Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

5 Ways My Life Has Changed, Since My Son Has Been Living With His Dad: The Pros And The Cons

  1. My schedule is random unless my is visiting on the weekend. When he’s home with me, I provide the stability and the structure as well as discipline that he needs, by following a schedule to keep him on track with bed time, dinner, breakfast, play time, reading etc. It was a schedule that I implemented for him long before he was living with his dad. Now that he’s gone, I sleep in, I eat out, I cook less, and I eat whenever and whatever I want. I take longer naps, make runs to the store at any time throughout the day, no matter how late. I can travel more if I’d like to and not worrying about who would take him to school and pick him up, or even the fact that he would have to miss school. I can take last minute media assignments, make last minute plans, and spare of the moment trips out of town/ in town or even out of the country. Overall, I have free time to pursue many endeavors.
  2. Anxiety: For a while, I had my anxiety under control. I did not experience anxiety on this level at all, prior to having a child. It was not until my child was taken from me, over an accusation, proven to be false; which left me in such a helpless and anxious place. It was because I could not help my child. I could not do anything to give him what he asked for, which was to stay with me. That is when I began to experience anxiety again. The decision on who he would live with, did not rest in my authority. It was not in my hands and no one asked my son where he wanted to be. The reason the anxiety heightened and escalated to the place where I am today, is because over the last 4-years, I became aware of things that were taking place, when my son was not in my care and after hearing so many things, it caused my anxieties to soar through the roof. While most of this, is a thing of the past, it was traumatic for me, and I still live with it, constantly finding ways to cope; reposing in the assurance that everything happens for a reason, and I have seen some of the advantages and blessings come out of it all.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

  1. Parks will never be the same: One of my son and I favorite pastime was to go to the park. We discovered just about every park there was, in the city. We settled on two, to call own, which were closest to the house. I spent many flex-days there with him and while he would play, I caught a spot under the tree. Today, it’s hard to drive by those parks. It’s hard to sit in those parks, work out, run around or walk around those trails. It’s a real challenge to be there, if other children are there. I have been in a place, where I couldn’t watch the other kids play, without breaking down. Though I am getting better with regards to seeing other children, I have yet to overcome the anxieties of going to those parks without my Bambino. When I do have him, we still make the most of our time. I found another park to create memories at, until the time comes…
  2. Insomnia: In other words, I cannot sleep at night…. Literally. (due to the anxiety) At times, I have been up 48 hours straight. That had a lot to do with the anxieties as well. Constantly worrying about where my kid was, who he was with and if he was OK. I had been fed some things by the Amicus on our case, in which she thought to be disturbing. Naturally, it disturbed me at that point as well. For 4 years of constantly hearing more and more, I was finding that my nights were getting longer and longer. Time passed like molasses. I would lay down with every intention of sleeping, but couldn’t make it happen. Still, to this very day, I have nightmares, terrible dreams that wake me from my sleep, where I fall to the floor and pray that my child is OK. He may be doing terrific! And that’s what I hope, but until I can get over the thought of anything happening to him, I will be woke.
  1. I have more Me Time: Me time has showed to be my best friend. It’s A time to get back to me, and focus on improvement. There’s always room for improvement, right? And since I do have severe anxiety and insomnia, it gives me the opportunity to work on getting myself back to a place, where I am rested, refreshed and refined. It allows me the time I need to “talk” about why I can sleep, why I have so much anxiety, why I stopped traveling as much, why I don’t leave the house as much, why I can’t sit in the park and watch other children play, or why I cannot do anything about what has transpired, but that I can find ways to cope with it. Me Time, gives me the space and time I need to do my make up again, do my hair again, celebrate myself again, in all that I do. Me Time helps me get back to the business of this empire and to pamper myself, heart, mind, body and soul. Me Time has encouraged me to get out of the house and to get active in the world again.

