Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

6 Things A Writer Is More Than Likely To Have With Them At All Times

Note Pad / Journal and Pen: As a writer, I can attest to the fact that sometimes thoughts will hit you while standing in the crowded line at the neighborhood grocery store, while purchasing Broccoli for the evening, to cook along with fried corn and steak. Your inspiration can come from anything as small as seeing a toddler crying in the store, a customer dispute with the store manager, to the smell and aroma that’s chasing you down from the deli, all the way to the car that almost hit you, as you were leaving the store. People always ask me, where does my inspiration and ideas come from.

It’s really this simple: I am already inspired to write, I remain in a constant state of being inspired to write, because I love the art of expression. The only way that I know how to do that, is through writing. My ideas come from anywhere and from anything. Every day, there’s a story to be written. I keep my note pad ready for those moments. I jot down ideas as they come and even if they don’t make the final cut, I don’t throw them away. I save them, and often find myself back on that page, building from that thought when and if have a momentary block. I have been known to pull off the road, just to write an idea down or to complete notes and bullet points I want to cover once I begin to write about it.

Camera: They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I think they meant to say, photos can be worth a million bucks. Because sometimes that “money shot” is real! Aside from being in the right place at the right time and having the once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to be the author behind that money shot, having a camera allows you to capture moments that you will never be able to reproduce. That may be your child swinging on the swing, taking a leap into mid-air and landing on his feet. It could be your child taking on the monkey bars, backwards or making rocks jump across the lake. It could be spare of the moment, candid photos that will last a lifetime, in which you can share with readers, who are then able to see the event that you attended, as something worth attending for themselves next year.

It may be at an outing, where you’re having the time of your life and you want to share it the next day, but words could never describe the fabulous time that you had, whereas a photo, nails it. Candid photos also make great talking points and writing prompts. You can present a photo and ask readers to give you their rendition or version of events of what transpired that evening. In this, comes inspiration, because everyone’s answer may be different, and it may spark an entirely different article or blog post for you. Plus, it increases engagement.

A Snack: Because we all like a little protein snack while we are on the go. Truth is, while we are fed very well at events, sometimes we find ourselves talking the entire time and forget to eat. Between events, especially when you get to the point that you schedule yourself for 2-3 different appearances or editorial assignment, which are happening back to back, you don’t have time to stop for food. The lines are too long at the drive thru’, the traffic is too thick to get off the freeway and chance being late or even a no show, so you need to have something in your purse that will carry you from point A to point B.

Plus, it’s an excellent idea anyway to have an extra pick me up to rejuvenate yourself, refresh and hit the reset button before arriving at the next event. As a writer, you may end up at the park a little longer than planned because you found something inspiring to write about, after meeting a mommy of 6, who’s recently widowed or divorced, who just made a move to the city. And because you don’t want to interrupt that stream of thought, behind your belly rumbling, you will tank yourself that you had something right there to snack on. People always ask about writer’s block, and while I have only experienced it once or twice in the last 10 years, I can say that the reason I don’t deal with it now is because I never stop writing. My thoughts lead me. If something says write, right now, I don’t put it off.

Calendar/ Planner: Keeping a calendar and planner keeps you on point. It prevents you from double booking yourself at an event, or for any programs, tours, conferences or workshops that you have a desire to attend and take part in. If you have reached out to tourism bureaus and PR companies about events, it’s an innovative idea to write it down immediately, upon approval to attend, so that; Number 1. You don’t forget, and number 2. You don’t end up somewhere else, when you should have been at the event you obligated yourself to. A calendar and planner keeps you organized and if writing/ blogging is what you want to do, organization is a must when it comes to attending events or taking on press trips and Editorial assignments.

Plus, it puts things into perspective to where you’re able to see deadlines, to make good on your promise to companies to provide them with reviews and or ratings of their product and or services. It helps you plan accordingly, not to take on too much. You do not want to tarnish your rep, by forgetting or not delivering in a timely or promise, because the competition is thick. There are other writers out there waiting in the wing for an opportunity like that. Don’t mess it up, by not having logged it from the jump. Forgetting does not send the message that you take their brand serious or that you’re responsible enough to handle an assignment.

Cell Phone /Recorder: This is because sometimes it is not as convenient to pull off the road and jot things down. You may also be in a position where it’s better to record your own thoughts and ideas, versus writing them down for later review and consideration of a topic to write about. You can use a recorder as a sounding board Listening to yourself helps to break even with what deserves a title and what goes on the back-burner for a later date.

