Happy Birthday Michael!


Dear Michael,
I think a HAPPY BIRTHDAY is in order! Although I’m a little late, I couldn’t miss out on wishing you the best birthday ever, especially since I have Birthday Anxiety Syndrome (to those who don’t know what that means, don’t ask!). Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you are the best brother I could ever have and I love you! Your love, support, and happy attitude is definitely missed over here in Tianjin.

Love, Maddie

Trip to HK

I’m in HongKong for the weekend! Leaving China next year for University, I wanted to make some long-lasting memories in my favorite city of all timenot to mention I get to spend 4 whole days with my best friend.

My first night in HK was spent helping Michael finish his semester at Hong Kong University. His final architecture portfolio was due Thursday at noon- unfortunately it took an all-nighter to complete the project >.< we tried in vain to beat the rising sun and get into bed before dawn.

It was so worth it though. Michael’s portfolio is excellent, I’m so proud of him!


Mickey cleaning out his studio spot, finally finished!

I made him a “home-cooked” brunch of bread, cheese, avocado and black coffee after we handed in his portfolio.

To rest up a bit, we napped and watched BBC’s Life nature documentaries. Later last night we walked around HK, ate Malaysian curry and Kaya-butter-toast for dinner, and visited a world-traveling, gigantic Ducky.








New Beginnings

Michael, throughout my visit to Carnegie Mellon University, I thought of you often. Being the first member of Connecting4 to step out into the world of study and responsibility, your experience at HKU is naturally the image that represents “college” for me. Hence, when I spent time in the US this past week observing current students, eating meals at college canteens & cafes, and discovering each university’s unique academic approach, I subconsciously compared everything I saw to Hong Kong University.

It surprised me when, on several occasions this week, I expressed my disappointment over not being able to attend school with you in HongKong. You see, earlier when I decided against HK for college, it didn’t immediately hit me how many hopes of mine were concentrated there. I don’t really know how to explain it, I guess I just didn’t realize how much I had been looking forward to spending my university experience with you by my side.


Now that I am examining all of these new options in America, I am distressed at the prospect of giving up my dreams and aspirations centered around HK.

This whole process is so new to me, I keep unearthing buried emotions which I didn’t know existed, let alone would affecte me so dramatically!

I want, more than ever, to visit you.

I miss you.


<year one architecture students working on a group project to create a variety of wooden structures>


<year one design students’ work: a project used to encourage recycling>


<ceiling of Carnegie Mellon’s Fine Arts department>


Remembering Winter.

I appreciate the slowness of wintertime, long days cozied up inside provide time to think, rest with family, and pray. Thinking back on the past few months, I fondly remember…

quiet snowfalls. hot showers. pijama tea times.


drinking lattes. Christmas decorating. cakes, cookies, and pies constantly filling our oven. reuniting with old friends. animal onesies! breakfast time with Mom. encouraging notes. Skype dates with Michael. freezing motor bike rides. late night movies. new kitchen countertops. Malaysian food. Sunday afternoons with friends.


visiting Michael in HK. Asian desserts. training for a 1/2 marathon (still a long way to go!). Barbie movies with Megan. mittens and ear muffs. black coffee. Dad’s B-day. reading. spending time with Jesus. 


Its been a long, cold, magical winter and I will surely miss it.

The month of March is now upon us…

While that means fickle weather patters for the present, springtime will soon sprout up spreading freshness wherever it goes.  A new chapter filled with pastel-tinted flowers, warm sunshine, and Easter-morning dresses is now beginning.  How thankful I am for season changes 🙂 I fully expect spring to be as blessed as winter was.

(most of the pictures shown above were used on connecting4’s instagram feed: connectingfour)

Dreaming of HK.

With Michael’s recent departure and the start of routine living again, I’m missing HongKong more than ever.

It was in this city where my life took a turn when I decided to take a step of faith and “not” jump right into college as previously expected. It was in this city that I re-united with my brother and old friends who encouraged me to open my mind to new ideas and to seek the Lord’s instruction. I will never forget the quiet, thoughtful days I spent in HongKong -although ironically it is known for its fast-paced society- in which my plans for the future were leveled and rebuilt. Furthermore, on top of all these things I have to mention my excitement over the new friends I was introduced to who made my time in HK so incredible! 

Here are some compiled images of photos that remind me of my recent visit to HK

-cannot wait to visit again!

As you can see, I played around with photoshop quite a bit while working on this post… the look is a bit “scattered” I think.

sticker pictures!

What cities are you day-dreaming about?

(seems like we’re dreaming A LOT over here at connecting4 🙂 –check out Maddie’s most recent dream house post.)