Archive for January 2012

I'm alive

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yes, I am alive!  Sorry the blog posting has been nonexistent here lately.  I've been getting back into the swing of things at school, trying to get organized, motivated, and on track for the semester.  While I'm not particularly loving my Sociology class, I'm trying to make the best of it.  This is the last general education class I will EVER have to take.  Let me just tell you, that is an AMAZING feeling!  The last class I'll have to write a paper for, the last non-major-related education...amazing I tell you!  Amazing!  Other than that the semester seems like it should be fairly smooth.  I would say easy, but well that would just not be wise.

Our big project this year is very organized and fairly straight forward.  We are designing a building downtown into a proposed new school of art and design for HPU.  I'm actually pretty excited about it because we get to design our dream learning environment.  There have been various things I would have liked to have or changed over the last four years, and the opportunity to propose those options is really fun!  While I don't think High Point will choose any of our designs or actually buy this building, we still get the opportunity to get our ideas out there and possibly have them incorporated into a future building.  Norton has simply outgrown the art majors and we need a bigger space.  Nido will most likely build a new building, but having the school of art and design located in the heart of Market would be invaluable to us design majors.  We'll see what comes of it, but I'm excited for the project and ready to dive in and get started.

For now, life is pretty much the same as last semester.  I'm helping Jessica Deen lead a bible study on campus, which I'm really excited about.  This Wednesday will be my first night teaching.  Fingers crossed it will go well (could use your prayers!).  I'm also job searching full force now.  If I can find something in the DC/Virginia area, Jessica and I are going to get an apartment together.  I had been looking in North Carolina, but so many designers have told me to go to D.C.  Honestly, living with Jessica sounds really fun and after visiting VA I got really excited about possibly living there. I don't know where God is going to take me, but I just keep trekking along and getting my resume out everywhere possible.

My goal for the semester is to enjoy every minute of my last semester and finish with a bang!  Graduation is like 95 days away! Crazzzy!

I promise I'll get back to my regular blogging very soon!

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Meet Dorothy's Kids

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I meant to make this post when I got back from Haiti, but better late than never right?  Dorothy has 27 kids living with her right now and I made it a point to learn all of their names as fast as I could.  Knowing their names not only helped keep control, but it also made them feel special that a guest knew their name.  I remembered some of them from my last trip and when I called them by their name their faces lit up. It is such a simple thing to learn someone's name but an important one nonetheless.  To help me not forget their names, and help you learn these beautiful kids by their names, let me introduce you to Dorothy's kids:

Aaron. 
 Angel.
 Biguerson.
 Cassandra.
 Christian.
 Claude.
 Claudine.
 Emmanuella.
 Fred.
 Frontzo.
 Gerdeline.
 Ismael.
 Johnny.
 Lovensky.
 Mackendy aka Mackenzie.
 Mawens.
 MayLove (pronounced MyLove)
 Myson.
 Poutchino.
 Richardson aka Sha Sha.
 Rosa.
 RoseMichel.
 Son Son.
 Taina.
 Tamara.
 Wilmerson.
Wilson.

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New Look

Friday, January 20, 2012

I decided it was time to update the look of my blog.  I changed the title not long ago, and thought my old design was a bit out dated as well; it was the original design I made when I started this blog.    The new look is more me.  Anyone who knows me (especially my design friends) knows how much I love grey and yellow. It is by far my favorite color combination, so I thought it was only appropriate to design my blog around it.  I think it looks pretty good, what do you think?

All my blogging friends out there, do you know how to adjust the positioning of the blog title and description? I can change the size, font, color, etc but I cannot get it move up or down.  If you know how, please help me out!

Well I'm off to hang out with some friends at Erin and Stephen's! Enjoy the new look until then.

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Thank You

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I got my thank you cards out this week, which means an official end to my Haiti journey this month.  As I looked through the pictures trying to choose which ones to share with everyone, I was reminded again of how amazing our trip was.  I have been missing those kids, Dorothy, and Haiti every day since I've returned.  While it was not easy being away from home, I felt that Haiti was where God wanted me and that is a feeling you simply can't understand until you've experienced it.  I have felt for years that God was calling me to do full or long-term missions in Haiti. I've thrown the idea around getting various input the past few years, but was still not certain if it was where God wanted me. I went into this trip open and willing to listen to His calling.   I was not sure before our trip of what God wanted me to get out of it.  All I knew was that He wanted me there and I had to go.  Now being on the other side, I can say with certainty that God called me to Haiti this year to replenish and strengthen my love for the people there, and to confirm that missions in Haiti will be a definite part of my future.  I still do not know God's full plans.  I don't know if it's meant to be a full time deal, a long term trip, or if I'm simply meant to travel there as often as possible.  All I know is that there is a love and passion for Haiti in my heart that I couldn't deny even if I tried.  I'm not sure when my next trip will be, but I can promise you it will be as soon as I can.  I simply cannot describe my love for that place and the kids at Dorothy's.  Where, when, and what God wants me to do in Haiti I'm still not sure of, but I'm continually praying that His will, will be done.

