Born Again Orchid

On this first day of Spring, I was waken up to the most beautiful surprise.  My orchid baby bloomed!

This is significant to me in so many ways:

  1. I love plant life, and so does my entire family.  This was yet another plant that brought me even closer to my family, and of course I got instantly homesick.
  2. This orchid was given to me as a housewarming gift by my current housemate a year before we even had a discussion about us living together.
  3. This orchid took nearly two years for the second generation to bloom since I pruned her.  Just because the one stem turns brown, the leaves and roots continue to hold the life.  It helps me stay grounded, literally.
  4. Although I wasn’t there when she was first born, I was there when she was born again.  This is a symbol of all of the new starts I have done this year after pruning out so many extra activities and people.  I know my life is moving in the right direction.

God continues to lead me, and continues to give me confirmation along the way!

Hidden or Nah? – Rocket Scientist Realities

God bless the lovely “Colored Computers” and Hidden Figures author, Margot Lee Shetterly, for bringing to light the significance of diversity in STEM fields.  In addition to the women spotlighted in the book and movie (Katerine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan), there are so many other successful women, and I am proud to be one!

Hidden or Nah? – my group as a Test Engineer

I graduated from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics.  Yes, it was difficult, but I knew I could do it because people had done it before me.  I just have a problem solving kind of brain!  I always tell my students that Engineering is simply problem solving, but instead of using guess-and-check we must use math and science to prove we have the best solution!  Since seeing the movie on opening night, I wanted to share my own insight and perspective about what it’s really like to be a Hidden Figure in 2017.

Things that have changed since 1961

  1. No skirts and no pearls! Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a reality so I must wear pants everyday along with my safety glasses and steel toe shoes. (I plan to create a women’s line of steel toes!)
  2. I barely have to touch a door.  My male counterparts will stop in their tracks, reverse and re-open a door for me on the regular.
  3. My coworkers and me strive for not only diversity, but also inclusion in my African-American Employee Resource Group.
  4. Influencing skills are Imperative!  Instead of working behind the scenes, I have to be in the forefront and lead a team to improve Change Management once we arrive to a solution.
  5. My company president knows my name, and I have a private office, Boyee!

Things that haven’t changed since 1961

  1. There are still Amazing bosses that will encourage me to do better than my best!  Although unstated, “Don’t embarrass me” is not just a reflection of my manager, but also a representation of my race and gender.
  2. Restrooms are still less available for women.  My second closest bathroom in my last 2 departments is at least 100 feet farther than the second closest men’s, but it’s always empty!
  3. I have continued to hone my communication style, which is basically to let the guys talk in circles and in one sentence re-direct them to the solution. “Guys, Push the Green button.”
  4. Family and friends have No clue what I do at work, and they just call me a rocket scientist even though I work as a Sr. Quality Engineer on Oil and Gas Turbines.
  5. Strangers are continually shocked at my career as a full-time engineer, full-time MBA student, and ’emotionally full-time’ entrepreneur leading Adorn The World, LLC.

I love being an engineer.  I love being a female engineer.
I love being a black female engineer.
I am not hidden.  I was created to SHINE!

Similar to this Hidden Figures movement, I will continue to encourage underserved and underrepresented minorities to become engineers and entrepreneurs. If you still haven’t seen Hidden Figures (and heard the amazing soundtrack), RUN and go see it!

 

10 by 30 – The Good Life

My first 30 years have been amazing, but the good life is just beginning.  I’ve had some years of building and transition, but this year has been better than I ever imagined.  I did not have a 30 by 30 list of goals, but even if I did, I would have had much lower expectations.  Lucky for me, that’s right in line with my favorite scripture, Ephesians 3:20.  I often recite the affirmations below and I truly recognize Favor aint Fair!

30by30_jls

www.facebook.com/q88photography

  1. I finished my first MBA semester with a 4.0 and debt free at the perfect school.
  2. I lead women in worship and ministry.
  3. I have my dream job as a Senior Quality Engineer, and an office (haaay).
  4. I was gifted affordable housing in America’s Finest City.
  5. I have a boyfriend that shows love more than he says it.
  6. I stopped my daily allergy medicine and weekly chiropractic care for scoliosis.
  7. I have a healthy family, pup, and Thee best of friends.
  8. I am an entrepreneur that successfully launched the LLC’s first Soiree.
  9. I am a Six Sigma Black Belt.
  10. I donate, tithe, and seek ways to be giving to others.

