2017 Year in Review: First Occupational Therapist Job, New Last Name

Something brought me back to this blog after about a 7 month long hiatus. I felt as cliche as it is to begin something fresh on the upcoming New Year, that  this was exactly what I needed to do to reignite the passion I have for writing for myself. An opportunity to   r e m e m b e r,      r e f l e c t,      r e w i n d,     and     r e v i e w   on past events. A way to capture the moment through words and pictures in order to look back on everyday life activities that seem to run together day after day in search for the weekend. Year 2017, for me, can be described in two words…


“Life Changes”


After graduating from occupational therapy graduate school in December 2016, I began my first job as an occupational therapist in an acute inpatient rehab unit at a small hospital on January 9, 2017! Hashtag adulting. It is quite the transition from seated school work to fieldwork to actually working 40 – 50 hours a week. The added challenge for me that first month was trying to be on top of my career responsibilities in addition to studying for my OT boards while working on a temporary license.


IMG_3457.jpgIn February – Praise the good Lord I passed the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)! —> Shannen Weyer, OTR/L

I also enjoyed attending James’s medical school gala ball with him and some of our friends.



March came and went. I set a goal to run for enjoyment again. I ended up signing up for my first half marathon and winning (First Female Overall)  at Auburn’s Running Festival Finish on the 50 race in 01:34:42 so that was fun!!! The race kept me humble though because a 12 year old boy literally sprinted past me at the end haha:)

Some of my OT school friends and I celebrated Kristen’s wedding on March 25th in New Orleans. That was quite a night to remember!

In March I also published my first article for New Grad Occupational Therapy —>  6 Awesome Tips for Your First OT Job  !


April is National Donate Life Month. I changed the status on my Driver’s License in order to become an organ donor. If you are curious about what signing up to be an organ donor entails or if you would like to donate to an important cause click here for the National Donate Life Website.

My sweet bridesmaid Montana hosted my bridal shower at her house. I am thankful for all of my bridesmaids for planning this day. I felt very special and loved. Also they are too clever (sunflower seeds for party favors)!!

April is also Occupational Therapy Month and I would be a terrible OT if I forgot to mention this awesome profession celebrating its 100th birthday!!! #AOTACentennial




I turned 24 on May 13th. I cried because Marian who was my biggest mentor (even though she was a physical therapist – also she was born on May 13th too) since OT school left our hospital to do travel therapy in Georgia. At the end of May my mom and I celebrated a dear friend since high school on her wedding day.


My love for the geriatric population continues outside the walls of hospitals. With some of my closest friends and bridesmaids we ventured to Destin, Florida for my bachelorette weekend. It was too much fun and I will never forget when a group of older men chatted and took a picture with us! Also, these girls know how to plan a party.

I had the pleasure of serving and facilitating quality of life, meaningfulness, and acceptance for a patient who had Stage IV who I will honestly never forget;  He was a husband, dad, and so much more. In our occupational therapy sessions in addition to maximizing his comfort and ability to participate in his self care ADL skills, part of his OT session was dedicated to helping him create a “Legacy Book” of letters, pictures, and other trinkets to provide him with the ability to gift his family with something that they can revisit and appreciate. In his words “you have given me something that I have control of… something I can give to others, something this disease can not take from me”. A month later, I attended his funeral; although his life was cut short by this devastating disease, his memory, story, and legacy continues to live on.

Also in June was my dear friend Joanna’s wedding which I unfortunately could not attend but wasn’t she beautiful!!!!


My coworkers threw me a shower as well. They came up with creative games and put a lot of effort into it! Area of occupation —> Social Participation FIM Level 5 Standby Prompting necessary


FOREVER JAMMEN WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best month of the year leading up to the best day of the year – July 15, 2017.

I really don’t have words to sum up how much I want to relive this day over and over again. When I reflect on our honeymoon that James planned to Key West, I just want to jump back on a plane and go back!


14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.    Colossians 3:14 – 20


Surprise, we went to another wedding!!! One of my old college cross country/track teammates got married to one of my pre-occupational therapy friends!! It was a lovely wedding and our first wedding to attend as a married couple.

Also, in August we had car trouble but my Red Thunder and James’s car rallied and overcame the nonsense. It was not a fun time since we both were without a car for a little while but now honestly we just laugh and think about how it really was not that bad.

James began his third year of medical school aka rotations year. His first rotation was OBGYN and he was blessed to help deliver a bunch of little babies. He’s basically the cutest doctor to be.


My boss told me about a national slogan contest for Kindred Healthcare a few months prior. I didn’t think too hard about it and came up with a short slogan that actually was chosen as Kindred Healthcare’s national slogan for Rehabilitation Awareness Week.  National Rehabilitation Week is a nationwide celebration to educate people about the benefits of rehabilitation and the capabilities of people with disabilities which is sponsored by National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation (NRAF).

In September, my friend – physical therapist coworker and I went to Charlotte, North Carolina for an 8 hour continuing education course in Neuroplasticity and Stroke Rehab. We had a blast and really learned a lot!! Bilateral hand functional tasks < unilateral tasks…


October is Physical Therapy month and I wrote a little something something for NewGradOccupationalTherapy.com that ended up getting over 40,000 views (idk how) but if you’re curious click here to view “What Do Its ACTUALLY Do? Physical Therapy Myths Debunked”

Thomas Rhett: Home Team Tour 2017 at MS Gulf Coast with my best friend Ashton, check!! The best part was that it was actually the 14th of October…

Halloween is a serious holiday since James and I began dating. We knew we had to step up our game as our first married Halloween. Needless to say, Grinchmas came early this year… Love, Martha May and the… the… the.. THE GRINCH! NOW PUCKER UP AND KISS IT WHOVILLE!




November wrapped up with a great Thanksgiving with my new set of parents and family on the Coley side!!


Auburn didn’t win the SEC Championships, but I won with these friends!!!!!

James and I spent our first married Christmas in Biloxi! We may have indulged a little too much in some holiday food and at the Beau Rivage…

We watched the Saints win from our awesome seats, WHO DAT!!!!!

Wrapped up 2017 in NOLA which is one of James and my favorite places to visit annually. We visited the little antique shop which inspired my engagement ring 🙂 and we stayed at the beautiful Royal Sonesta.

Last wedding of 2017 in Mobile to celebrate two very much in love individuals. We enjoyed witnessing Christ’s love shining through the sacrament of holy matrimony!

Cheers to new beginnings in 2018!! 2017 you will be so very hard to top! ALSO THESE CHRISTIMAS FAMILY PICS by my friend and bridesmaid Anna are my life!!

stay mOTivated,


“For last year’s

words belong

to last year’s language

and next year’s

words await

another voice.”

-T.S. Elliot



Reflecting on 2016 and Recharging for 2017


2016 was a whirlwind for me.

Rang in the 2016 New Year with my family in Epcot along with everyone else in the world, the park was filled to max capacity!


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Wrote my first blog post out of frustration, necessity, and determination to advocate for DO and OT after one too many individuals questioned whether osteopathic physicians are “real doctors” and since half of my friends were convinced that I was just going to occupational therapy graduate school in order to help people find jobs. Here is my first blog post ever inspired by my fiance and his classmates on their way to becoming osteopathic physcians.    If you are interested in OT or have no idea what it is, click here.


Finished an exhausting but exciting last semester of OT school in the classroom. Praise to be to God- no more research although I loved my group.

Watched my little brother graduate from high school across the same stage I walked across years prior,

Completed a long, mentally taxing, but rewarding 12 weeks at an outpatient pediatric clinic for my first Level 2 OT fieldwork. Learned a lot about myself, found a new appreciation for parents of special needs kids, and increased my tolerance on caffeine. Curious to what OP peds is like through an OT lens, click here.

Became engaged to my college sweetheart who thoughtfully proposed to me in the most meaningful way -also he picked the loveliest antique ring out himself- we only went ring shopping once and that was a year and a half prior to the date we got engaged!- Who knew that the then 18-year-old boy in my freshman bio class would not only be my biology tutor, but also my husband! Click here to read “Our Story”.

asked six beautiful friends to be my bridesmaids,

mini vacation to Orlando with my parents and my uncle and aunt from Northern Ireland and their two princesses -saw Disney world through the lens of a captivated 3-year-old, priceless-


spent three months in Auburn and was convinced to move there because of my person, the people of Auburn, my experience at my 12 week second Level 2 fieldwork in an inpatient rehab/SNF setting, and the city itself, went out of my comfort zone to give a 45 min presentation to Auburn University’s Pre-OT/PT club eek, joined a weekly bible study with 20+ kindhearted girls, Click to read about my experience in an inpatient rehab setting.

adopted a grumpy 3-year-old cat whom at the time James and I didn’t know he was a Scottish Fold Hemingway cat (folded ears, and has six toes!!)

Coley/Seidel Thanksgiving

survived and thrived at my first Seidel/Coley Thanksgiving -James has a really large, but really loving family,

accepted my first real OT job offer in an acute inpatient rehab hospital  where I get the pleasure to work in a unit that is newly renovated, provides me with mentorship, and is staffed by a number of awesome physicians, physical therapists and assistants, occupational therapists and assistants, speech therapists, social workers, nurses, and care assistants,


presented my final case poster and graduated with my Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy with my Class of 2016 -2 and a 1/2 years of continuous grad school, check,

hosted James for his first Weyer/Cyr Christmas,

a month of relaxing, hanging out with my family, somewhat studying for my national  OT boards exam (please help me God),  reconnecting with high school friends that I hadn’t seen in quite awhile, wedding planning, and running down the beaches of the MS Gulf Coast.

2016 was awesome, but I am ready for 2017 and to begin my career as an occupational therapist and marry my fiancé!! I am not one to make crazy resolutions but I do have a few things I anticipate doing this new year.

2017 aspirations…

  • Be more confident in myself and say “no” more often.

  • Call my grandparents once a week and tell them about my day.

  • Learn to enjoy running again without feeling the pressure to run the times when I was running collegiately.

  • Sign up and complete a half marathon.

  • Pass my National OT boards exam. This one is a have to.. so not really an aspiration.

  • Seek mentorship and be my personal best entry level therapist without forgetting that it is okay to ask for help.

  • Be a mentor to undergraduate students who are interested in OT.

  • Be more patient with myself and others.

  • Be present, instead of worrying about the next step on my to do list.

  • Eat more whole foods. Including choosing specialty coffee drinks without syrups. sigh.

  • Write and submit an article for the OT practice magazine.

Cheers to 2017!!

I’d love to hear your goals for 2017! Comment below!

stay mOTivated,