Archive from April, 2014
Apr 30, 2014 - travel    1 Comment

Celebrating Selfies

This is the year of the selfie for me.

I usually roll my eyes when I see a cluster of people posing awkwardly, cell phone outstretched to take their own picture. But this year I’ve whole-heartedly embraced it. Let me amend that, I’ve embraced it — sans “duck face.”

I’ve been challenged by some friends to ride every ride at all four Disney parks some time in 2014. So every time I visit I have to confirm that I did indeed ride every attraction by taking a picture of myself on the ride and log it on a spreadsheet.

Sometimes it is a challenge due to darkness in the ride or fear that I’ll drop my phone! Not only has this bet made me ride things I never have before, but my efforts have yielded some of my very favorite pictures! It gives me a reminder of how well I’m using my annual pass and all the friends who I get to spend time with at the most magical place on earth. And they make me giggle.

Today I celebrate letting the kid in me free, riding Prince Charming’s Carousel for the first time in twenty years, taking my own picture, and enjoying every minute of it.

Disney Tea cups

Kyle splash mountain



Apr 26, 2014 - Humor, My Story, travel    No Comments

Celebrating Self Image

Nothing has the potential to derail my self image more than a four year old constructing my Mii avatar.

Am I the only one who has dealt with this?

My sweet friend, Valor, wanted to play many Wii games with me during our visit and he would not allow me to start until he had customized my Mii. If you’re not familiar, the Nintendo game system, Wii, allows the user to make a character who is supposed to look like them. Face shape, eye shape, hair color, height, build, eyebrows, teeth, smile, and even beauty marks and facial hair are adjustable until the look is just right.

I purposefully did not give Valor any help while he constructed my Mii. He would ask questions about each characteristic and I would say, “Pick the one that looks right.” Wondering what the result would be.

He took his job seriously.

Valor, Mii WiiI found myself cringing a little thinking, “Oh gosh! Do I really look like that?” and “Oh, please make me a little less robust about the middle, Valor.” and “Does my nose really look like a snout?!” and “Do my glasses really eat my face like that?”

Here are a couple of his Mii renditions:

Mii self image kelly valor Mii self image kelly valor

Until I realized that it doesn’t matter what my Mii looks like. It doesn’t matter if Valor makes me hefty, with a snout nose, giant glasses and wonky teeth. It doesn’t even matter what other people see when they look at me. It does matter what God sees. And He looks at the heart. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). He provides me with an accurate self image, as one who is both far more sinful than I can believe and far more loved than I can imagine.

That self image I will celebrate.



Apr 22, 2014 - travel    No Comments

Celebrating Impostors

My legs are extended. My lumbar back is supported. My needs are well-tended to.

And I’m on an airplane.

My flight which was supposed to depart last evening was cancelled due to inclement weather. So I got bumped. As an apology and added perk, I got upgraded to first class for the last leg home.

I feel like a kid, wanting to push all the buttons and play in this new playground. I’ve never gotten to sit in the front few rows before, ahead of the definitive curtain of separation, in a magical land where the glasses are actually glass and the seats recline more than three inches. I don’t even have to angle my feet and knees at odd angles to get them to accommodate both the reclined seat in front of me, my seat-mate’s armrest-hogging ways, and my own bulky baggage. Right now, my toes are free to wiggle with glee.


I could get used to this.

I feel like at any moment my fellow first-classers will recognize me as a newbie. I’ve attempted many times to expose myself already. If they didn’t catch on when I couldn’t get my luggage into the differntly-sized overhead compartment, then perhaps they’d suspect when I ripped the handle on my “carry on” (really a grocery tote bag), and if that didn’t do it then their hunches were likely confirmed when I attempted to gingerly slide my laptop from the aforementioned carry on and simultaneously dumped half of its contents out, raining them on to the other passengers. (Thankfully my travel pillow, snack bag, and small Bible didn’t do any real damage.)

Surely, that would have alerted them to my impostor ways.

I am an imposter. And (since I can’t pass up the opportunity), don’t call me Shirley.

Maybe no one cares. Maybe no one is concerned about me and my glee at this little treat. I may never fly first-class again. So I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, all 75 minutes of grandeur.

Despite a few debacles, I’m choosing to run toward my impostor status and celebrate delays and perks. Excuse me now while I recline fully and bask in the small things.

first class air plane adjustable seat

first class airplane trip vacation

first class air planeBye, dear first class seat. I hope we meet again!