As a writer, there’s also many opportunities that may arise where you have either planned to interview someone or the impromptu opportunity arises, and you always want to be prepared! Cell phones also offer the option of easy posting. If you have something that is worth sharing in the moment, whether it’s in conclusive with an all-out article / post or the picture that’s worth a thousand words to let your audience to #StayTuned, A cell phone with wi-fi capabilities will help you achieve this.

Tablet/Laptop: There comes a time when you spend countless hours at your local coffee shop or lounge, conveniently located at the entrance of your subdivision; where all the notes that you’ve kept on your recorder or the notes that you’ve jotted down all week, in your journal will need to be transferred or transcribed into a post.

Everything you have done all week to accumulate thoughts and ideas, will not be front and center, ready for a place on your writing list. Is it a book, a chapter a book, an outline, a post, a blog, an article, a thought that will inspire an outline for a story? Whatever it is, you now are face to face with your tablet or laptop and it’s time to get to writing. What are you waiting for?

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

Why Moving Out Of My Home Was Bitter Sweet and Why My New Situation Is Sweet As Pie

I moved into my home, in the Sienna Plantation Subdivision of Sugarland, Texas; in April of 2012. I had every intention of making it home for at least the following 5 years. I wanted a place for my son to grow, to call his own and to run around with all the freedom a One-Year old could want. I wanted a community, where extra-curricular activities, in a family-oriented environment and a family-friendly neighborhood; were in plethora. I wanted the security of knowing that my son was in a safe neighborhood (as safe as it could be anyway – little to no crime) and in a home where he had a large backyard, to run wild in the grass. I thought of that land that our home sat on when I was in grade school, and how we could go outside in the backyard and have the time of our life, without being in harm’s way. I wanted this for my child.

I accomplished that when I picked out the house, April of that year. Even though the move was a sudden and quick move, only looking at two other homes before deciding on this one, I was completely satisfied. I found the house on a Friday and I had moved in within a week. When I looked at this house, I saw myself in the kitchen being able to see the entire backyard, as my child was playing outside.

As I walked through the downstairs, admiring the open kitchen and bar area, the entertainment living room, which had floor to ceiling windows that stretched over 16 feet, allowing natural light to illuminate the entire downstairs area; I settled at the fireplace. I gazed over the backyard, from corner to corner, while standing indoors, at the fireplace. The whole back of the home, was wide-open. I envisioned a flat screen TV above the fireplace, accompanied by fancy art, which would anchor both sides for symmetrical purpose. I am a person who often seek balance, and it penetrates each part of my life. The living room was just one. I fancied the idea of raw paintings, that would adorn the collar bones of the home.

The walls had yet to be painted. Just the way I like it… A blank canvas. I knew that I wouldn’t paint them either, because there’s something about the look of clean, white walls, throughout a wide-open home. I took noticed the multiple options that I had, for placement of family portraits and moments, which would be captured between my son and me, for the duration of our stay.

I moved beyond the living room, into the downstairs Master Bedroom, which had a window seat and another large, open window area. It was just the right size, just what I was used to. The Master-Bath was to my liking, as well as the walk-in closet that would support alllll the clothes, shoes and purses that I would be bringing. From there, I moved throughout the breakfast area and dining room, just before heading upstairs. Once upstairs, on the catwalk, I had a choice to go left or right to decide which room would suit my son. But I took a pause, for that breath-taking moment, as I looked down, over the living area. The tall windows allowed me to see beyond the fence in the backyard, into the bayou. The privacy was just what I needed.

I took the right… Headed right to the room that I knew would be perfect for the little one. It was just off the open play area, where if I were downstairs in the living room, I could look up and see him always. The other side of the house, seated two additional bedrooms and a full-sized bath. So, there I was. 4 bedrooms, large walk-in closets, plenty of room, open kitchen, entertainment living-room, dining area, breakfast area, large laundry, open floor plan with lots of natural light, large, fenced-in backward, 2 car garages and the home was located at the end of the street, last house in the circle… on Story Book Trail. I was good. I was home.