For those of you tuning into my blog to read more about my trip, welcome!  There are lots of posts you can read about our time in Haiti.  For now, I want to take a few moments to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting our trip.  The love and support that was showered on both Cassie and I was absolutely incredible.  We learned we have a much larger support system than we ever took the time to appreciate.  Your prayers and financial gifts allowed me to follow God's calling and I cannot express my gratitude enough for that.  Trips like these as a student would be next to impossible without support.  Thank you for believing in me enough to help send me to Haiti and follow God's calling.  Thank you for supporting Dorothy and her orphanage.  Thank you for allowing us to bless Dorothy, the kids, and her staff.  I've said it a hundred times, but thank you!  As I said before this trip was incredible and truly blessed Cassie and I in ways we did not expect.

To read more about our trip click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Thank you again!!

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Check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recently the traffic on my blog has picked up quite a bit.  Thank you so much! I love knowing people out there are reading and enjoying the stuff I write.  Please keep reading, and suggest my page to others! To make things a little easier on the blog, I installed a new commenting system.  Before, you had to register and go through all these hoops just to leave me a comment.  It was frustrating, I know, and I'm sorry, but thanks for the comments you did leave!  Now, all you have to do is hit comment and write it out, just as you would on facebook!  There is also a like/dislike button you can click for each blog post, which will give me great feedback on your favorite posts and what I should write more about!  This will also make it much easier for me to respond to your comments quickly and keep everything organized!  I'm hoping this will make it so easy for you that you have no excuse not to comment!  I love to read your feedback, but more importantly I need your feedback!!!  Please comment or at least vote on if you like the post or not, it only takes a second.

***Correction:  You have to enter your email address on the new commenting system.  That is still easier than signing up, signing in, doing a word verification, and submitting.  At least it's down to one step.  Sorry about that!***

On another note, I realized the other day I am almost up to 6,500 blog views!  Wow! Thank you so much, I was at 5,000 not long ago.  I'm considering doing some type of giveaway for my 10,000 view mark.  I haven't decided what it's going to be yet, but I'll let you know!  That'll make you keep reading :)!  But seriously, I'm highly considering some type of giveaway.  Any ideas?? Leave me a comment!

Happy Wednesday!

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Video of the day: Driving in Haiti

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here's one more video we took in Haiti.  As you'll see below, driving in Haiti was definitely an experience.  The roads were less than smooth (even the paved ones), their driving laws were not enforced, and people drove when and where they pleased.  I considered driving in Haiti a bit like a roller coaster.  Not only do you get the ups, downs, and shaking you'd expect on a roller coaster, but you never know what's around the next corner.  This video is a clip of a very easy intersection to drive through.  We went through one area while sight-seeing where we had to inch our way through the crowds of people while combating other cars.  On our way to the airport the last day we were at a four-way intersection and needed to cross four "lanes" of traffic to go straight while everyone else was trying to go in every other direction.  We got stuck in the middle and my life flashed before me a couple of times. I learned it was best to just take a deep breath and trust Samuel, our driver.  He asked me one day if his driving made me nervous and I had to explain that while I trusted him, I was very unsure of the other drivers on the road.  I knew he had control of the car, but I was not so sure how good the people around us could drive.  It was a lot of fun and a bit scary at times.  The back roads were always sure to impress with their large bumps, dips, and hills.  Here take a look at an intersection on a paved road:


Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!
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Did it make you nervous? I told you it was an adventure! And that was an easy intersection!  It's definitely an experience everyone should go through.  

Happy Monday!

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Video of the day: New Years in Haiti

Monday, January 16, 2012

As you know from my previous blog posts, Cassie and I spent New Years watching the fireworks from Dorothy's roof.  She had warned us that it would sound like we were in the middle of a war zone, so we stayed up to see!  After playing countless children's board games in our room to keep ourselves awake, we finally went up to the roof.  The first few seconds of the video are looking out over the mountain from Dorothy's roof.  At midnight it all lit up at once with fireworks. It was amazing!  We basically got to see 100's of firework shows all at once.  The video doesn't quite do it justice, but it was incredible!  Then our neighbors started shooting off their fireworks.  It was really an amazing night and New Years!

This is where we were standing during this video.  The mountains directly ahead are the one's I referred to above and then to the far right is where the neighbors started shooting. (click on the picture for a larger view)


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Video of the day (from Haiti)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

While Cassie and I were in Haiti, we learned very quickly that we could basically set our watches by the kids.  Every morning between 5:30-6:00am we would wake up to them screaming/crying.  It never failed, they were always right on time!  Thank goodness we brought earplugs with us because as soon as they started up, we'd roll over, pop the earplugs in and sleep for another 2 hours or so.  Here, have a listen to what we woke up to every morning.  Sorry it's so dark, we hadn't turned the generator on yet that morning so there was no light in the hallway.  Enjoy!


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Haha like I said, thank God for earplugs!!!! We love those kids though and miss them so much already.  I would be willing to wake up to that every morning!  Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

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Picture Highlights

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip to Haiti.  You can see all of them on my facebook, and I will try to set up a virtual album tomorrow.  Later this week I've got some videos we took while in Haiti to give you a little closer glimpse into our trip.  For now, enjoy these pictures!

 Us with the kids on the first day.
 The most beautiful views of the sunset from Dorothy's roof.
 Me and Johnny.
 Cassie and Aaron.
 Me and Taina.
 Me and Lovensky.
 Have I mentioned how much I love this little boy?
 View of Haiti.
 Us and Dorothy at the mountain overlook.
 Me and Cassie at the overlook.
 That incredible view I told you about.
 Johnny again- gotta love that little fish face!
 Me and Sha Sha.
 Wilson.
 Me with the older kids after their pizza night.
 Cassie and Fred.
Us with the younger kids after their pizza night.
My favorite picture of us from the trip!

We had the most incredible time!  I cannot thank you all enough for your support during our trip!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  I miss all these little guys so much!

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Home

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We made it!  After a long 12 hours of traveling and waiting in airports, Cassie and I made it home!  Our flights all went smoothly and our layover times went by quickly.  We almost made a huge mistake by not getting our bags to recheck after going through customs here, but we caught ourselves and solved that problem.  We really did not hit any delays or problems and our bags made it safely.  Thank you Lord!!!

Our trip was absolutely amazing.  As I sit at home tonight, I can't help but miss Haiti already.  Don't get me wrong, I love being home and am glad to be back, but I do miss it.  Those kids grab your heart in a way you can't imagine without experiencing it.  Haiti really is a beautiful country and the work Dorothy is doing is incredible.  I'm still trying to figure out God's plan for my life, which I think was His sole intention for this trip.  While I don't know everything yet or fully understand it all, I think Haiti will be in His future plans for me.  I don't know what He wants me to do there, how long He wants me there, or anything like that, but God has put a special place in my heart for Haiti.  It won't be long before Cassie and I both go back!

A little update on Dorothy's house:  We went house hunting with her on Monday and found a very nice place she could use.  It would allow the kids to have their own floor with separate spaces for boys and girls which she needs.  It also allowed her to have her own little apartment like area as well as a large gathering space for guests of the kids to play.  I think we all thought she would be moving there the next day.  When we called the owner however, he wanted $48,000 a year for the house aka $4000 a month, which was outrageous!  Dorothy could only afford to do $1000 a month and he was not having it.  Needless to say we all got a little stressed, especially Dorothy, trying to figure out what to do within the next five days.  Later that afternoon Gladys, the landlord for Dorothy's current house stopped by.  She had met with the Mayor and he agreed to not tear into her home, only to remove the exterior surrounding wall.  While this still means some light construction, Dorothy and the kids can stay in their house!!!  They will make one wall of the house part of the new exterior wall, which will mean losing a few windows and some outside space, but that's only a small price to pay.  I cannot tell you how excited we, and especially Dorothy, were to get this news.  She can stay in her house!! Praise God!! Thank you all for your prayers, God was truly watching over this situation for her!

For now, I am enjoying the amenities of home.  A hot shower was incredible tonight and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  I've got to head back to school tomorrow, but I'm enjoying my last little bit of time off.  Final semester of college here I come!

Will you please keep my job interview in your prayers?  This could be a huge opportunity and I could use all the prayers I can get.

Thank you all again for your support and prayers for our trip. We could not have done it without you!

Pictures from our trip to come soon!!

