Tag Archives: work

My little secret

8 Jan

I love wearing an outfit for the first time, and today was one of those super special days. For Christmas, my sister Macayla gave me a mauve/maroon sweater and two scarfs to match and I was waiting for the weather to turn chilly again so I could wear it.

With today’s high being the low 40’s, I couldn’t pass it up! I layered the sweater over a long, lacy black tank top and paired it was jeans and boots. Then I opted for the blue, purple and gold scarf as an accent. Can I take a moment to express my love of jeans Friday – they happen every week at my new job and you don’t even have to donate $5 or wait for payday! It’s the little things in life that excite me!

While I was styling my hair, I remembered a pair of delicate sapphire earrings I had received for my birthday one year hiding in the bottom of a jewelry box. They have slight gold trim around the gems and would match my outfit perfectly and tie everything together! I’m honestly not a big fan of gold, I don’t wear it often because I don’t like the way it looks with my coloring, but I made an exception because I love these earrings.


When it comes to earrings, I have a love-hate relationship all because of an innocent that happened when I was 4-years-old…

Way back when, when I was in pre-school, it was a few days before Christmas, and this little boy who my mom tells me was my very best friend, gave me a pair of dangly horse earrings. (Side note, my mom had my ears pierced on black Friday when I was a baby.) According to mom, I loved those earrings and wore them all the time, but I also had a tendency to tug on them. Now I don’t know if that’s because I was a little kid and didn’t know better, or if they were hurting my ears because they were heavy than the plactic studs I typically wore of teddy bears, but whatever the reason, I ended up tearing the hole in my right ear. To this day, it’s a little slit and not a nice hole like the left side, but I may be the only one (until now) who has noticed. 

So after I ripped my ear, my mom took out my earrings and let the holes heal and close. I didn’t think anything of it until I was about 10 or 11 when I discovered a pack of earrings in a desk drawer and decided to put them in the random holes in my ears. (For years I had only worn clip-on, pretend earrings.) I remember the sting of pushing through that thin layer of skin that covered over the holes and then the earring was in, and ever since, I’ve worn earrings intermittently depending on my mood. 

To this day, earrings still someetimes bother my right ear if I leave them in too long or if they are made of cheap metal or if they are too heavy. I have to be very careful selecting earrings for this reason. But the adorable sapphire earrings weigh nothing – it would be as if I was wearing no earrings at all, which has been my mood lately, I honestly just can’t be bothered to do my hair and choose cute earrings all before 9 a.m., it’s gotta be one or the other, because I am not, I repeat not, a morning person by any means. But for whatever reason, the need to feel completely put together because of my new outfit, I opted for styled hair and adorable stud earrings. 

These earrings are dainty – you look at them too strickly and I fear they will fall apart on the spot, so I was trying very hard to be careful as I put them in. I started with the right ear and it went in smoothly, I even got the teeny tiny back on on the first try. Time for the left ear….not so smoothly. As I was putting on the earring back, it went on crooked and got stuck. Slightly panicked, I tried to remove the back for 10 minutes and even consider waking up my sister, who was the only other person home at the time, to help me, but I didn’t think she would appreciate that very much, so I lovingly let her continue to sleep.

FINALLY, I got the back off and removed the earring to give my ear a moment to breathe. There was no way I was going to go another round with that earring back and risk the same thing happening all over again. I removed the other earring and started searching for a different set of backs that would work. No such luck. The backs I found wouldn’t fit and I was running out of time before I needed to leave for work.

That’s when I remembered, my mom once told me that she had lost an earring back while at work, and instead of taking out the earrings, she simply used a piece of eraser to hold the earring in place until she got home. GENIUS! I  ran for my desk and found a pencil with an unused eraser that I proceeded to cut into quarters. Taking two of the circles, I used them as makeshift, comfortable and secure earring backs. Best part… no one at work was the wiser! It was my little secret!


Do you have a hack for creating custom, comfortable and hidden earring backs? Tell me all about it in the comments below!