Fast forward 5 years later, after I had hung my coat, and settled in over the years, making this home my resting place; I wondered through some old photos. It reminded me of the first day that I moved in. I sat in that timeless moment of nostalgia. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I thought about the reality of it being March 2017, and how the close of my custody trial had also brought a close to my story, on Story Book Trail. I would be moving out of the home in a week. I needed to get away. I thought about some not so great moments that happened in the home, which caused me to view to home a little differently, 1-year into being there. I loved the home, but shortly after I moved in and only after I revealed my address, some random acts of vandalism began to occur. At that moment, I wanted out of the house, but I had to make the best of the unpleasant situation and remain put, until the time was right to leave.

I was getting so much negative energy about being able to live in such a lovely home, (how could she afford it, that’s not her home, who’s paying for her home, it must be a rental or did she purchase it, she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get a job). (And the best one of all, “she’s using child support money to pay for it” ALTHOUGH, I wasn’t getting child support, I was paying child support) and all of this was creating a ball of hate, which was beginning to grow legs, arms, eyes and vicious teeth. It was hovering over my life unwarranted. It was crawling through my home, disturbing my peace. It was killing the spirit of joy throughout the walls of my home. Every time I looked around, something else was occurring.

It was almost like watching an apple decay. A beautiful apple, turning from red to black. From plump, to a soft and fetal position. A series of events were tarnishing my home. From break ins while I was out of town, to tampering with my phone lines and security systems, to people showing up disguised as delivery services and phone company representatives, who only wanted to get inside my home to plant wires… to the home being rummaged through while I was away. Even installing a security system didn’t work, because through the phone lines and my computer, my space had been invaded, violated and my privacy was destroyed.

But then I thought to myself, this is the 5th year, and all that I had planned for. Everything that was pushing me away from that home, was pushing me into the direction of something so much greater. I did not understand while it was happening. But I understand it now. I understood it while I was packing up and getting ready for greater. I had my last dance with the home, entertaining my son and his friends as they ran about outside, playing in water wars and washing the cars. I had my last rendezvous with the home the last night over a bottle of wine. I had my last affair with the home as I sat in the soaker. I walked the home corner to corner, as I had done when I moved in, taking in all the precious moments that were spent there- from room to room. I sat in each room and prayed. I walked upstairs and downstairs closing all the doors, as you would, a book once finished. I turned off all the lights, disconnected all services, closed all the blinds and locked the door for the last time. I was smiling and I never looked back, as I drove away.

Had I moved, prior to the season for me to move, I would be in a repeat situation. I am convinced, that it was by purpose, that I remained in that house until all the court hoopla came to a head, where I was then able to move at my leisure, unbothered and unfollowed. GOD is still good.

“There is always a sign that Precedes the move of GOD” That was the sound of those doors locking, one last time. That was the sound of me driving away from Story Book Trail, as that story was over.

Walking out of the house, I could hear only “One Sound.” That was the sound of “The Anthem” featuring Gospel Singer, William Murphy and the Full Baptist Church. Halleluiah, you have won the victory. You have won it all for me. Death could not hold you down, you are the risen king, seated in majesty, you are the risen King! I am grateful that GOD kept me in the valley, hid me from the rain… forever, he will reign.

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

My Personal Lifetime Bucket List of 4 realistic Places to Visit in the near and 3 in the distant future.

My Personal Lifetime Bucket List of 4 realistic Places to Visit in the near and 3 in the distant future. Below are the places that I hope to visit in the near future and more of where I look forward to visiting in the distant future. As a blogger, I have had the opportunity to take media trips all over. However, below are the places and things that I have yet to experience. I anticipate writing about the following:

Dubai – Just for a visit. Well, a sabbatical. Dubai is considered the fifth safest city in the world. I would love to stay for 30 whole days, so that I can take my time uncovering the beauties in this place. I would love to pace myself in discovering the culture, experiencing the architecture and to visit all the landmarks and trademarked palaces of Dubai. Such as: Emirates Towers, Burj Al Arab – The Tower of Arabs, Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Al Sahra Desert Resort Palm Islands and the Dubai Fountain which is set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, and is the world’s largest dancing fountain. It can shoot up to 150 metres (492 feet) in the air!

Dubai is one of the most popular weekend destinations, even exceeding Paris, and is probably why it’s Number 1 on my comprehensive list of things to do before I am carried away in the wagon. I may not get to Dubai before I do some of the other things on this list. Nonetheless, it is still the single most important thing for me to do at some point.

