Category Archives: Goals

“My daughter is a ____”

We joke at work about how our parents can never remember what type of engineering we specialize in (or even that we’re engineers in some cases). As an architectural engineer (focused on Mechanical Building Systems), most people don’t get past the first word. I’m regularly introduced as an architect, which used to bother me but now I just nod and smile with strangers or people who I know could care less… unless I have the energy to give further clarification. A common question I get after telling people what I majored in is “what is an architectural engineer?”

The easiest way for me to describe a Mechanical Engineer with an Architectural Engineering (AE) background, is to say I work on the comfort systems for a building – such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing… the systems that make being inside more bearable. Other AE’s may work with structural systems (holding the building up), electrical (power and lighting systems) or even construction management.

Last week I found these handy images that explain the difference between architects and architectural engineers even better…


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Susan G Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walk

This August, my step-mom, sister-cousin (the cousin that’s more like a sister) and her friend will all join the thousands of women who have walked 60 miles to raise money for the cure! This is my first time ever doing anything even remotely close to this, so I am just as terrified as I am excited. Initially 60 miles seemed like a bit of a distance… but now I realize that is LONG AS HELL!!!!

I mean, I don’t even like to DRIVE 60 miles to the outlet malls. I can barely ride a bike 5 miles and I hadn’t jogged over a single miles in years until very recently (and by over a mile I literally mean 1.25 miles). My chiropractor and I are observing my training closely, but I am hopeful that on August 17th I will be in the best condition possible.

I have almost hit my minimum goal of $2300 as of today. I still have a little ways to go, but the support has been tremendous so far!! If you have a few bucks to donate to the cause, please click the link below! We are walking in honor and memory of friends, family members, coworkers and colleagues who have been affected by breast cancer, whether directly or through their own circles. Please take a moment to learn about the 3-day, 60 mile walk and all the lives that are touched by this annual fundraiser!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day

…or go here to donate (and pass the link along!!) –

The 2009 Testimony

kids touch My little brother posted a testimony (which I actually made to him) on his Facebook Fan page and I wanted to share with you all. His wording was a bit incorrect (you know how stories change the more they are told – LOL) so I have minimally edited some parts to reflect the story more accurately. At the end he posted a song of inspiration, which he sends every Sunday to his fans. I am so proud of him and happy that he could find inspiration in my story.

As a preface, I was laid off in fall of 2009 and hired for a new job before the end of the year. During my job search I WORKED HARD to find job opportunities and listings while pulling from my steadily growing network of industry friends, family members and former clients. My hard work paid off, as I had a number of interviews with some great companies for some awesome positions. As I started interviewing, I began to listen to my own voice… What did I want in a job? What did I not want in a work environment? What sacrifices was I not willing to make and where was my flexibility?  I learned so much about myself and realized the path I wanted to be on and the type of workplace I was looking for. To have so many options, especially in this economy, was TRULY a blessing and a testament to the time spent over the years building a career foundation that would carry me through potential hard times.

After a long talk with my brother to tell him the story, he posted this on Facebook:

Welcome to 2010… I know it’s still early, but I am already saying “What a year!”. These last 3 days have brought me to 1 realization… that 2009 is no more! Let’s get ready for a breakthrough family…WE will have SO many testimonies this year!! I have already seen multitudes of friends and patrons being blessed beyond their understanding!! YESSS!!! (Pumps arm*) lol My sister has given a testimony for the New Year that I must share… hopefully she wont be upset.

After being laid off from her company, she contacted a recruiter to help her find another one. Being the faithful woman she was, she didn’t hesitate to cry, instead she went FORWARD and pushed until she received two job offers that exceeded her credentials as an Architectural Engineer. Not only did they offer her a job, she received a call from the Mayor of a smaller city and from the upper level management at the one she accepted. This was all without the help of the recruiter, without being in practice for 2 years and with everyone telling her she was out of her league, including friends & family. She has yet to look back and is moving FORWARD faster than ever!!!