Christmas decorations, work and happy faces

2 Dec

For as far back as I can remember, I have always loved Christmas decoration! The last few years I have enjoyed decorating my office space at the hospital with window clings, garlands and lights. But now I have a new job, no window and a cubical in the middle of the public space. I began missing my old office and its beautiful decorations. How was I going to make my new space festive and joyful for the 40 hours I am here every week?!

The answer came a week before Thanksgiving when our front receptionist (who is my work BFF and is also new to our office) began clearing out a cluttered closet. A short while later an email went out stating everything sitting in the hallway was up for grabs and if it was still there Friday it would find a new home at Goodwill. Curiosity got the better of me, after all the hallway in question is a mere two feet from my cubical. And much to my surprise, I found these little gems waiting for me among all the junk!

For about a week and a half they sat all alone on top of my cabinets. Every time I looked up they made me smile, but I was still lacking that warm fuzzy feeling of decorated offices past. And so I tempted Mother Nature’s hand and hung some snowflake ornaments that I also rescued from the hallway! My space was instantly made-over into a glittery Winter Wonderland!

And yet, something was still missing. Lights, I needed twinkle lights! So on an evening run to Walmart for a space heater for my desk (did I mention my office FEELS like a Winter Wonderland because it’s FREEZING?!), I bought some multicolor indoor-outdoor Christmas lights for my desk! I held off putting them up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had grand plans of waiting until December 1st, but I was excited to see how it would look!

Finally, it feels like Christmas when I sit at my desk, space heater keeping my toes cozy while I sip on steaming hot chocolate.

The Christmas spirt is catching, the receptionist decorated the front office beautifully after she saw my creation! Everyone who walks into our office now comments on how inviting we’ve made the space look!

And to top it off, our Secret Santa gift exchange began this week – we’re doing it a little differently than I’m use to, doing one gift a week until the week of December 17th when we have our office party and big reveal. I’m use to dedicating one week to giving gifts with the reveal on that Friday. Oh well – this keeps the excitement going all month long I guess, and my first gift was waiting on my chair when I came back from a brisk walk during lunch on Monday!

I’ve kept my own Secret Santa in suspense for a couple days wondering when it will appear. Now I have to find a sneaky time to get it into their mailbox when no one is watching! I think it turned out cute and rustic! I hope they’ll like it! I put together a matching one for mom’s Secret Santa gift at her work, too!

How’s the Christmas Spirit where you work? Are you overly excited to decorate like me, or are you more of a Scrooge?


Wordless Wednesday – 9/30/15

30 Sep

Lunchtime doodles.  


Bitter-sweet Friday

14 Aug

Today is Friday, a bitter-sweet Friday. This morning I unlocked the doors to my office at the hospital for the last time. I clocked in for my last shift as a hospital employee in my office that is empty of all personal artifacts and signs that I was ever here. Today I will set out instructions and information for my replacement. At 3:00 PM today, I will close one chapter and begin to open a new and exciting one. These past three years have taught me so much about myself and brought to light dreams, goals, ambitions I didn’t know I had. I was privileged to work with some amazing people – together we laughed, cried and celebrated with each other; they are my work family and I will miss them the most. A hospital setting was never where I saw myself long term, but I am thankful for all of the experiences and lessons I’ve had. Life is about transitions and growing and stepping outside of our comfort zones, and I am eager to see where life’s journey takes me next! For those curious to know where I will be transitioning, I will reveal all soon, but for now, I’m not telling.

Missing – One Promise Ring

19 Feb

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t envision myself digging through the work bathroom garbage, but there I was, not even 11:00 A.M., a feeling of unease in my stomach. My beautiful promise ring was missing from my left pinky finger.

The ring, a Christmas gift from my boyfriend of nearly a year and a half, had been on my finger 24/7 since I opened it with the exception of exercising and showering.

Why on my pinky finger you ask – because it is just ever so slightly too small for my ring finger, which means it is also ever so slightly too big for my pinky. Over the last couple of months I’ve learned to keep my pinky and ring finger close together to hold my ring in place, and I check a hundred or so times a day to ensure it’s still there.