Cruise – A cruise really doesn’t deserve to be on my list, because as I blogged before, it’s not something that is out of reach. It’s something that I have passed on before because I either did not want to go with the person/people who invited me, or I did not want to take one of those singles cruises. Also, as the opportunity to go, has been in plethora – It seems like something I would enjoy more with a person or people who I know I love, trust and adore. It’s like a big step for me.

So yes, I am a virgin to cruises, for this reason and it would take someone special to take me on one. I would like to take a 14- night Caribbean Cruise, on the Caribbean Princess. I can see myself now indulging in the buffets that I always hear about and swinging out to the sweet sounds of a live band, before enjoying a night cap with the perfect Knight, while gazing at the open sea. Ok. Let me not get carried away. There will be a time and place for all of that, because this one, just might be getting marked off the bucket list real soon. *Hint *Hint.

Skiing in Colorado – When I was a child I said that when I grew up, I was going to live in either California, New York or Colorado. I have visited New York on Multiple occasions. I would not like to live there, full time. It’s way too busy and congested for me, and I absolutely cannot deal with the subway. I am not one for taxies and I cannot stand the cold. I found that out after living in Minnesota. I mean, I can deal with it, but not for as long as it last in those Northern States. I also visited areas of California and decided that this was where I am going to live.

The weather is great, the people are Gnarley and the food is indescribable, the things to do are endless. So, this is how Colorado end up being on the list. I know I cannot live there because of the Winters, but I do know that I want to Ski. Colorado is known for their snow-capped mountains and luxurious Ski Resorts, so why not! I could mark this off the list and never look back.

Croatia – Who doesn’t want to go to Croatia? My hands are down, because I will jump on the first ride that’s headed that way, when I get a chance to. Croatia wasn’t always on my Bucket List. As I market down things that were, I also added more and Croatia was one. I guess it’s true, you never stop living until you are dead. So, you end up maintaining a bucket list of things to do and places to go. I hear that it’s easy to reach, as some Greek islands take four hours to reach by plane. The Canaries? More like four-and-a-half. Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula are all just two-and-a-half hours away or less.

I hear that the beaches are impeccable! That was enough to nominate Croatia as a must see for me. I love the water, I live for the beach, and I swear I must have been a sea animal in a before life, because when I am in the ocean I always lose sight of the shore. I become one with the water and everything else around me is just a blur. I am in my happiest state when I am swimming in the ocean.

Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China – The rainbow formation is the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down for over 24 million years, according to the Telegraph. ″Zhangye National Geopark″ is located in Sunan and Linze counties within the prefecture-level city of Zhangye. It covers an area of 322 square kilometres (124 sq mi). The site became a quasi-national geopark on April 23, 2012 (provisional name: Gansu Zhangye Danxia Geopark). It was formally designated as ″Gansu Zhangye National Geopark″ by the Ministry of Land and Resources on June 16, 2016 after it has passed the on-site acceptance test. Known for its colorful rock formations, it has been voted by Chinese media outlets as one of the most beautiful landforms in China.

In 2005, Zhangye Danxia was voted by a panel of reporters from 34 major media outlets as one of the most beautiful Danxia landform areas in China. In 2009, Chinese National Geography magazine chose Zhangye Danxia as one of the “six most beautiful landforms” in China. The area has become a top tourist attraction for Zhangye. A series of boardwalks and access roads have been built to help visitors to explore the rock formations. In 2014, 100 million yuan was invested to improve the facilities in the Binggou area. Source: (Wikipedia Media & Tourism)

Swing at The End of The World – Ecuador) Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a seismic monitoring station in a tree known as Casa del Arbol. Its purpose is observing Mt. Tungurahua, the nearby active volcano, from its precarious perch. While the treehouse itself is a sight to behold, the real attraction is the crude swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches.

With no harness, net, or any other safety feature the swing (nothing more than a plank suspended by two ropes) arcs riders out into the air over the canyon. It is unclear where the swing came from – perhaps it was set up by a whimsical seismologist.

Adventurous swingers of all ages are welcome to take a ride at the end of the world, but at their own discretion. Source: (http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/swing-at-the-end-of-the-world)

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives – Alas! This is a must, before I take my final bow. It is the most surreal place of all. I would exhale in Maldives. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen and read about in places to go. The photos are breathtaking.

