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, Travel, Uncategorized

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Play Sudoku – Don’t sleep on Sudoku puzzles. It has become one of the games that I play, which makes the time go by fast. It really is a fun game, but I must warn you, you will get hooked.

Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time. The goal of Sudoku is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and 3×3 section contain all the digits between 1 and 9. As a logic puzzle, Sudoku is also an excellent brain game. If you play Sudoku daily, you will soon start to see improvements in your concentration and overall brain power

The popular Japanese puzzle game Sudoku is based on the logical placement of numbers. An online game of logic, Sudoku doesn’t require any calculation nor special math skills; all that is needed are brains and concentration.

If you have an iPhone, there are three games I would recommend when sitting in hospital waiting areas or hair and nail salons, waiting for your number to be called. 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Anagrams and Word Hunt. For the same reason of jump starting and getting that blood to flow, word hunt and anagram is great.

8-Ball is real entertaining, if you do not really know how to play pool. It’s an uncomplicated way to learn, as its electronic and allows you to line up your cue and bank any shot. Well, with a few misses of course, but after a few games, you’ll get the hang of it.

Send a Post Gram – Who doesn’t love a greeting card, just because. You can download the Postgram App  for convenience, and after creating and customizing a post card to send to family, friends, and/or business associates, to remind them that you are still in business, Post Grams by Sincerely Inc. sends to U.S. Canada and Europe.

I worked as a Realtor for 10 years in Texas. During this time and even today, post cards were the number one seller at the marketing company I worked for. That is because Realtors realized the importance of maintaining contact with prospects, future home buyers and even those whom they have sold a home to before. Postcards remind people of what you do. “I sell houses” “I am an Estate Manager” “I am a Loan Officer” “I am a Chef” “I am a Landscaper” “I’m an Interior Decorator” ETC., Except be creative in how you remind them: “Wanted to wish you a Happy Tuesday, from your local Real Estate Agent” …” Greetings, hope you enjoy the Spring ahead. Don’t forget to Spring forward” …” A little reminder from your local Bake Shop” …

Even if it is not a business that you are running, you can always send a greeting card to people for no reason at all, just to say hello. Postgram is something that you can do right from the comfort of your home, on your cell phone. You never have leave the house. It’s not an email greeting card. It’s an actual plastic post card that will be delivered by mail to the recipient. It takes 5 minutes or less.

Organize and Clean – I used to manage a retail store called Just for Feet, way back when they were opened of course. This was in the late 90’s. I remember overhearing my District Manager tell one of the associates that if there is time to lean, there is time to clean. That stuck with me over the years, and so I made use of all my idle time, just by thinking of him saying that.

If you are home, or work, bored with nothing to do (and you don’t need rest) waiminute, when don’t we need rest as mothers? Ok… anyway, when and if a time comes where you do not need another second of rest, and you need to do something; tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen. We all have one.

Organize the kitchen pantry so that you will stop buying things you already have but just couldn’t find it. Clean out the refrigerator, there’s no use for that 10-day old lasagna that you said you were going to eat, 9 days ago.

Tackle and declutter that closet that you have been telling yourself that you don’t have time to do. You’d be amazed how much you can get done and surprised at the fact that you got it done, once you get started and just take your time. Section it off so that it is not so overwhelming. Focus on one part at a time. It’s not a marathon, so if you get tired just take a break. Pop on some music to get you excited about completing a task around the house.

Fold those clothes that are in the wash room sitting in that basket. You’ve already taken them out of the dryer. Why are they still in the basket?

Wash your car – may be a little hot at hi-noon to do this one. However, if it is in the evening that you find yourself bored, this would be something to do. Even if you’re used to taking it to the car wash, or having the kids do it… try doing it yourself one that when you have nothing to do. If the kids are home, help them with it. It saves you the money of having to drive it to a hand wash and detail center. It’s really a fun thing to do in the summer time with the kids anyway. If you are a single mom, and there isn’t a man around, you’d really enjoy this with the kids. It’s a great bonding moment. My son loves to wash my car, even though he’s just 6- years old. When I help him, it becomes a game to him. We find ourselves in a water war and it has one of your most memorable moments for the scrapbook.

Learn something new – A moment to learn, is time well spent. If you want boredom to take a hike, get back to teaching yourself to be productive in the process. Utilize every moment to get back to yourself. If it is Law that you are interested in, or Baking, or Design, or even learning how to use social media for marketing your brand or product; use this time to get online to find all the answers to your questions. Maybe you have a relative that is facing some health issues. You can get online to research that and become informed on how to deal with it, or find ways of helping them deal with it. Knowledge never plays out.

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, Uncategorized

3 Of My Sons Favorite Things To Eat And What I am Doing About It Because Frankly, I am Tired Of The Repeat

Have you ever heard the sound of a broken record playing? And if so, do you remember how you couldn’t get into the room quick enough to take the needle off the record? That is how I feel at dinner time these days, when it comes to feeding my 6-year old son. He’s a growing child, who needs to eat and as much as I care about his nutrition, it’s a challenge some nights to win. To my surprise, he is the one who is the cause of this broken record getting air time at the house. I thought he would be as tired as I am, about re-runs and threepeat meals.

It has nothing to do with that fact that I grew up eating chicken on what seems like was every night of the week, even though it wasn’t every night. Ok… who am I fooling? Yes, Yes. It has everything to do with that. I became tired of chicken as a child, and so, I can’t understand this phenomenon at my dinner table. Why would a child want the same thing, night after night, when he has choices? I guess when you like what you like, you just like it. Of course, this is not what keeps me awake at night, but should I be concerned? It’s not that he doesn’t like anything else, because I have witnessed him indulge in everything from BBQ to Pasta. But he doesn’t seem to want it anymore. He doesn’t seem to want a variety. Which is why………………….

I am even more tired of the following 3 Things That My Son Loves To Eat. Those things are: Rice, Macaroni and Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes. All of which find their way to my dinner table at least 4 nights per week, during extended periods. There’s only so many ways I can cook and prepare rice, even with there being variations of rice, such as: Long-Grained, Brown-Rice, White Rice, Spanish Rice, Dirty Rice, and Jasmine Rice. I am all cooked out of rice! I like rice, I just don’t want to eat so much of it during one week time.

I remember when my son ate everything as an infant and toddler. It made my life and decisions on dinner so much easier, to be able to pick whatever I wanted, and to know that he would eat. I cannot explain how my son grew out of eating, rather than to have grown into eating more and more of it. Is this normal? I remember when people used to tell me how lucky I am that my child would eat anything that I put in his face, and that most children his age were so difficult when it came to finding something that they like to eat. I miss those days. I miss them because now, it’s more work involved and lots of food that goes to the trash. Well, unless it’s rice, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. rolls eyes because I do not want another grain of rice, nor another mac n cheese noodle and I could care less if I see another potato. Not to mention the amount of starch!

However, I did find some pretty awesome recipes online that made me second guess my decision to go on a rice, mashed potato and Mac n Cheese strike. See them below. Perhaps if you are in this dilemma as a mom, you can benefit in making something that you’ve never made before, with the food that your little one insist on having. Since rice is on the top of his list, I found a few recipes that were worth sharing- that I will try before giving it the final boot…..It’s coming though.

BAJA Black Beans, Corn and Rice: Serving size 6 Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients: 6 cups cooked brown rice 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 1⁄2 cup red onion, chopped 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 2 dashes hot sauce

Directions: Cook brown rice. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. To serve, Place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture. Stir together before eating.

Easy Fried Rice Ready in 30 Minutes, Serves 5

Ingredients: 3 cups cold leftover cooked rice 1⁄2-1 cup oleo (or butter) 1 medium onion (chopped) 2 stalks celery (chopped, or just use 3 cloves of garlic and) 2 carrots (diced) 1 cup frozen peas (or a small-medium part of ginger) 3 eggs (beaten, or 6) 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup soy sauce (to taste, and chicken msg) Pepper

Directions: Melt oleo in large non-stick skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until onions are transparent and carrots are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more until peas are thawed. Push veggies to one side of skillet. Scramble eggs in empty side of skillet after the oleo spreads from veggies. Mix eggs into veggies and season with pepper. then put in small amount of rice and then. Add soy sauce. Then slowly mix in rice by the spoonful until all rice is added and all ingredients are well blended. Fry until steamy hot stirring often.