THIS is your first chance to move forward. Where do you want to be right now? What is holding you back? Why are you letting it? Where will you be if you let it for too long??? Your past is over, you ARE NOT going back there!! God is placing your thoughts against you for a reason, he is limiting your space so that you HAVE to move…there is no choice! You must have the same faith my sister had that NO MAN can tell you how far you can go in YOUR life. I don’t have any analogies tonight…just a testimony… a testimony that “staying there” is not moving FORWARD…it’s simply “staying there”. Even if you don’t reach all your goals, You’ve gone higher than you would have if you hadn’t set any… This is your first word of inspiration for 2010… may you be blessed in it and receive YOUR testimony sooner than you expect. Happy Sunday. Here is your song:

The key word here is “FAITH”. While my family was in a panic about how my bills would get paid and where I would work after my last day, I stood strong and prayerful and put in the work on my end. When i walked into my first interview at the company I decided to accept the offer from, I knew right away that’s where I wanted to be and I made it clear to them in every way possible! When it came down to it, I trusted that I was making the right decision, and everything else fell in place even better than I could have expected it to!

For the item of the day, I am going to recommend a Facebook app. Yes, for those of you who know me personally, I made a number of comments about being anti-apps on Facebook. But there is one that I truly enjoy, called “On this Day, God wants you to know…” and each day or so it gives you a message of inspiration. Though small and random, these messages gave me such an unexpected motivation at times of stress. Like little reminders that the situation will be resolved. If you are on facebook, click here to sign up.

As an example, here is my message for today:

On this day of your life, Cherish, we believe God wants you to know … that you are exactly where you are meant to be. Trust in God that everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be.

Just as a child has to pass through a tiny channel on its way from the womb into life, so are you on your way to God.

Have a wonderful 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life Sabbatical

I am currently “between” jobs” (literally) so I’m thinking of this time period as a sort of unofficial personal sabbatical. Unfortunately, the “spare” time everything but free. I have sooo much to do. In preparation for 2010 I am really changing my life style. REALLY. (Yeah, I know I said that every fall but this time I’m DEAD SERIOUS).

2009 was FUN. Soooo much fun! I went to well over a dozen different cities, some more than once, hung out with all of my girl friends and experienced a fun summer in the city I live in and love! (Chicago, for my new blog friends). Unfortunately, all this fun left one of my biggest goals for 2009 on the back burner – saving money. My plan was to sacrifice 2009 as my hard-core year of saving and laying low, and live it up in 2010… except I did it backwards. So what happens now? I have to do the extreme opposite for 2010 in order to make up for it.

  • No girlfriend trips. NONE. Family trips are ok and I need to take some time to vacation with “Bobby” since we didn’t get to do much this year, but my friends have to wait until 2011! They are not taking that well, since there is a 30th Birthday celebration planned in Miami this coming March (that I was attempting to count as my birthday celebration too).
  • Move into a less expensive apartment – I was living the HIGH life here in Chicago and despite early attempts to justify the costs, reality set in that I was living beyond my means. Time to find a cheaper place.
  • SAVE SAVE SAVE – stop eating out as much. And not just eating out…. I mean the expensive dinner+drink events  go on with my girlfriends regularly. You have to treat yourself, but I need to get back to the point where its actually a “treat” and not the norm!
  • Take the BIG TEST – Engineers can earn the designation of ”PE” by passing a specialized exam that demonstrates their knowledge of the industry. I WILL take that test. The version I want to take is offered in April and while 2010 is very close, 2011 is VERY realistic. I have developed a detailed outline for my study prep to ace pass the exam in 16 months. Its daunting but I WILL do it!!

So these last 28 days will be enjoyed responsibly, but January 1 will bring a whole new light to my life. It should be very interesting! A year with limited travel??? What on earth will I do with myself?? I need to find a good birthday gift that will keep me entertained throughout the year and prevent me from daydreaming too hard about leaving town… any suggestions? A Wii? A new purse? A new Blackberry? Should I order cable/satellite? A gym membership? An all-in-one printer, scanner, copier so i can scan all these pics in? VHS-DVD extracting and converting software/hardware? So many options…

As for the Item of the Day, I got a message a while back about the Burberry sale going on. I am a huge fan of the classic Burberry trench coats, but didn’t pay much attention to the handbags… until now. There are some AWESOME items on sale! Maybe these Powerball numbers will hit in time for me to grab a few nice gifts for myself and my friends 🙂