What may appear as a mirror image of the stars above, the bioluminescence in the water is due to marine microbes called phytoplankton. The effect it has on the shore is breathtaking. (Buzzfeed)

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

A Quick List Of All The Things That Makes This Mom Happy and Things I Enjoy Doing

A list of all the things that makes this mom happy and things I like to spend my time doing

Writing – Writing is my favorite pastime and it was an interest that developed in the 6th grade, while attending Shades Mountain Elementary, in Birmingham, Alabama. I had all these stories in my heart, but did not know what to do with them. They developed from my imagination and ability to turn a house into a mansion or to see the forest spite the trees. I was confused … but I learned that it was simply the mind of a story -teller… and aspiring Author. A novelist. I used to be afraid to keep a journal, however. But when I got used to listening to what my heart had to say, I became more comfortable with writing it down in story form or poetic expressions and essays.

Blogging – Blogging was an interest that stemmed from writing of course. After I’d written a few short stories, ventured through books and poems, as well as harnesses a love for literature, I put it into a book. Then I began writing for a newspaper and supplied content for newsletters and select online publications here and there. After-which, I decided to camp out in the arena of blog life in 2009. It was another way to “report” and combine that with “expression” keeping everything authentic and very close to my style. I could write more freely in a blog, versus a Newspaper, because papers had word limits, and a lot of times you are given a topic and restricted to only articles about that topic.

Researching – Researching kind of goes hand in hand with writing and blogging, in my book. But for me, research did not begin after I began writing and blogging. I had an ardent desire to research things. I loved to get lost in a philosophy or a method, and I wanted to understand theories and thought processes. I had a keen sense to understand the mind over matter concepts and science related to the human brain and psyche. So, when writing and blogging came along, research was already there. I did not mind having to research a topic or having to read more literature on subjects that were interesting to me, to provide the most accurate information about whatever I wrote.

Traveling– Traveling is said to be the sure tell sign of a writer. Writers travel between characters and stories on a daily, allowing them to live in multiple worlds and in many situations. Aside from the mental sense and ability to tap into the psyche of a character they are writing about, writers are usually recluse or travelers, also known as wonderers. We have thoroughly covered the wonders of the world and have traveled to the four corners. If we have yet to do so in our careers thus far, you best believe that it’s on the bucket list. Traveling is something I crave. When I am in one place too long, I feel homesick, because being on the road is where I am most at peace with channeling my thoughts.

Drinking Wine– I am starting to see some stars aligning here, or is it the wine… LOL. J/K… Wine! Being just one more thing that seems to blend with writing and blogging. A glass of wine has been known to get the engine going for me in the writing game. When I am chasing a thought, or can’t quite put my finger on it to tie it down, wine is the triple hitter that drives it on in. In blogging, well…. Haven’t you heard of “blogging events” where wine is consumed? Lol Wine tastings, food and wine festivals, wineries and oh, don’t forget Sip-n-Draw; which is the wonderfully made art studio that allows you to drink while you draw their subject, and then blog about the experience.

Dancing – This must be my destiny! The Wine told me that I could do it. In fact, I have a flask that says, “You can dance”, Sincerely Wine. Oh, wait! I think it says, Sincerely, Vodka. Anyway, all the same. Dancing is something that happy people do. Enough said. When I am in a good mood or a bad mood, music is something that can get me up out of my bed, off the couch, out of a funk and into a dance. Occasionally it will get me out of the house too but into a lot more. So, long as we are not mixing the wine with the dancing, were good. But I won’t deny it…it has happened.

Going to a hole in the wall, private, exclusive after-hours spots with my favorite people –I am not always a recluse. Remember, I said I do love to travel, and even though a lot of that travel is through stories and characters, I do love to get out every once, in a while to enjoy a glass of wine away from the house, with a very tight few. More like one or two. Ok, just one… but then me meet other people while we are out and have a wonderful time. We don’t go out with the intent of finding new friends or having a pow wow, that’s why it’s a hole in the wall, exclusive and very private spot that we end up at. Something quaint and off the beaten path is just enough to call it a great night.

When I am doing none of the above, I am more than likely doing my most favorite thing of all, and that is hanging out with my little Prince Cornelius. The world is endless in his eyes and so are my experiences with him. He is a little prankster and a jokester, with a phenomenal sense of humor, who keeps me laughing. He has some days when he challenges me, so no its not all peaches and cream, but I would not trade it for anything else. Even when it means sleepless nights and early morning cartoons…Which tells me that he is still Numeral Uno on my list of favorite things, and things that make me happy, which are sure to put a smile on my face. This little one has taught me how to practice what I preach when I say, Love Unconditional. My Love

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

What if The Word Why? Came With A Dollar? I would be rich off my one child alone.