The last time I wrote about happiness was 5 years ago before going into 25, and little did I know there was so much room for growth.  It hasn’t always been easy, and there were plenty of time conflicts, delays, and burdens along the way.  It is my prayer that the coming years are even better, with more sleep & less stress!

This is 30!

This is 30!

School With Me So Amazing

Quote

In Celebration of RiRi’s Video Vanguard VMA Award and my first day of my graduate program, I decided to celebrate with a song to the tune of Rihanna’s “Sex With Me”.

MBA Orientation

Graduate Student Orientation

School with me
so AMazing

M-B-A
no HesiTation

Smiling hard
through OrienTation

Great first day
get EduCation
—-

School with me
so AMazing

Guest Speaker kickoff
EntrepreneuriAtion

Syllabus Review
Team SeLection

Case Studies on deck
reading CompreHention

School with me
so AMazing

It’s 2016
much InnoVation

Group Meeting coming to
Panera StaTion

Next week Labor Day
already VaCation

School with me
so AMazing

Already brainstorming
my PresenTation

Diverse Cohort
lots of WoMen

…and a few Harvard things
I cannot MenTion

School.with.me.School-with-Me.

To my new family of classmates, faculty, and staff who are all original, relatable, and enjoyable.  I’m looking forward to growing and learning together!  Much love, Student

Proud Wolverine

This is what it looks like when a world-class university of nearly 45,000 students chooses to use a picture of the Only Black, Female, Aerospace Engineer to graduate during Winter Commencement in 2008.  Umich, you continue to make me proud! With love, BSE ’09, Rocket Scientist, Math Minor, Hong Kong Study Abroad, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., EnCore Multicultural Hip-Hop dance group, National Society of Black Engineers, and University of Michigan Lifetime Alumni Association Member. #GoBlue

Looking up to my family and friends in the stands

Source: University of Michigan

How do you do ALL that you do?


This is my visual response to people who asks me this question including the end.

Quick rundown of the things I have going on right now:

  • Full-time Turbine Test Engineering Career
  • S.T.E.A.M. Education business owner and entrepreneur
  • Women’s Church Ministry Leader Ages 18-35
  • Middle school girls robotics coach
  • Applying to M.B.A. programs (and GMAT Prep)
  • Meetup Social group organizer
  • Planning our first family reunion
  • Liturgical dancer
  • Styling my hair
  • Traveling Often
  • Dating for Marriage
  • Artsy fun with painting and theater
  • Re-gaining beach body fitness
  • 20s Living with my girls

ILookLikeAnEngineer

Starting this summer, I’m actively going to do better with free time.  I will be on travel most of July, so that will help me transition quite nicely.  One major time management and stress reduction technique that I use is to make a checklist everyday.  I list 2 things that I want to complete for work, and 2 things that I want to complete outside of work.  For major things that may roll over, I list them at the top of my planner page as 2 goals for the week.  Also, I can only commit to one after-work event per day, reserving one weekday as a chill day at home.

For lifestyle items, I cook 1-2 meals per week with leftovers, I clean 1-2 load of laundry per weekend start to finish, and I clean one area of my place (bathroom, bedroom/linen, living area, dining area) every Sunday.

RelaxingSundays

I seem to manage everything pretty good, but I know stress is on the horizon when I double-book events on the same day, don’t wash any laundry that week, stop exercising/ dancing, or stop writing.  These are my warning signs before the physical ailments of sleep-deprivation, vocal cord dysfunction, or a sinus infection.

Pray for me yall!  While I love being busy, it’s not good for my health, and I’ve learned that it distracts me from my purpose.  We are all here “just enough time to do God’s Will”.  I never want to be too over-worked and over-stressed to be winning at this thing called life.

Living Single Millennials

My Ladies

Nack, Yazmeen, Wynta Mac, Ally-pooh

We are Living Single.  In a millennial kind of world,
I’m glad I can Skype my girls!

LIVING SINGLE, Queen Latifah, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander, Kim Coles

They took the picture in exactly the right order! Awesome.

I am so happy that I get to see my girls next week at Homecoming, so I decided to dedicate this post to them!  Of course, we aren’t identically like the characters in Living Single, but we are pretty similar.

