Monday, November 7, 2011

The Life of a Senior Engineer

Well hello folks! It has been quite some time since I last graced y'all with thoughts and happenings from my life. I apologize for that. Life can get pretty crazy in the engineering world.

This semester I am in the last part of my senior design project. Last semester we designed our plane and this semester we get to build a wind tunnel and RC model. One to conduct tests on, the other to fly! We have not begun building our flying model yet but a couple weeks ago we finished our wind tunnel model and had the opportunity to test it in the low speed wind tunnel. It was really exciting!!! I know I am labeling myself as a total nerd with my excitement but it was seriously one of the highlights of this entire semester. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy the epic nerdiness...

During Construction

Before Paint

Between Coats

The Final Product. Isn't it a beauty?!!!

The Brink Apex

Now for some pictures from the actual test:
Our plane in the tunnel

Our team, the tunnel, and the Brink Apex.

We added trip strips to disturb the flow. That is all I will say about that to avoid sounding more nerdy than I already do.

This is the only picture I have of the model in the tunnel while it was running. 


That is all for now. I hope you enjoyed a peek into my life. God Bless!

Monday, September 26, 2011


I just want to alert everybody to the awesomeness which will be the next few weeks in the liturgical calendar. Prepare yourselves. You will probably have to pick your jaw up off the floor when you are done reading this. So without further ado: Starting today...
Sept 26th- The Feast of Sts. Cosmos &Damian (you know those guys whose names we hear every time the extended version of the Eucharistic Prayer is said). They are legit.
Sept 27th - St. Vincent de Paul
Sept 29th - The Archangels- St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael
Sept 30th - St. Jerome
Oct 1st - St. Therese of Lisieux
Oct 4th - St. Francis of Assisi
Oct 5th - St. Faustina Kowalska
And later on...
Oct 15th - St. Theresa of Avila
Oct 18th - St. Luke
Oct 20th - St. Paul of the Cross
and Oct 22nd - Blessed JPII!! We love you!

KAPOW! That is the sound of Satan getting punched in the face by this incredible lineup! (I literally just punched the air). There is going to be so much grace falling from heaven that Satan won't even be able to see straight. Ha!

Just one more reason why I love the Catholic Church - it gives us weeks like these. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I tend to be a very task oriented person. Maybe it is one of the curses of being an engineer. We focus on results. How you get those results is important but not nearly as important as what the result is. If the plane is flying (not falling out of the sky) who really cares how you got it in the air?? I exaggerate, but you get my point. Being immersed in this life style and already being a task driven individual often causes me to look at life through this lens. Lord, Thank you for said blessings. Please do such-and-such and please help so-and so with this-or-that if it be your will. Amen. This is basically how I have approached my prayer life until now.

The only instruction I ever received regarding prayer was in my childhood. As children most of us are taught intercessory prayer and prayer of thanksgiving. You thank God for the beautiful day, your many blessings, and then ask him for things you think you need or want. Amen. That is how you pray. Or so I thought.

Recently, I have been challenged by my spiritual director to change the way I pray. In order to do this, my spiritual director is challenging me to use Lectio Divina as my primary form of prayer from now on. I am meditating of the Word of God and learning to listen to the Lord's whispers through this. I am to no longer focus on  tasks or outcomes I desire but on the person of Jesus Christ. This sounds like one of those "Umm, duh! That's simple." things but it is harder than I thought. The difficulties are three-fold.

1) When you grow up doing something a certain way for your entire life, it is extremely hard to break the habit. I have prayed the same way for 22 years. Now I must change. It is for the better but that does not make it any less unnatural and foreign to me. It is a struggle to keep my mind from reverting back to the "old way of doing things". There is nothing wrong with the way I used to pray but there is more to be gained by changing.

2) Prayer is my rock through the twists and turns of life. If ever I am frustrated or upset, I run to Christ. In the past, I have taken comfort in spilling all my problems to the Lord and telling him how I think he should handle them. Now, I am learning to take my troubles to him and then wait to see what he has to say about them. Though I know this is a MUCH better way to handle things, my "comfort blanket" per say is momentarily gone. I am in a transition period where I am basically learning to trust. And trust is no easy lesson.