One thing’s for sure, and that is, I am tired of hearing the word Why? So much, that I have considered telling my child that he has a one why maximum on the usage of the word why, per day. Or, if he uses it more than twice in a day, I am entitled to have the exclusive right to say, “I don’t know” even when I really do know. Plus, I should get to say, I don’t know, at least one time per every two why’s. Yea, that sounds like a plan. I think when you are over a certain age, your why’s should come with an Excel spreadsheet and payment on every third why in a day. Maybe, us parents can conduct a WHY Convention, where we answer all the children’s why’s in one day…. Headline: Bring your children on Friday to the Summit Beach House, and don’t ask us why. Boom! That’s it

Truth be told, I love my son’s thirst for knowledge, and the fact that he always asks me; even though it challenges me to channel my inner 6-year-old child, in which most cases, I find out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader. Juuuust kidding. But I really cannot remember anything from 5th grade. Does that make me less smart though? Hummm… I will have to think about that one before fully deflating my ego. At least when he asks why, I am forced to go into those rooms that have laid dormant in my body’s northern hemisphere, in the brain region. So, it’s not all bad. I do get a kick out of seeing if I can beat him to an explanation that will cancel all the following why’s. Just searching for something good enough for him, without having to tell a lie… and of course before resorting to saying that I don’t know. I think we should limit the times we tell our children that we don’t know something, to prevent them from growing up thinking we are dumb as a box of rocks. Or, to prevent them from asking other people and getting the wrong answers all together. I think if we do not know, we should try to find out WHY.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

As moms, we have all heard the expression that children are like sponges. All to say that they soak up a lot of knowledge as they grow into their personalities over the wonder years. It’s never a terrible thing that our children have so many questions about how things work, what they do and what they are used for. I am happy that my child wants to know if there are people in the back of the television. I am not so happy that he wants to take the TV apart just to find out. I am also happy that he wants to know exactly why he can jump up and down on the bed and bounce high. However, not too pleased when he tests just how high he can bounce, when it’s followed by a big fall off to the side of the bed.

I totally get it, that it’s extremely annoying to hear the word why, when it’s in response to something where the only answer is: Because I said so! Because there may not be an answer other than that to: Mom why can’t I go outside right now. Well, maybe it’s too late in the evening, maybe he’s already had his bath, maybe you are too tired to go outside with him and watch him, maybe you’re too busy to go out at that moment, maybe you don’t feel like getting him dressed appropriately to go out in certain weather conditions…. These reasons will still be responded to, with a why. Therefore, when he asks, why can’t I go outside, the answer is simply, Because I said so.

See, you must be smart about your response to the questions of why, because they have already planned their next why. You need to find ways to beat them to the punch and shut it down or it can go on for hours. Some children, like my own, will sit and deliberate on the answer, and use the Scientific Method without even being taught that in school just yet. He will began thinking it all the way through, forming a hypothesis, making an educated guess. And here we go again. Most recently, he asked to go outside and it was hi-noon in Houston. It was 58 degrees in the shade. It was a dry heat and no wind was blowing. Even your breath blew stifling air. If you saw anyone holding hands, it just made you hot because you are already sweating, shirt sticking to your back, your shades are even hot while they rest on your noses to see someone hugged up, was like scratching a chalk board. Yes, that hot. So, when he asked, I told him that it was ‘fainting weather” He asked what’s fainting weather. I explained and told him that it’s too hot, and it’s the kind of weather that you are liable to pass out in (faint) heat stroke. I told him that we needed to get some water so that we could stay hydrated while out in that kind of weather.

The next day, as a consolation prize for being indoors for the afternoon, on the day before; I took him to the park. It was just as hot. On the way, he asked, “Mom, is this fainting weather.” Me: Yes, baby. 40 Minutes later after silence in the car, he asked, “Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? Why would he want to kill the people he created?” I literally felt my mental elevator crash somewhere between my heart and head. I was totally defeated. I answered, He did not do it to kill anyone baby. He made it hot because the trees and grass need it. So, he asks, “Why?” By now, I am in the front seat banging on the dormant doors to my brain. No one would answer. I just told him that the trees and grass can take it. We can’t. But if we stay hydrated, we will be fine. He then asked, “Well, why can’t the trees and the grass stay hydrated?” All I know is, I was so happy to be pulling up to the park right around that time!