Apr 19, 2014 - My Story    No Comments

Celebrating Airport Friendships

I’m awed by how quickly I can connect with someone when we have a shared goal. And it doesn’t even have to be a large goal, a lasting goal, or a life goal.

I bonded with a friend over a flight destination. We were both booked on the ill-fated flight to Orlando which was cancelled due to weather. We chatted in line at the terminal as we sought options to replace the cancelled flight. We both needed to get back for work and both booked the first flight the next morning. We waved as we saw each other at the airport before dawn. We both mentally calculated the minutes this flight was late and the pace we’d have to run through the airport to make our connection.

Interviews Waiting

As we sat and waited to board the plane and I asked lots of questions. She was an educator at Sea World and could talk energetically and incessantly about animals and how amazing they were. Ironically, she studied anthropology in school, but declared, “They’re basically the same. If you understand people, you can understand animals.” She talked about her visit with her mom and how hard it was to be delayed since she had never before missed a day of work. She confessed that it was hard for her to be flexible and feel out of control and that air travel was not her favorite thing. I hoped that my questions I could keep her focused on other things and make the journey a little easier.

We bonded. And I don’t even know her name.

It was an odd feeling for me to feel a sense of growing friendship as I waved early the next morning at the airport, waited for her luggage to return, and raced together to a new concourse to make our connection. Just checking on my new friend-for-the-day and making sure she got home. For this goal, we were in it together. It was finite and short-term, but important for today.

Mission accomplished.  

How could you choose to make someone’s day even if you are only “airport friends?”

Apr 16, 2014 - My Story, travel    1 Comment

Celebrating Delays

I have a decision to make.

I can be angry or grateful.

It’s up to me.

I’m currently sitting in the airport after a flight cancellation, delay, and re-routing. I will not be to my final destination for eight hours with a layover in between.

And I’m okay with that.

I am choosing to view this time as grateful time. Free time where I’m forced to sit and write or read or just think. I have to be still. That’s hard for me. I’ve already looped the terminal, bought a smoothie and eaten. There’s nothing else to see. I have another two hours before my flight and no tasks that need to be completed. I always laugh at myself when I pack four books and my computer for a short trip, but this is why. I want options and I want to be able to sit, relax. Who knows, maybe I’ll even pay for a chair massage while I wait! My vacation starts now, not when I arrive at my destination.

It starts now because I’m choosing to let it start.

I’m choosing to celebrate my free time instead of bemoan my delays.

Starbucks AirportIt’s all about perspective.


Celebrating Occupational Therapy Month

OT, ryan gossling


I’m celebrating OT Month. And so is Ryan Gosling. (Thanks for the support, Ry!)

I often think OT is the hidden gem of the rehab world. It’s focus is so broad and all-encompassing and patient-specific that at times it is hard to define. Until everyone knows, I educate  one person at a time. And I labor to make the world a more functional place!

Do you need help putting on your pants, driving, cooking or balancing your check book? Does your child need help crawling, writing, or focusing in school? Do you have weakness, incoordination, or imbalance? Do you need a splint? I can help with that! And I’ll help creatively with tasks and activities that are important and meaningful to YOU!

I’m celebrating Occupational Therapy Month because I made the right career choice and I love my job!

Apr 12, 2014 - Health, Running, Uncategorized    No Comments

Celebrating Problem Solving

Have I mentioned that I love MacGyver?


It may have come up once or twice.

MacGyver is my hero. I love his creativity and quick thinking and ability to problem solve in the face of trial.

Here’s my latest MacGyver moment.


I ran a five mile race last weekend (and set a personal record of 56:05!), but that’s not even the crux of this story. After races there are often booths with sponsors and lots of free giveaways. Pens, pins, and Post-Its galore! When I see this I want to sing, “These are a few of my favorite things!” I walked through the tents after just running five miles– spandex-clad, breathing heavily, and attempting to rehydrate — picking up loot until my fingers could hold no more. Items kept slipping through my sweaty grasp and I got tired of it. Often times one of the sponsors gives out bags to hold all the loot in, but alas, at this race that was not in the cards.

MacGyver to the rescue!

I didn’t want to return to my car or miss the award ceremony (because my friend, Jenn, won the race and I wanted to hoop and holler for her!) So I MacGyvered it. I found a discarded NutriGrain box in the trash pile left over from the mound of food set out for the runners and began pooling all of my items into it. Pens were clustered in a coozie followed by paper products and granola bars. It fit perfectly. So I walked around with a NutriGrain box on my hip, thinking nothing of it until my friend, Jenn, who incidentally was the race winner, noticed it and said, “Kelly, you’re amazing! Where did you find that box and how did you think of that?” She glanced in to see just how much stuff I had packed into my container (I am not shy when it comes to free pens!) and then said, “Please blog about this!”