3)Taking the focus off yourself and onto someone else is an inherently unnatural act. Human beings are self-centered by nature. That is why it is so hard to love. We look out for ourselves - numero uno - before we worry about others. But Christ calls us to radically flip that and do what is best for others no matter the cost to ourselves. In my prayer, I am learning to take the focus off of myself and turn it to Christ. I am in a sense learning how to love. I am learning how to love Love Himself and in turn how to love others with His love. That's a lot of love!! And as Christ showed us on the cross, love doesn't come easy.

I know this is long already but I would not be doing justice to the subject if I did not share with you how beautiful this new journey is despite the hardships. I selected the Gospel of John to begin my Lectio with and over the past week of prayer I have only made it through half of the first chapter. I had no idea the Word of God could have so much impact and meaning behind EVERY SINGLE WORD. I am reading and meditating on verses I have heard many times but somehow completely missed the meaning of before now. And no matter what I am meditating over on a given day, I am always receiving exactly what I need to hear. The Lord's Word is magnificent and I learning so much already. I did not know what I was missing before but now that I have tasted the grace the Lord bestows on you when you are open to it, I hope to never go without it. I am falling deeper in love with the Lord through his Word. YAY! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mama, WOW!

I'm a big girl now!!

I have some exciting news to report.... I grew up! It happened in about 24 hours. It was quite exciting.

On Friday August 12th, I received a phone call from the HR department at Bell and they offered me a full time engineering position with the company after I graduate. I cannot begin to explain how ecstatic I am about this opportunity. I have wanted to work at Bell since my sophomore year and now it is actually happening. God is so good!! He has taken all the worry and stress of job hunting away and now I can enjoy my last semester of college while looking forward to the future. I also have to mention what an amazing company Bell Helicopter is. I have loved both of the internships I have had there and I know I am going to love working there full time. YAY!!!!

So, second piece of exciting news. On Saturday August 13th, I bought a new car! EEK! I am now the proud owner of a beautiful 2011 Dodge Charger. I promise this wasn't a spur of the moment "I have a job now" purchase. My parents and I had been looking into getting a car all summer and had already gone on some test drives when the job news came. I like to think the timing of the job offer was God's way of reassuring me that I didn't need to drive myself crazy worrying about whether or not it was smart to make such a big purchase. Anyways, back to the car. It was quite a process! But I think I handled myself pretty well. I test drove 6 cars, did a ton of research before I settled on the charger, and was able to get a sweet deal. The charger was exactly what I was looking for too! It is the perfect combination of muscle car meets functional sedan. It looks amazing and drives like a sports car while still having four doors and plenty of room in the backseat for passengers. Perfect!! I will stop doting now and show you some pictures. Her name is Eleanore. :)

Proud new owner!! :)

And I will conclude with some words form my father. He said to me when we got home from purchasing the car "You know, if someone where to ask me to go car shopping with them, I would probably tell them I would rather go to the dentist... or the proctologist. But, I would go with you again. I am proud of you, Steph." <<< Isn't he the sweetest! :)

Whoop for a car! and WHOOP for a new job!! I hope yall are having a wonderful week! God Bless you!!!

P.S. I feel I I must apologize for my extended absence from the blogging world. The past month has been pretty crazy and I have just been riding the waves. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The End of an Era

"Having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, it's place in history secured, the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time. It's voyage, at an end."

Not going to lie, I cried while watching this today. You never realize how much you treasure something until it is taken from you. I have dreamed of being an astronaut and flying the space shuttle since I was little. It was a dream I had abandoned for my greater desire of being a wife and mother. Yet, somehow today it felt like my dreams were being stripped from me. I guess I always held on to that hope that maybe, someday, God's plans for my life would lead me in that direction. So today as the space shuttle is laid to rest, so too are my hidden dreams of piloting that same shuttle.

I think the words of the Commander Ferguson and Mission Control capture the mood and feelings of so many around the world, including myself.