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

Every Single Mother Will Benefit From Hearing This

2016 began a year of transparency for me. It came after recognizing that there was room for a change in the direction I was taking to approach new challenges. In being told out right, that I was not as transparent as people would like, and that because of this, they don’t “know who I am” I decided to delve more into it. Initially I didn’t take to that very well, as I thought I did good at being an open book, if I should say so myself.

However, in this season and along this journey, I’ve come to the realization that being an open book about my life and happenstance, wasn’t exactly the transparency that they were referring to. It’s awesome to show people a strong courageous girl, after detailing some of the things that life throws at you…. but sometimes, it’s even more awesome when people can relate to your testimony, by knowing the tribulation as well, so that they will know that the things they may be burdened with, are also things that someone else has been burdened with. They are then able to seek refuge in knowing that there is a way out. IE: “XYZ happened to me, and I made it out.” V.S. more Transparency: “These are the things I endured, when XYZ happened. And this is what I had to do, to get beyond the things which happened to me. It wasn’t a cake walk, but I made it.

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…. We breeze right past the hard part because we’re anxious about telling the good part…and we are so happy to share the good news. Or because we do not want to dwell on the bad part, we skip right to how we triumphed, and it comes across as, all good. As women, working mothers, single moms….we make it look so easy sometimes, because no one really hears the part about where we fell down a few times during the trials and on the journey to make it through and out. However, that’s what they need.

For some reason, and one that I am sure will continue to reveal itself to me more over time, as I become familiar with why people want to know about the bad days, I understand that it’s important that you share that you had some hard decisions to make; which came with some pretty hefty consequences from choices or even moves you did or didn’t make when the time was necessary, and that you struggled in the process.

I understand that people want to know about the battle and they want a birds eye view into some of the pain, without hearing the sound of a victim. This takes some crafting, because there’s a tiny little line, in which if crossed, the dynamic and tone of the story will change to reflect bragging or even boasting. On the flip side, someone who’s constantly talking about “what has happened to them” instead of talking about the process of how what happened, brought you to a brighter place, the message tends to get lost in translation. While we should be happy in our own right- and celebrate our victories, as well as be proud of the fact that we made it out of a rough patch, we don’t want the testimony to get trapped in a maze of affirmations about self.

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“With reference to those times that you hear someone say, that someone has put a bad taste in their mouth, think of this: The taste you give someone about yourself, comes from the soil that you mature and grow in.” – Sincerely, Niedria Kenny

When we speak of the victory all the time, without balancing and filtering into the story, the things that make us normal- to show people how they too can overcome something, they don’t believe they can. Such as: How we managed to move through the ranks, what we did in between jobs and we transitioned in careers, what we faced when we were fired from our jobs, what happened to us when we did not get the raise we needed, what we did in the meantime, while we waited on the promotion, how we came to the conclusion to leave a job, in order to create a better life, or how we had to make a life-altering decision to loose in order to win again. If you do not share these things, people begin to see you as super human, and no one wants to be around a super human or someone that makes them feel inferior. If you always make it look easy, you contribute to a person’s sense of failure, in that if they can’t do something that’s being described as so easy… they began to ponder the question of, “what does that make them, what’s wrong with them?”

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Be not mistaken. I’m not standing in the gap for people who constantly need ego stroking or people who are generally always down and looking for someone else to pull them out of the slumps of which they won’t do their part in helping themselves. I am not standing in the gap for those who relish in knowing that someone else is miserable. Both are toxic people and can end up pulling you back into the place that you are so happy to have escaped.

This was also something that I had to learn to decipher between: Someone who wants to know about your fall before success, so that they can encouraged themselves and speak life over themselves to move into a place for change. .v.s. someone who just wants to know that you fell down, just so that they can say, aha!

I would like to encourage Mothers, Single Moms and Work Moms, who are successful or finding success by navigating through the trenches; to not be ashamed of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. If it is a victory that you want to share, share the trial as well. If you messed up somewhere along the way, or did not get it right the first time, or it took longer than you anticipated, it’s OK. There is someone, somewhere, who will benefit in knowing that seasons change, and they can too..

“You know, I don’t think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn’t wish for that, but it happened. Charlize Theron

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

Throwback Thursday, I am in my closet, rummaging through some things and I found a Mother’s Day card that my son made for me last year. I had it hung up on our bedroom wall, until a few weeks ago when I decided to move out of our home. I came to it, while searching through a bag for something else, altogether. I stopped to reflect on the hand print that was within one of the cards, that he documented with finger paint. There was another one where he wrote, “I LOVE YOU” But, Love was in sign-language. On the inside, a special note: Happy Mother’s Day.

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I paused, yielding to a few tears of joy… lending my heart to some more than welcomed memories and thoughts that flickered through my mind, followed by revelations, of how I blessed I am to have someone call me MOM. It is such a wonderfully incredible and indescribable feeling all at once. What an Awe-Amazing place to be at 4 months before I turn 40! I am Mother. I am still Mother. And why in the world am I crying right now? LOL…. Those emotions are something that comes with being a mom. In fact, my best friend witnessed me cry once and I was 34 years old then… He starred at me, without saying a word. Then he finally said, I am trying to figure out what to say, because I have never seen you cry. LOL…. Anyway, in this most precious and beautiful moment of seeing these cards, feelings of joy rush in.

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So, when people ask the question, what do I want for Mother’s Day, I am still stuck in such a place, where my answer is, I already got it. My child. What do you give a woman who has everything she wants and everything she needs, loves and desires, whereas the answer is simply, love, love, love and love? I get it, and I understand that the entire world does not revolve around the happiness and joy that my son brings to me and that some people might argue that it could be unhealthy …. Please understand that I am truly just speaking about the overflowing love I have for my son and the gratefulness that I show to my creator for making it possible. I realize that a woman can find love and joy in many other things…but hey, for the record… I got that covered too – and everything is all good. But I am talking about the bean-misters right now. I don’t praise him, I just love him.

The last 3.5 years have been extremely bumpy…where my child was concerned, as his father and I, were in and out of court of some of the pettiest things you could ever think a pompous narcissistic and controlling father could do to the mother of his child. A 4-year cycle of erroneous motion after erroneous motion, which his father filed, almost made me throw in the towel.  However, when I look back on the fight that I put up, to save my son, I have no regrets. When I look back and see that I truly still came out on top- I am even more thankful that I could have had that kind of love in my heart to go as far as I did for my child. To look at him, is to see a reflection of me… and to know that it was all in the name of love, love, love love, and so, it was all worth it. Love is a language that stretches across barriers, breaking levies, steering through mountains, trudging through treacherous paths and untrodden territory; by which is only understood by people who have experienced motherhood… and people who have experiences true love, and for those who know what unconditional love is.

I was made for this. It only strengthened me and encouraged me, to be strong and to be here for my son. The struggle…It helped me survive. The sleepless nights…they are still here, and from what I hear, they will always be here, so long as I am a loving mother. With that, I rest in knowing that it’s only because I care so much and because I love him so much, that I want to make sure that he is ok, wherever he is and with every breath he takes.

I am happy today. I am happy knowing that I survived some of the worst times of my life. I survived some of the most devastating and heart breaking news, but I am still a Mother and I still have my child and that is the best Mother’s Day gift I could possibly ask for. When someone loves my child, and someone cares for my child and shows a vested interest in his well-being, that is the best gift I could receive as a mother. When someone ask, how my child is doing, and they call him by name or have been around long enough to know the nicknames I have given him (Prince Cornelius, Bambino, Bam-Bam) it makes me feel good all over again. When my friends ask, how’s Lil’ C doing, how’s Big C doing… my heart melts.

It is a pleasure and an honor to have been commissioned with the task of being a Mother. It is a Pleasure and an honor to have been assigned to this little boy. I could not imagine life without him. Even when I think about how much easier it would be, I reflect on the wonderful times we have shared over the years…I think of all the times that he has made me laugh, all the times he made me think outside the box, overcome some of my own fears as well as the times that he made me realize how much he needed me to survive….and nothing, not even peace, could replace that. I live for the chaos that the four- foot tornado brings. And though I cry a lot behind some of the things he does, this is my first stab at this parenting thing, so I can only imagine what he’s going through, taking his first stab at this co-parenting thing…So I have loosened the reigns a little. But what he doesn’t know is, my grip isn’t on the reign anyway. It’s on GOD, and GOD’s promises, to protect him, guide him and keep him safe. I am so fortunate. I am so thankful. And I am so blessed, to be celebrating my 7th Mother’s Day, as the mother to Deon Cornelius Kenny, AKA, Prince Cornelius …. Bam-Bam …My Bambino!