Article Originally posted Here, On Working Mother

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

How To Build Memories, One LEGO At A Time LEGOLAND, A Florida Escapade Built For Kids

 

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is built for kids. The 150-acre interactive theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, shopping, a breathtaking botanical garden and the LEGOLAND Water Park all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12.

LEGOLAND Florida

Summertime, for some kids, began when school let out earlier this year. However, for others, the fun just began in July! I speak for myself and my son on this one. We began our long-awaited summer vacation that I coined, #FloridaEscapades, with the intent of taking on a few of Florida’s major attractions, one in which included one of Florida’s most well-kept secrets; LEGOLAND Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park. How did this place get by me?

There have been lots of amazing things that have taken place over the summer thus far, from long and short road trips, mini- family vacations, dining in and out of the big city, trips to nana and papa house as well as local visits to the jungle gym and the city park. We have done the bounce houses, the race tracks and the beach on numerous occasions. This summer, I wanted to one-up myself, and try something new, more adventurous and exciting. I wanted to try something he has never done before, which he would always remember.

LEGOLAND FLORIDA

LEGOLAND Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park literally found its way to my doorstep, via my uncle who visited earlier this year. As I was discussing with him the very few things that my son has naturally taken an interest to, that have mastered his attention; in which LEGO’S were one. Here are other some other top summer toys.

My uncle suggested that I take the little Prince to LEGOLAND Florida, and so I did! It was a place I’d never heard of myself. Not the actual theme park, at least. We had attended the Lego Kids Fest in Houston, Texas twice before in the past, in addition to the MEGA store, but I had no idea that it only got better from there. But what I did know, is that if there was a place that capitalized on LEGO excitement, then it was a place for my son.

LEGOLAND FLORIDA

I decided to consider it, and to see what it was all about. Once on the website, I knew right away, that it was worthy of including on our summer list of fun and Florida Escapades, which would also include Disney World and Universal Orlando Studios. I found myself on the website for about an hour, navigating through pages of colorful fun and eye-catching things to do. I couldn’t resist the idea of taking my little Prince to a place that would literally, top the Lego Kids Fest. At the same time, a place that would send him into a sensory tailspin. You’d have to know my kid, to understand this. It’s not easy to capture or to keep his attention. H.is focus is a bit off and he moves on from thing to thing, with the blink of an eye. Once I found out LEGO’s did it for him, it was like being saved!

The LEGOLAND Theme Park and Water Park features a multitude of LEGO Lands, and rides suitable for children as well as adults. Some are for thrill-seekers, while you can still enjoy a classic ride on the Carousel near the entrance. There are many spots to cool down, plug in and recharge. Lots of options from dining, to shopping, as well as creative, interactive LEGO building, while bonding with other LEGO GURU’S. It was a great place to make connections with others who have entry level and expert level experience with building and designing from LEGO’s. Looking for something fun and exciting, not too overwhelming, and just enough to top the summer, my recommendation would be LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park.

The are located at: LEGOLAND® Florida Resort- One LEGOLAND Way- Winter Haven, FL 33884 Reservations can be made by phone:

TIP: Being in LEGO LAND Water park reminded me of my days as a lifeguard and WSI, in that I was refreshed on the importance of watching children. Not just as a lifeguard, but as a parent. Its SUMMERTIME and just about every kid wants to swim or will be around water. It is extremely important that parents know that they are the first people who are responsible for their child’s safety in an around any body of water. Children can drown in any amount of water, and we’ve seen this happen summer after summer -It does not matter of lifeguards are on duty! The advice I would leave with all parents is to make sure your little swimmer and water baby, knows how important it is to practice water safety, and for parents to know to keep your eyes on your children.

Article Originally Published Here, At Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

5 Things That Every Super Single Mom Can Appreciate!

When it comes to showing a Super Single Mom, that you care about them, there are so many ways to do it. Vacations out of the country, expensive gifts, which include jewelry, such as: Promise Rings, and the Tiffany Diamond Pendent that she has been looking at, are nice, but are sometimes not affordable at the time and other times, the timing is just all bad.

