” Not sure I’ll pay to see this flick.


Churches full of hymns and history stir my soul.



Autumn leaves create the most beautiful fire I’ve ever seen.

Nov 12, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Mary Poppins 2.0

I met my costume counterpart this weekend.

Mary Poppins 2.0 was delightful and charming and thoroughly in character. My costume was courtesy of GoodWill and not nearly as fancy. I couldn’t do the accent or sing the songs, but I still felt like I had something in common with this Mary, and I was as excited to meet her as most girls are for Cinderella.
mary poppins disney

Wishing you a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious kind of day!

(Fun factoid- supercalifragilisticexpialidocious IS in spell check. I originally spelled it wrong and was thoroughly reprimanded by a chevroned red underline until corrected!)


Nov 10, 2013 - Occupational Therapy    1 Comment

Not Your Average Middle School

Middle school.

I’ll wait for you to swallow your bile. Those two words can cause a visceral reaction in many people. Middle school is an awkward time. Full of changes, shifting roles and hierarchy — and kids trying to navigate it all. It is the strangest time in school with some kids looking as though they should still be in diapers and others with five o’clock shadows in fifth period. So much change in such a short period of time.

As I’ve talked with kids having a tough time during the middle school years, I’ve frequently said, “Everyone wants to be audaciously average.” That is, we want to strive to be squarely in the middle of the pack, not developing too early, but certainly not too late.

But what about kids that aren’t average or have trouble fitting in? Typically such individuals are shunned for their differences, but occasionally, joyfully, others don’t shame them for their differences, but support and encourage them.

Olivet Middle School, this is dedicated to you.

Mary Poppins

I got a lot of stolen glances on my way into work last Thursday… and not the good kind. People flat out stared, whispered, did double takes, and cocked eye brows.

Then the questions started:

“Are you the super nanny?”

“Are you Canadian?”

Or, my personal favorite:

“Are you from nutritional services? When will my lunch be here?”

I’m not sure exactly what part of my ensemble warranted each of these questions, but they made me giggle. I was told that the pediatric unit had a costume party and they wanted all the staff to participate. So I thought, GoodWill to the rescue!

Here’s what I came up with:

Mary Poppins


Most of the parents knew who I was, while their youngsters just knew I looked funny. I had a few props like a spoon and sugar, and I was able to pull a canister of oxygen out of my magic carpet bag! I spent $8 at GoodWill and brought a lot of laughter, smiles, and quizzical looks to those I work with.

My day was practically perfect in every way.


%d bloggers like this: