The Impact of Music

I went to public high school in a suburb of New Orleans, and I loved it, minus the actual schooling. I really appreciate that this school was racially diverse; it added so much flavor to who I was and was better preparation for real life.

I listened to a lot of rap music back then with bad language. My mom always complained that I shouldn't listen to music with questionable lyrics, but I was rebellious and continued enjoying Tupac.

It was only recently that I've realized what an impact music really has on me and my mood. I began listening to Magic 101.9 a lot at the office because the music was work appropriate. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but my first choice was not appropriate because of the content of some of the songs. After awhile I noticed that I was feeling down, and eventually I realized it was partially from this mellow, love music all day.

I changed what I was listening to, and it really helped improve my attitude. Here's a confession. I really like the beat of the Eminem song "Love the Way You Lie." It's about domestic violence, and the lyrics are questionable so no posting here. However, my friend, Cody, sent me an alternate version the other day that really cracked me up, so I wanted to share it with you instead.

Enjoy! I hope this brightens the beginning of your work week.


Juarez, Mexico

We went to Mexico to build houses. Most people here wouldn't consider a one-room dwelling a house, but the people we served that week were very grateful. For them it was home!

I remember a few distinct things about that week in Juarez...

  • I was a team leader for the building of a house. What were they thinking? Me, read plans and build a house in one week? Thankfully, I had some rocking adult guys on my team and my co-leader, Michael, who made it happen.
  • As mentioned above, I didn't spend much time working on the house. I spent most of my time playing with children. One child in particular stole my heart - Adrian (at least I think that was his name). He was very shy, but for some reason he liked me. Hanging out with him and showing him love was the highlight of the trip for me.
  • Those six November days in Juarez were the coldest ones of my life. We slept in Army tents on cots, and it was 14 degrees outside. No many how many clothes I layered on, I couldn't get warm. Many of my friends were taking bucket showers in this type of weather...not me, I refused. I do not dump ice cold water over my head that then causes my hair to freeze! That's insanity! So, I didn't shower the whole time we were there. Thankfully, as mentioned above, it was very cold which meant there was little to no sweating, and baby wipes kept me decent. It was perfect because I'm sure most of those families we were building the houses for didn't have access to showers either. A big shout out goes to my best friend, Libby, for braiding my hair when it was so nasty.
  • Stucco is hard work! I give mad props to anyone who manually mixes and lays stucco. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention...no electricity meant no power tools. Good times! This one of the times I did help, and boy was I sorry. :)
  • We went home a day early. We were all so cold that we decided to forego shopping to head home. Eighteen hours home.
  • I was tasked with keeping my friend, Austin, awake while we drove. I think I failed miserable! Austin, thanks for not falling asleep behind the wheel; you're the man.



Shadows are such an intriguing thing. They can be lurking and creepy or distorted proportionally by where the sun is located in the sky.

As a designer, I sometimes create shadows on logos or lettering. I have a hard time figuring out the length and angle that makes it look natural. I know there must be some sort of mathematical solution to this, but my brain doesn't function that way.

Last weekend, I went out to take some photos with shadows in mind. I didn't find as many really interesting ones this time because I was in suburbia, but I still had a great time.


Happy Monday!

It's Monday again, which means the start of another work week. Usually, I dread Mondays. However, I've discovered in my wiser and older years of life that my attitude drastically affects my mood and view of the day.

As a result, today is going to be a great day! In honor of this happy Monday, I'm posting a feel-good song to begin your week.



I had a fun time at Joe's party. There were lots of peeps there, but alas, they didn't make it into most of the photos. The pictures will have to do the talking for this particular post. Story time was my favorite part of the evening! Credit to Joe for taking the third picture of Keith. Peace.


2nd Stop: Taiwan

Taiwan was my second trip overseas, and I spent a whole summer there in 2000. Let's just say that it wasn't my first choice (I actually think it was Thailand), but it turned out to be the best summer of my life.

My team consisted of me and three other girls, and we lived with an amazing couple and their daughter. We were the "True Love Waits" team. I know what you're thinking...and yes, they wanted me talk to young Taiwanese youth about abstinence.  Needless to say, I was mortified when I discovered this was our objective for the summer! Talking about sex or even NOT having sex is such a taboo thing in the church, so I felt really under prepared for this task. Despite my inadequacies, God was with me. He equipped me to do so many things that summer. I taught abstinence, taught English, led VBS, danced in church, hosted a youth rally, and all through a translator. I couldn't have done any of this on my own, but God really showed me what could be accomplished through me and in me when I let him have control of my life. When I look back now, it is hard to believe I did even half of those things. I survived by God's strength alone and the funny thing is...I had the time of my life in the process.

I also fell in love with Asia and left my heart there. As you'll see in one of the photos, I had a camera in my hand even back then. Look forward to next week and Mexico!



It's Joe's birthday today. Happy Birthday!!!!!!

In honor of his birthday, I'm posting a picture of him drinking the biggest cup of coffee EVER.

Go over to his blog and leave him a happy birthday message!


Exploring the Cemetery

I had a few extra minutes yesterday, so I decided to roam around the cemetery. I know that sounds weird, but it is right next to where I work. It has been raining for the last two days, so I was stoked about getting outside, even in the heat. I even had to wait for my camera to un-fog and adjust after being in the air conditioning all day.

The cemetery really lends itself to black and white, so it was exciting to explore with that in mind. I especially love the one of the spider in the flower holder.