When thinking about what to give that Super Single Mom, who happens to be a co-worker, your best friend, your relative, or your business partner, the gifts may also vary. You don’t always need to break the bank, to make grand gestures. When they are heart-felt and much needed, they are also appreciated! Here are some universal, fool-proof things, that every Super Single Mom can appreciate.

FROM A MAN:

romantic tripA Romantic Day Trip: (If you’re romantically involved) In which, she may stop calling herself “Single.” As stated, a full-blown vacation may not be possible or even feasible at the time, with regards to work schedules and raising kids. They take time off and proper planning, whereas a day trip is well within reach.

Pick her head on things she would like to do and local places she would like to visit, such as: The Botanical Gardens, The Arts Museum, etc. Plan a picnic, a walk in the park, or a boat ride to follow. For the day, make her feel like she is out of town, and away from the madness, even though it is just 10-30 miles away.

handwritten

A little handwritten note: Notes are perhaps the most sentimental thing you can do for a woman. Here are some ideas. Just tell her something that she has not heard in a while. Remind her of how you feel about her. Let her know how much she means to you. Be willing to be vulnerable. “You’re beautiful” “You are appreciated” “You look great today, as usual” “You are a great mother”

breakfast in bed

Breakfast in Bed: Nothing says, “Good-Morning” like breakfast in bed. Waking up to a home-cooked breakfast, is in the mind of every super single mom. If you are dating, to the point that you are occupying spaces together, the kids are getting along, and they spend an inordinate amount of time together, as the two of you pan out blending the families, whereas things are getting serious; this will earn you major cool points.

lunch

A Surprise Lunch/Brunch or Dinner: Surprise her with a date to one of her favorite restaurants. It shows that you’re interested/still interested in dating her, in that you even remember what her favorite restaurant is. Take care of the arrangements beforehand, so that she doesn’t have to think.

Women who have been working, thinking and making all the decisions at work and at home, all day, just want someone to finally say: “I made reservations for lunch, at The Walnut Cafe. I am picking you up at 1:00 P.M.” Or, “We have dinner reservations. I will meet you at the house, and we can go from there. I have made arrangements for a sitter. The kids will have dinner ready when they get home from school.”

bath and massage

A Massage: Schedule a massage or DIY. But do it good. If massaging is your thing, why not save on the masseuse, crack those knuckles and put those palms into action. Use some lavender, peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil, after she has taken a long, hot bath. She has been running around with the kid(s) all day, and she just wants to come home and relax. You can help her achieve this, by addressing those pressure/stress points in her neck, back and shoulders.

FROM FRIENDS ETC.

spa dayA gift card to the spa: A trip to the Spa, one evening on her way from work, is the best. If it’s coming from the company, it’s all around winning situation for the employee and the employer, when the employer gives her the 2-hour early dismissal from work, so that she can make this possible. If she cannot do it during the week, she will at least have the GC, so that when she carves out enough time or when an impromptu situation arises, where she can break away to use it, she will appreciate it.

family night

A gift card for family night out: Show your friend and Super Single Mom that you have thought about the fact that she does all the picking up and dropping off the children, at school, after school practice, sporting events and gets them ready for school and prepared for bed. Allow her a free night from the kitchen and give her a GC that will take care of dinner for her and the kids for a night.

cleaning service.png

A coupon for a cleaning service: You should have thought of this one before. How many times have you heard a Super Single Mom talk about all the cleaning that she must do when she gets home? How many times have you heard her complain about having to run behind the kids and clean up mess? Take care of one of those times, by giving her the gift of a cleaning service for the day.

bottles of wine

A bottle of Wine: I realize I could just be speaking for a small group of people, as I recognize those who may not drink wine. However, for those who do, and you know who they are (as I raise my hand, really-high) they will appreciate it, more than you know. Contrary to widespread belief, mommies do like wine. Wink-Wink. Working Mothers do like wine and when they have a moment to do so, they do sip. Guilty as charged.

wash car

Wash and Detail her car: That’s right! She doesn’t have time to do this. It needs to be done. She will appreciate it. There are French-Fries every-where, that match the little hand prints all over the windows.

