Monday, August 30, 2010

a visit from proggy

ever so often i will see things that remind me of the crazy days of cancer. sometimes they're amusing. sometimes they make me tear up on the spot. sometimes i just zone out wonder if that really happened. surely not. it is just a dream. no. it's the worst nightmare possible. she's on vacation with the girls. she's out dancing and will be home late. she's out on one of her flying adventures with her airport buddies. she's running around nyc with pythons wrapped around her neck in time square. she'll send me a text soon with a photo of it. i'll tell her it's not safe to be running around nyc by yourself at 2am even if you left a note telling dad where you went just in case that crazy person found you before we did. she'll do it again because life is just too short. especially when it's staring her in the face.

and returning from my zone i see it is none of the above. yes, there are dreams. many. ones i'd rather not wake up from cause she's there again. there are nightmares too. but this is not one of them. it's reality. whatever that is in a given day. it happened. now life is changed forever. my normal ceased to exist. my future completely reshaped.

but i always await the next glimpse of a memory. i wonder what randomness is waiting around the corner that will reflect that era of life. last night it was a smile. a much needed one. proggy came to say hi. some know what i speak of. the giant green friend, lighter than air, that refused to let go just about as much as her. he hung out by her hospital bed from the day he was delivered. he was affectionately named "proggy" by my little man hausten. he came home with her to cruise the island living with us in her last days. he let go of his string so he could get the best view from the dormer window at the highest point in the apartment. we thought he'd never come down. he chilled with us beyond the funeral and into christmas. and then the day came. he had to give in.

and last night he decided it was time to show up again. we only thought he had given up. no. he's found another home. on my unit at dell children's. he hangs with none other than a patient of 3 years old that reminds me of hausten. full of spastic energy ready to make you laugh 'cause he's just excited about life. i'm happy to pass proggy on to another family in need of a giant green friendly smile. i wish him the best and welcome any future visits to my unit as part of his travels.

now that those around me in this friendly east austin coffee shop are wondering what this crazy girl is tearing up over. it's a blog. it's a green frog. it's monday night. it's time to free up my table for another paying patron.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

environmentally friendly kiddos

the tower in this photo is not only to identify the hospital but has the traditional nuns hat at the top to reflect the origins of the seton hospital network

So, as you designers know, the buzz word these days in the architectural world is LEED. This is an accredidation process that building projects go through to create an environmentally friendly facility during construction and throughout the building's life. Although I have left the "professional" world of design, I have found myself working in the first (and only) platinum LEED certified hospital in the world. My orientation instructor yesterday totally butchered the description of what LEED is, but I held my tongue. She got the basic concept accross I guess. And, for a hospital, I think it's pretty design friendly as well. It is built on the site of the old airport just off I-35. I can still see the old towers in the field when I leave the hospital. I snapped a couple of crude photos as you can see, but if you're interested, they have a virtual tour on their site that is far better!. (click 'take virtual tour' on the left hand column)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Neighborhood Preview

So, as some of you know or have heard, Austin is a pretty eclectic, or shall we say "proudly weird" city. My neighborhood has quite an array of creativity. I could (and will) probably have several posts just showing all my discoveries on my walks. Here's a quick preview, but first I must introduce you to my partner in crime Madi (and reason with the photos may be a bit crooked....she's a puller)

First stop, Agave. These prehistoric looking succulents are more common than your average crape myrtle around here. And no, this photo is not taken at an angle. It really is this tall.

Pre-makeover Meets Post-makeover

with a bit of modern thrown in...

Um...not quite sure about this one...I think I prefer the massive Agave...

A little Texas Hospitality

Totally dig this

And we all know I love me some green

Does this make anyone else this Hansel and Gretel?

And finally we have.....

A little more modern with a nice solution to the garage-facing-the-street (stay tuned for more on this. I have been impressed with the creativity in this area)

Things are becoming more familiar here. I can at least take a walk without requiring my GPS! This really is a neat should make for some fun posts :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Colombia - a great place to start

Beautful Mountains. Mild weather year round. Friendly people. Smiles everywhere I look.

Not the first thing I imagined when I thought of Bogota, Colombia. My dad's first question when I told him I planned on going with a team from my church to Bogota was, in a tone of great concern, "Kendi, is it safe?". Of course my response was quick with a hint of sarcasm, "Dad, I live in Memphis, remember?". Of course this did little to ease his mind's imagination of his daughter venturing into a foreign country known for drug lords and crime. However, after hearing my stories and seeing my photos, I think he may even be coming to grips with the idea that I would love to do this every year if possible.

So, after many FB messages and text requests, here's a glimpse of our trip.....

We arrived on a Friday night. Fortunately, Colombia is in the same time zone, so no battling jet lag.

On Saturday we held classes for discipleship training at the local church led by 4 men on our team. Us ladies had the privilege of playing with the kiddos....

And on Saturday evening, the pastor and his wife (Jorge and Jenny) hosted a neighborhood party at their home providing games and music for the kids and a traditional Colombian Hotdog for everyone.

For the remainder of the week, we did construction work on a home of one of the church members. Josefina was the sweetest lady and was sooo appreciative of our help. She travels by bus and walking almost 2 hours on Sunday to attend church. The trek to the top of the mountain that she lives on left even the ones we would claim as "in shape" on our team short of breath. We all grew to respect her diligence by weeks end.

We also invested time with the neighborhood children with coloring, teaching bits or English, playing soccer, and just enjoying their incredible smiles and imaginations.

Overall, this trip was probably one of the best trips I have ever taken, if not the best. Jorge and Jenny have such a huge heart and desire to reach their community. Each member of our team contributed what talents we had and it came together in such a way that we were all humbled to see what God can do with people who unite to serve. I hope and pray that the work we came to accomplish will continue in the months to come. When we return next year, we can continue to be apart of what God is doing in an area that is hungry for His truth!
PS - for more photos, visit my facebook page.