Today, however, I was distracted. I was putting together a giveaway bag of goodies for a third grader we were going to take a picture of that afternoon. Her class at school had designed their Valentine’s Day boxes after the major businesses in the town and there was an open house presentation. My boss thought it would be nice to take her something as a way to thanks for designing a great box! (And the box really was fantastic, looked very much like the hospital where we work.)

So there my boss and I were in our basement closet digging through boxes of giveaways, looking for anything that would remotely interest a third grade girl. We dug around, moving boxes of odds and ends out of our way until we found chapstick, a night light, pens, water bottle, first aid kid (don’t worry, I took out the antiseptic cream and only left the band-aids), note pads, and t-shirt. At one point, a box that was precariously balanced on top of three or four other boxes fell to the ground, scattering its contents everywhere. Thinking nothing of it, I stooped to clean up the mess, depositing the box, albeit a bit more securely, back on the stack. It was at this point we decided we had enough goodies to give the girl.

Feeling the dirt and grim on my hands from digging though countless boxes, I headed for the bathroom to clean my hands. There I was, scrubbing my hands, thinking of the conversation the boyfriend and I had had that morning, just smiling like a happy, in-love fool. It wasn’t until I threw away my paper towel that I noticed something was wrong.

My finger FELT lighter, more exposed. A sinking feeling wrapped itself around my heart. My ring was gone. My world stopped turning. My breathing came rapidly. Despair was sinking in. I was desperate to find my ring.

I’ve lost other things over the years, and yes those times were hard, but nothing compared to this pit in my stomach feeling. But losing my ring was different. He had given it to me. A symbol of how much he loved me and I had carelessly lost it. The  sentimental attachment I have with my ring can’t be replaced – it represents where and how we met, falling in love and overcoming the physical distance between us, hardship, obstacles and everything we’ve faced together and everything life has yet to throw at us.

I did the only thing I could think to do – normally a germaphobe, I reached into that bathroom trash bin with both hands. Praying my ring had slipped off while drying my hands, I opened every crinkled paper towel and laid it out on the floor. When at last the bin was empty, and my worst fear confirmed, no ring at the bottom, I scoped everything up and redeposited it in the bin. After washing my hands in double time, I check my pockets, maybe just maybe, as I took the stairs two at a time up to my office. Empty, as I expected them to be.

The giveaway bag. My ring HAS to be inside. I head for my boss’ office and with a heavy heart tell her my ring is missing. I search the bag, and it too comes up empty. I am near hysterics, it could be ANYWHERE, I’m not even sure when I last REMEMBER seeing it on my finger.

At my boss’ suggestion, we return to the basement closet to retrace our steps. Her optimism helps, it has to be here somewhere. We ended up taking every box I touched out to our conference table to thoroughly search. We decided it had to have fallen into a box because neither of us had heard it clank to the ground.

And she was right. At the bottom of the box where I had dug looking for pencils and chapsticks, I found my beautiful, silver ring hidden under some discarded papers. The rush of joy and thankfulness I felt at that precise moment can’t be expressed in words. For the remainder of the day, I looked at my left hand every five to ten minutes just to make sure my ring was in fact still on my finger, and that is where it currently still is, safe and sound.


Valentine’s Day Office Party Invitation

27 Jan

I love when I can use my creativity at work! After the success of our Christmas party, it was decided we needed to have more office parties.

And so, my boss sent me a “top secret” email with the details for our Valentine’s Day party asking me to come up with an invitation.

And for being a Monday morning, I think it turned out awesome! 20140127-191641.jpg I may be a little bias, but I think my little poem rocks! And it only took me three minutes to come up – the hardest line being how to incorporate sign-up to bring food, which funny enough, was the line my boss loved the most!

Then to make it pretty, added a couple photos and a border in Adobe’s InDesign.

I should have taken a video of my boss “delivering” the little invitations, she was so excited, giddy may be a more appropriate word!