Well, there you have it! Find one thing from the list above, and show a Super Single Mom, that she is appreciated.

Article Originally Published on Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

Dear Readers, Lets Get This Basic Stuff Out Of The Way

I do solemnly swear to bring you content from the most interesting and not so interesting parts of my world, that everyone and no one at the same time, would possibly want to hear all about, to include: Past, Present and Future hopefuls, as well as those that didn’t make it on a brain numbing reality show and stories which wouldn’t possibly make it to a theater near you, anytime soon; due to extreme language and content that has placed it on a (what to do with this) list, until a rating can be created for approval of its release.

I will also do my best to see to it that the sentence that precedes this one, is the last run on sentence that you will ever read again. If I fail, charge it to my head and not my heart. No, actually charge it to the University that I graduated from. It wouldn’t be the first time they billed me for an education that has yet to equal the pay I made in Corporate America.

It is my humble desire and number one goal to make you happy, smile, laugh, cry, relate, and never be offended. Should you find something offensive, read it again, until you realize that I am not smart enough to offend anyone and that there’s a strong possibility that you over analyzed it and read it all wrong. If you are still offended, then please accept my deepest condolence in advance, for your dead heart. I mean, my deepest and most sincere apologies, for it is never my intent to make you think outside the box. Should I find myself in a position where I cannot share anything exciting, I will make it a point to mess up along the way, just so that I can show you that I am perfectly imperfect and extremely apologetic for being so. I’ve found that to be an excellent crutch and makes a great fall back plan in life. In fact, I am writing a course right now, titled: 101 ways to completely overrate your failures, so that sympathy will get you a good grade.

This is my first time on the Mommy-Merry-Go-Round, so I will depend on all of you to pick me up after the swift turns have thrown me from the ride, discombobulated and confused me. But only after you’ve had a good laugh about me being oblivious about “what just happened”. The contingency here is, so long as you assist me back to life, you have the right to laugh out loud.

Every day is a tryout. In my world, the ten-step program is learning to count down to one, after my child has asked me, why? more than 10 times in 20 minutes. I have this thing called MB, Mommy Brain – was diagnosed with it on December 24th, 2010 and I have had it for 6.5 years. Well, 6 years 5 months and 12 days and I was told that its malignant, invasive and uncontrollable, but that I will live – and I will live with it for the rest of my life. When I use big words out of context, it’s because I have been entertaining a kid who seems to be smarter than me, and it’s just my desperate attempt at assuring and affirming to myself, that I am still intelligent.

It is my intent to balance the universe, by showing you who the real wonder women are in the world and what our costumes look like, even if it does include an apron with words “All I Need Is Wine, stitched across the front.

You are going to see days where I walk in a pretty high stiletto, because I can’t find the other one, and other days, I will be seen in sandals or flip flops. There will be days where I simply don’t feel like wearing any shoes at all. I have flaws, but all of them are flawless. My little dirty secret is that I own a large Beauty Queen Crown.(A real one) I purchased it for myself when I turned 39 last year, to remind me that I am Queen. At least in my castle. I can’t say that too loud because I don’t want the beehive after me.

I will do my best to lead you blindly, under my classic old maid frames, which are in dire need of replacing. I hope to connect with like-minded people who also mess up this thing called life, on a daily- just so that I can be reminded of how extraordinarily normal, I am.

Should you agree that I live a very boring life, I invite you to call me so that you can tell me all about yours. If you follow, I follow back. If you lead, I will follow. If you follow, I will turn around and ask you, where are we going?

Disclaimer: I realize that there are commas in the above manifesto, in places it shouldn’t me. I realize that it was random and all over the place. I realize that some people never made it to this disclaimer.

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)