Commander Ferguson: "Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle found it's place in history. It's come to a final stop."
Mission Control: "We copy your wheel stop and we'll take this opportunity to congratulate you, Atlantis, as well as the thousands of passionate individuals across this great space-faring nation who truly empowered this incredible spacecraft which for three decades has inspired millions across the globe. Job well done America."
Commander Ferguson: "Hey, thanks. Great words. Great words. You know the space shuttle has changed the way we view the world and has changed the way we view our universe. There's a lot of emotion today but one thing's indisputable, America is not going to stop exploring. Thank you Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endevour, and our ship Atlantis. Thank you for protecting us and bringing this program to such a fitting end. God Bless all of you. God Bless the United States of America."
 I mourn the loss of such a wonderful and iconic program but I also look forward to what the next generation of space exploration will bring.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life Updates

Well hello there! It has been a while..
In my absence from the blogospehere many things have happened so enjoy the updates. :)

1) My internship at Bellicopter (as my friends like to call it) is now half way done. The saying is absolutely true. Time flies (no pun intended) when you are having fun!! I am thoroughly enjoying my internship. I won't go into the nitty gritty details of what I am working on for sake of your mental clarity, just know that I am being challenged and I am loving it. I have a project that is pretty much my own and looks like it is going to take up the entirety of the summer. This is almost unheard of when you are an intern. Thanks to this project assignment I am being treated like a full time employee and I am making some great connections that will benefit me in the future. I am even getting to tell some full timers what to do!! As an intern! :D I LOVE IT!

2) I had the privilege of witnessing the beautiful wedding of Stephanie and Christopher Lafitte. These two are a wonderful example of what it means to live out Christ's love in the world. They inspire me.

3) This past weekend will now be summarized in pictures - because it is more fun that way! :)
HP7 Part 2 Premeire - The whole gang.
The House of Black

Sibling Pic!

Aggie Awakening 92 Rocked! It was flawless.

I finally stopped at the Aggie barn on Highway 6 and took pictures. I have always wanted to and this was probably my last opportunity. Yay!

Class of 2011 W1-1OOP!

God blessed our drive home with an absolutely beautiful sunset. :)

Gob Bless you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pride check

I think this article speaks for itself....  WOW.
As I've watched college students graduate recently, I've noticed a distressing trend. Campus ministries are becoming better, teaching orthodoxy without hesitation. Genuinely Catholic colleges are brimming over with zealous young people
And yet.
There is a harshness, a sort of snobbery happening. I watch in not a little horror and listen to what they are saying, as they measure other people by their overt acts of piety, while they size people up and discard them like the stuff of yesterday's recycling bin because they don't fit the new collegiate image of perfect holiness.
And I can just imagine that several years hence, they will go together with their young children to a playdate. They will meet another young mom at the park. They will inquire as to how many children she has. And when they discover that she has two, four years apart, they will say something sanctimonious about how they are open to God's plan for having children and has she ever heard of NFP? She will sit and wonder briefly whether she should tell them about the two years of cancer between the first birth and the second, about how desperately she prayed for this second child, about what a miracle he is. That young mom, with the two children widely spaced, will have just learned how some people of faith can judge one another. Litmus tests. Checklists. As she raises a family in the real world, she will see that attitude given voice over and over and over again, while Jesus weeps for his Church, broken and divided.
What's the opposite of gentleness? Harshness. Hard lines. Brittle rules. 
So there you are, you all grown up and graduated and out in the real world! You've come so far. You've left behind the safety of campus life, the happy campus ministry, the structure of academia. You've gone and gotten yourself a real job in the real world. With a real cubicle and a good excuse to shop at that very fine career wear store. Good for you!
You have a zeal for the faith that can be spotted a mile away. You wear it proudly splashed across your chest on more than a dozen t-shirts collected over the years of vibrant Catholic education. And you've come to embrace all those devotions of our faith as you've learned of them in your coming-of-age. You are on fire for your faith and you are eager to go out there into the real world and tell everyone just how Catholic you are.
May I whisper a word or two to you? CONTINUE READING.
Precious Jesus, grant me the grace to be gentle and humble. Amen.