Today I celebrate problem solving, creativity, and mental flexibility. But even more than that I celebrate friends who notice and laugh at my quirks and encourage me the small victories in life.


Apr 10, 2014 - Humor    No Comments

Speaking of Potty Training…

This is a real thing. Fisher Price really wants kids to celebrate using the bathroom. Not only is this an amazing product, but that hostess’ accent might be able to convince me to buy just about anything.

So I can laugh at the silly song when we pour water, but I don’t laugh at the idea behind it. That is an accomplishment and the device wants to continually remind us of that. What would the adult equivalent be? Clapping for every bill paid or every healthy meal prepared or every floor mopped?

I want a song for all my everyday celebrations! I want to make my life a musical!

But maybe not in the bathroom. I’ll leave that to the little ones.

Apr 7, 2014 - Humor    2 Comments

20 Ways to Celebrate Without Money or Food

I’m on a diet. And a budget.

So sometimes I think celebrating is pretty much out! I can’t get dessert or buy a new dress or drive to the beach without cutting back somewhere else.

But I’m determined to celebrate in life. I thought this might be a problem until I quickly listed at 20 ways to celebrate without money or food! Yes, that’s right, it is possible, here are the first 20 ways that came to mind:


1. Have a dance party. Turn on a good song and boogie. Get some movement and a peppy tune and you’ll always feel better.

2. Take a photo of your accomplishment or your face to remember how you felt!

3. Take a nap. You likely deserve it.

4. Stretch. If you’re accomplishment was physical, there is not much better than feeling muscles relax and stretch knowing they were used well!

5. Take a bubble bath.

6. Paint your toenails. And then every time you look at them be reminded of what you accomplished.

7. Share! Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Paint it on your car. Get the word out so people can celebrate with you.

8. Call a friend. If you want more interaction than “likes” for you accomplishment, share your story with someone you love and let them celebrate with you.

9. Make a new iTunes playlist. Perhaps a dance party playlist so you’re ready to celebrate with #1 next time.

10. Read. Anything. A book, a magazine, the back of the shampoo bottle. We often don’t take time to sit and read. So do it!

11. Go for a walk. Unless you just ran a marathon, then you have 19 other choices!

12. Watch a sunset. Take a mental picture of the beauty and colors.

13. Lie under the stars. Whatever your favorite natural thing is, take time to intentionally notice it.

14. Watch a movie. Preferably something where they celebrate!

15. Drive with the windows down and the tunes up! Let random strangers at stop lights know you’re winning at life.

16. Write a card to someone else who needs to celebrate. We’re in this together, we need each other to celebrate well.

17. Journal. Remind yourself what you did. I often go back and re-read my journals to relive the joy and the pain. Take time to write the celebrations too or your journals only record the tough times and aren’t a true reflection of your life.

18. Wear your favorite outfit. I saw a little girl walk into the grocery store dressed as Princess Sophia, heels and all. She didn’t care if mom had to buy bananas or bleach, she was excited about her outfit and clicked happily throughout the store. I want more of that in my life.

19. Take a moment to reflect. Even if just mentally and pat yourself on the back.

2o. Smile. You did it.

After, and only after, taking time to celebrate, may you move to the next goal!

What else could I add to this list? What other cheap and calorie-free ways to celebrate do you take advantage of?

Apr 5, 2014 - My Story    1 Comment

Celebrate More

Adulthood doesn’t always lend itself to celebrating small accomplishments.

Childhood, on the other hand, DOES!

I used to celebrate, and be celebrated for, learning to write a new letter, sing a new song, perform show and tell, and perhaps the pinnacle of celebrating that occurs in childhood, but not in adulthood… using the potty!

Could you imagine if today, every time you used the bathroom you got m&m’s, like I did when I was three?


My dentist might not like it, but it just goes to show that childhood is ripe with celebrating daily accomplishments. We used to know how to let others know about our accomplishments and celebrate and somewhere in the maturing process, we lost that skill.

I am especially terrible about NOT taking time to pat myself on the back. I am so goal-oriented that when I accomplish one thing, I immediately look for the next goal. I rarely take time to look back, remember,  or bask in my accomplishments.

I’m done with that.

I might not dole out M&Ms each time I use the potty, but I am determined to celebrate more!

Who’s with me?

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