Jamacain Rice and Peas cook time 2 hours serves 8

Ingredients: 8 ounces small dried red beans or 8 ounces red kidney beans 1 quart water 16 ounces chicken broth or 16 ounces chicken stock or 16 ounces water 1⁄2 cup coconut cream 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice 2 scallions, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped 2 minced garlic cloves 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 scotch bonnet pepper (left whole) 1 teaspoon brown sugar 2 1⁄4 cups uncooked long grain rice

Directions: Rinse and sort beans and place in a stockpot. Cover with several inches of water and soak overnight,-or- bring to a boil, boil gently for 3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Bring to a boil with chicken stock, water, and coconut cream. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy. Add the thyme, allspice, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, brown sugar, uncooked rice, salt and pepper. Check the level of liquid over the rice and make sure there is at least one inch of liquid (if not, you may add water or broth to cover). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve hot as a side dish, with Jamaican hot sauce as a condiment, if desired. For Vegetarian use water not the chicken broth or stock.

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

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!

Lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

What’s Cooking In your Kitchen- “April 24-28, 2017 Every Kid Healthy™ Week

“April 24-28, 2017 Every Kid Healthy™ Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts our school partners are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn!” EveryKidHeathyWeek

What are you doing this week, in observance of the Fifth Annual Every Kid Healthy Week, to show your commitment toward wellness? It’s not too late to get involved and there are many ways to do so. But here’s one great idea to serve, that will go great on your silver platter!

How about hosting an event! I have found that hosting food testing’s/tastings at my local grocery store, are just one remarkable way to spread the word about eating healthy, by offering customers who patron the local stores, a sample of the foods available in-store; which they can easily transition to, by implementing it into their own nutritious plans and diets. It’s also a way for customers to become educated on delicious alternatives to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time for their children.

“Anyone can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity, and health-promoting programs in schools. Schools are invited to host an event during Every Kid Healthy Week or any time in April” (www.everykidhealthy.org)

In the past, themes such as: “The Road to Eating Healthy”, has drawn regular and repeat customers as well as crowds patronizing surrounding stores, to partake in a free food tasting event. When they see the signs that lead them to …” The Road to Eating Healthy”, along with dietitians and nutritionist, trainers and fitness instructors on location, to talk about the benefits of healthy eating, the conversion is usually high.

Your set up may consist of starters at the front of the store, which could definitely be fruits such as: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Blueberries Mango’s and more. At the same time, offer the benefits of eating such fruit, so that the customer can make mental connections with what they know their body need, such as: Anti-oxidants, Iron, or Potassium etc.

Presentation Is Everything: Make sure your area is visible. You will do no good, to be tucked off in a corner where no one can see or hear you. Make sure you are in an area where there is high-traffic, or at least in the area that is appropriate for the items you are serving. It’s also good to incorporate other items from throughout the store that will work well with the food that you will be suggesting. Make sure your area is clean. NO ONE wants to eat from a dirty space or a display that appears to be picked over and played through. You must maintain this area as customers pass through, constantly refreshing your items and displays. Make sure you have customer friendly associates. There is nothing like having to deal with that associate who appears to have partied all night and did not want to be at work this morning… who could care less, about eating healthy and much less about talking to anyone about being healthy.

Designs attract the attention of children and families. Friendliness attracts Mothers! An in-store cake designer or fruit display agent can assist with this, and they are usually delighted to do so, because to gives them an opportunity to show off their creative and artistic side of being in the kitchen, where they can design an attractive display, using fruit.

I’d say, somewhere in the middle of the store, as the customers follow the signs that connect to the theme…. a vegetable stand has always stood out. It’s like a Farmer’s Market in the middle of a grocery store. Some stores have this build in, where others must be a little more creative in creating this space…but it can be done. Make sure you pair vegetables with dipping sauces that complement the theme and overall objective of heating healthy.

It is also nice to add the blending element in this area. For example: Give suggestions for mixing fruit and vegetables to make healthy smoothies. Offer samples of those smoothies. I don’t know about you, but I would have never in a million years tried a kale, lemon, kiwi, and strawberry smoothie, however, when I did a blind testing and determined it was to die for, I became hooked! Blind testing is self-explanatory. It’s when you allow the customer to take the sample and guess what’s in it. This is excellent to do in-store.

Aside from your fruits and vegetables, there are whole grains and low-fat dairy products that you can introduce to your customers and attendees, which would keep them on the Road to Eating Healthy, and will also go well with the theme throughout the store. Don’t forget to offer coupons for membership at a local gym or fitness center in the area, in addition to X amount of sessions with a trainer to lead a family Zumba, yoga, or other fitness class.

 

These are just a few ideas on how to make this week a successful one, in helping your community and surrounding area; including schools and businesses to get on the Road to Eating Healthy and Every Kid Healthy Week!