Now it’s time to get planning, I may have lost the ugly Christmas Sweater contest because mine became too “cute,” but I’m counting on that particular “skill” to rock the Valentine’s box decorating contest. Plans are already underway – pictures will probably be posted after the party.

In the meantime, send all your hearts, flowers, Cupids and flower inspirations/thoughts my way.

“Sorry, I’m Deborah.”

22 Jan

**This is the true account of an encounter that happened at work yesterday, however names have been changed to protect the individuals’ identities.

This week at work I have had the opportunity to shadow other departments in the hospital. My job was simple – write down everything they were saying to patients so that we (meaning the managers) could work on more unified scripting for the departments.

On this particular morning I was on the second floor of the hospital shadowing our concierges, Juan* and Morgan*,  in the surgery wing. I watched as they brought the patients checking-in for surgery to their rooms and helped them get settled and explained about the (awful) hospital gowns, nurse call light/TV remote, etc. Once everyone was settled, the concierge would offer a warm blanket to the patient and coffee to the waiting family members.

Every 10 – 15 minutes, they would make a sweep of the floor just to make sure everyone was still comfortable and didn’t need anything. It was during one of these sweeps, my world turned on its axis.

Juan approached room number 12. The curtain was pulled 3/4 of the way across the door. From where I was waiting in the hallway, I could only see the family member. Juan knocked, entered and introduced who I was and explained I was there to shadow him.

Upon hearing my name is Mariah, the family member immediately turns and stares at me. 

[Long pause]

  Her: “What’s your last name?”

I told her.

Her: “I know your parents.”

Me: “Oh?”

Her: “Yeah, Robert* and Cathy*.”

Juan: “Wow. You must really look like one of your parents.”

Me: “No, I’m really the perfect mix of both of them. I don’t think I resemble one more than the other. How do you know my parents?”

Her: “I don’t know many Mariahs and I use to work with them at the restaurant. Have you every heard of  it?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve grown up hearing stories about the restaurant my entire life.” 

Juan finishes talking with the patient and exits the room

Me: “Oh, you didn’t tell me your name.” [sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, please don’t say Deborah]

Her: “Sorry, I’m Deborah*.”


Now, without some background information, this little encounter means nothing. So let’s start from the beginning. I have heard about this woman my entire life, but until yesterday, I had never met her.

You see, she was one of my dad’s old girlfriends. Before he met my mom, they went out a few times. And yes, they did all work at the same restaurant together in the good old days. According to the stories from my mom, she and Deborah were friendly until Deborah discovered my mom and dad were dating. [It’s important to mention Deborah already had a new significant other at the time.]

Most of the stories I’ve heard growing up were about things she did that annoyed my dad — things she said or the way in which they were said. I’ve only grown up hearing said stories because if you ask my dad, every now and then, I will say something, or do something that reminds him of her. For years I’ve asked him to describe it so I’d know what it was I did, but he said it’s something that indescribable.

Lovely, I have some weird trait that can’t be explained.

Honestly, what are the odds that I would be shadowing that department, on the exact same day and at the exact same time, while she was there waiting on a family member, friend or loved one to have surgery? Honestly, a daughter should never unexpectedly meet one of her father’s exs, it’s just WEIRD. But to give her credit, she didn’t seem to hold any ill-will towards either of them, that or she hid it well… something I’d rather not think on.

And now I’ve met her. And what bugs me the most is that she knew exactly who I was based on my name, while I was left guessing who she was until she mentioned working at the restaurant, because then I had a gut feeling I knew exactly who I was speaking to. And after retelling the odd encounter to my parents on the drive home from work, two questions came to mind:

  1. How in the world did she know what my parents named me? (As I mentioned above, she stopped speaking to them when they started dating.)
  2. Who is crazy enough to remember the name of an ex’s child (whom you’ve never met) 25 years later?

Sometimes I wonder how I find myself in these odd situations, then I remind myself my life and blog would be terribly boring if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. Besides, this will be one of those fun stories to tell my future grandchildren.

“Have I ever told you about the time I met one of your great-grandfather’s ex-girlfriends…..”