Beneque (Khadijah) – Very work focused, smart, success is a journey, high speed.
Currently seen: Moving & Shaking

Jasmine (Regine) – Hair queen, serial dater, entrepreneur, unpredictable schedule.
Currently seen: On the Go

Wynter (Maxine) – Hilarious, career loyalty, independent, home owner.
Currently seen: Telling somebody off on Twitter

Allyson (Synclaire) – Eternal dream catcher, loves school, peacekeeper,
Newlywed with Mr. Charismatic whom we love.
Currently seen: Multitasking

Keep your head up; whenever this life gets tough, you gotta FIGHT.  I love my friends and you should too!

Keith & Allyson

Keith & Allyson

Ally and Keith

Take this test and see which Living Single Character you are!  I got Maxine Shaw, the Maverick.

Now This is Love

Most people don’t know this, but I have kept a journal since middle school. Only about 5 percent of my thoughts and journals make it to social media.  I currently have a business journal and a Christian journal.  Unexpectedly sometimes, the two overlap.  This is what happened today while documenting some business scope clarity.  At a high level: I kept wanting to pilot some of my business concepts with a group where I hold some influence.  However, God keeps showing me that since I am not leading that group, I must continue to be submissive to my leadership.  This past weekend, it was made clear that I should stop trying to pilot the concepts with that group and continue following God’s vision of doing the activity with a completely separate (and currently unknown, yikes) group of people.  While writing this, I wanted to make a distinction that my company will be other-person centered and just stammered out the Mission Statement.  Then I paused and thought, “Wow! That’s Good.”

I then proceeded to figure out if it actually was the Vision, Mission, Values or Purpose and used the Harvard Business Review to help me through it.  For extra credit, I studied on a Credo too.  I was in LOVE!  This was so exciting for me and just took my breath away.  Now I know all of business school won’t be like this.  Yet, I saw this as a good time for me to announce that I am so excited to start my MBA pursuit Fall 2016!!

Degrees

I hope to one day have a man that makes me this happy… Until then, I guess my degrees will keep me warm!

Why do I love cuffing season?

Let me count the ways…

  1. You actually deeply desire to take me on dates so
  2. for the first time, you love me for exactly who I am.
  3. To sway the cuffs, you take me to $50+ meals
  4. but never take the time to learn that $1 hot dogs are my favorite!
  5. You give purpose to that 2 month gap after wedding season
  6. and baby’s first days, weeks, hours of school caught on camera.
  7. I still have free rein to be nakie for Halloween
  8. and we don’t even need to discuss Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  9. At max, we agree to be exclusive,
  10. but that in no way obligates commitment.

    Photocreds: theshopblog.net

    Photocreds: theshopblog.net

  11. I’ll continue to answer your calls and texts while
  12. remembering that for the past 3 seasons you never called.
  13. I promise to invest in a portable charger
  14. and a portable battery for the portable charger.
  15. You don’t have to prove your ambitions or net worth
  16. since we won’t even make it to tax returns.
  17. I won’t dare ask if you’re married because even if you are,
  18. you’ll say you’re getting divorced – like that’s okay.
  19. All in all, cuffing season, you’re good-bad and ugly
  20. but your best clients are good-bad and Fine!

~Bonjour~

2015 Resolutions

In the words of my SD grandpa: Plans won’t cut it.  You can ‘plan’ to do something and even put it on a calendar, but that still won’t make it happen.  It only becomes significant when you are making actions toward it.

Happy 2015

1 Year

1. Interview and land a new position at my company – DONE

2. Read 12 books, my choice.  First one was Total Money Makeover.

3. Save $10,000 between savings, emergency fund, and house fund.

4. Learn Spanish good enough to hold a conversation with the cleaning lady that tells me a daily joke. Around Speaking Level 2 on the ILR scale – Limited Working Proficiency

5. Learn the Piano, enough to play a trendy song in a hotel lobby

6. A weekly public display of one of my minor sports: Yoga, Golf, Softball, Ice Skating.

Personally, I’m not one for resolutions, but God has already helped me part of the way through these and I’m excited to share my testimony when I complete them all!  In searching for a different name for the title– I realized I can stop playing, they really are New Years Resolutions!


 

Martin Soler Photography

I’ve already started some Future ones too!

5 Year

Travel to my 3 dream places: Rio, Paris, Hawaii.

Learn French

Buy a condo

Live and work internationally

[all of those would be done if I Lived and worked in France!]

10 Year

Complete my MBA and match my 2015 salary in earnings from my business

Combine my corporate position with my business

Pray with me yall!