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In need of your prayers!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Yesterday was a fairly quiet day around here.  We played with the kids, ran some errands, and took a nice afternoon nap.  It wasn't until after we woke up that our day became interesting.  At some point during our nap, the Mayor of Port au Prince came by Dorothy's house and wrote "8 days to demolition" on her outside wall.  You see, Dorothy's house sticks out a little further into the street and the Mayor does not like that.  He wants to tear it down, along with the other protruding houses, to widen the road.  This was an issue last time I visited, but the homeowner was able to have it delayed for a while.  Dorothy was under the impression that things were still clear, but apparently the Mayor has other thoughts.  If they decide to tear it down, they will not only take her gate but go straight through her living room and part of the dining room as well as some of the outside space.  This would pose a HUGE safety and security risk for her and the kids.  There is no telling how this house is built and what would happen structurally if they took part of it down.  This means that Dorothy either has to find a new place to live or hope the homeowner can get things pushed off again.  This is a very unsettling and scary time for Dorothy.  These kids are in her care and she wants to provide them with the best possible environment she can.  However, she has got the most amazing faith.  She knows God did not put her here and bring the kids to her to be destroyed by the removal of part of her house.  She is trusting that God will show her the way and if a move is in His plans, she is ready and willing.  Will you please join me and Cassie in our prayers for her.  Pray that God will provide another home in a nice neighborhood that she can afford and will fit her needs for the children.  Will you please pray that she would have peace of mind during this time.  Please pray that the homeowner can at least have the demolition delayed long enough to allow Dorothy to find another place to live and time to pack.  Pray for their safety and that they will find a place soon.  I know Dorothy is worried, and could use all the prayers she can get!  Please pass this along to anyone you know and ask them to uplift Dorothy during this time.  She needs to find a new house soon so she can get settled without the worry of having her house torn down.  If you'd like to make a donation to help her out you can go to her blog and there are directions on how to make a donation on the right side of that page under finances.  Please keep her in your prayers!

I also have a couple of personal prayer requests.  Our time here in Haiti is coming to an end.  Will you please keep Cassie and I in your prayers.  Pray for our safe and timely travels, for the strength to say goodbye, and for the rest of our time here.  I know saying goodbye will be hard and we can always use prayers when it comes to flying.    I also got an interview lined up with a design firm in Winston Salem on Friday.  Will you please pray for me as I go through that process.  Pray that God's will will be done and that I will have the right words to say.  This could be an amazing opportunity for me, and a job after graduation.  I ask that you would please keep me in your prayers.

Other than that, everything is going well here.  We are making pizzas with the kids tonight and going to Epidor tomorrow.  Our day tomorrow will be filled with lots of packing and loving on the kids.  See you on Tuesday!

This one's for you mom!


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Megan Steele

Saturday, January 7, 2012

So I realized the other day, I never finished my blog posts about my best friends.  I was on a roll for a while, but I forgot about it, and never went back to finish.  So without further ado, let me finish telling you about my best friends.

Megan Steele and I met sophomore year during drafting week, just like the rest of my design friends.  That was truly a life-changing week for me.  Although it was difficult, it's where I made my true friends and where the majority of our good stories come from.  I had no idea that week that I'd be making friends for life, or how much they would come to mean to me in only a few short years.  Megan and I spent a lot of time together the next few months and became really good friends.  You see, we have the same work method and always ended up doing our all-nighters together.  We got really close because of that, and she has remained one of my best friends ever since.  Here are the things I love about Megan:

1. She is always up for a late night stay in Norton with me.
2. She has incredible rendering skills, especially her wood recipes.
3. She's my best procrastination buddy.
4. She can't BS Jesus.
5. She is always up for sharing a drafting or CAD table with me (usually while not doing work).
6. She can walk in stilettos better than anyone I know.
7. Her hair and makeup is always done perfectly, even after pulling an all-nighter.
8. She is always dressed to the T.
9. She can say "so sick" in about 20 accents and volumes.
10. She is a perfectionist to her core.
11. She will redo a floor plan because she wrote carport 'ugly'.
12. Her dad looks like the Prince of Egypt.
13. Her car's name is Brody.
14. She is a tan goddess, always 10 shades darker than me.
15. She started and understands the quote "you're gonna be a momma."
16. She's moving to Florida, so I always have an excuse to go visit the warm state.
17. She will make a Diner run with me anytime.
18. She is our 5th roommate in room 409.
19. She loves and appreciates my cooking/sweet tea making skills more than anyone.
20. I will be adopting her baby if it comes out as a ginger.
21. She will wait until 8pm and run across campus barefoot with me and Meghan to get steakhouse.
22. She makes the best sounds while working (I'd spell them if I could figure out how).
23. She's oddly terrified of whales.
24. She loves zebra print and anything with crystals.
25. She loves making boards as much as I do.

Sorry your post came so late Megan!  But I love you and I'm so happy to call you my friend.  Thank you for all you do for me and always being there! There have been so many nights that I could not have made it through without you! You're the best, and I will miss you SO much when you move to Florida, but I promise to stay in touch and come see you at least once a year! Love you love bug!

And Happy Birthday! Sorry I'm not there to celebrate with you, but we will celebrate when I get back!!! Love youuu!!!!

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