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

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

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Regrets, And How To Avoid Them

I could end this post right here and say the best way to avoid mistakes are to pay attention to the warning signs,just like you are supposed to do when you are driving. Would you take your car into a danger zone? Would you drive at excess speeds around a corner that’s called “Dead Man’s Curve?” Would you not use traction control on a slippery highway? Would you proceed through a busy intersection on a major highway, while the light is red? Intentionally? Probably not. If you pay attention, these are the same warnings or yield signs you get in life, as it pertains to your career, a job, a relationship, a social position, etc.

There’s an exception. Those things which are un-avoidable, because they truly did fall out of the sky with no visible warning signs, which make being completely caught off guard, a reality.

Even those things that fall out of the sky, they could have been preceded with the faintest signal that was overlooked or looked over and passed off as “not important.” Sometimes we think our car can handle the curve. Sometimes we think the slippery road is no match for our brand-new BF Goodrich Tires. Sometimes, we see signs that say, reduce speed ahead and because we are skilled drivers or even familiar with the road we are traveling; we don’t expect anything out of the norm. As history would have it, we’ve survived that turn before, and we are just a little cocky about taking it when the time comes again.

It may be true, that we have the experience with driving, familiarity with taking that turn and even confidence that all will go as planned. At the same time, we forget that the sign is there for a reason, and that is as a precaution, to us about what is ahead, or what we should not do; like the “No Diving” sign at the local pool. Sure, you can dive, but it’s not recommended. But what do we do? We dive in. “No Running Allowed” in the pool area. But what do we do? We run. We also run back to relationships. We dive back into commitments. We grip our wheels more tightly and take on the road, even when we know that danger is head. We ignore the “No Trespassing” sign. We speed through the yellow Yield sign, with accelerated speeds so that we can miss the red light and before we know it, BOOM! The warning meets you in the crash.

How about the signs that say dead end, or one way, or no outlet, or no passing, or wrong way, or STOP! Why do we proceed? Because the curiosity in a lot of cases. Curiosity has a way of making us do some strange, forbidden and dangerous things. But then we have regrets. Not that we shouldn’t, but why? When there were ample and adequate signs that could have helped us avoid the burden of regrets. This is when I say that we are all human. And just like Adam, and the Eve, the garden, the Apple and the Serpent; our nature rooted in curiosity, leads us to places that we discover “free will” cannot redeem us from, until nature completes her course.

There are a couple of things I have done, in which I have been able to look back on and say, “Dang! I saw that coming.” However, there’s no way to undo it, so I keep it moving. I wouldn’t suggest living in regrets. We are already forced to live with the consequence and arguably, the feeling of regret may be due to the day to day consequence that reminds us of the mistake, but I do know it’s a lot healthier to find ways to cope and move on, since we cannot change the past. Nonetheless, we can change the future. We can change how we process the next warning sign, before we approach the next cliff. We can slow down. We can heed warning signings altogether.

But we can still find rest in: (Corinth 10:12) …11 Now these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall. 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.…

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

As Seen On Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting

Here’s 10 Ways to win the heart of this woman, just in case you were wondering

There is no skeleton key for opening my heart. There are some things that may work with some women, which does not work for me. This is due to differences that we may have in our priorities, prioritizing, responsibilities, my age, my culture, my background and upbringings. I do feel that my list of things, fall in line with what a woman should require, but who am I to tell anyone who never asked me, what she should require? There are characteristic requirements that I seek in a gentleman, in which another woman may not require or she may not put the same amount of weight on it, when it comes to doing what it takes to get into her heart. To each his own, and for me… it’s this:

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  1. RESPECT: I am coo-coo for coco puffs, over a gentleman who has respect not just for me, but for other women. He can’t degrade any female while in my presence and especially not his mother or the mother of his child. A man should always treat a woman like a queen. She should carry herself as such, but when he sees that she is not, I believe that he should encourage her to do better, rather than to perpetuate her unladylike characteristics. I think he should always hold her to a higher standard, by respecting her. This is demonstrated in the way he is to talk to a woman and the way he treats her overall. Never being a misogynistic A-hole or a male chauvinist.
  2. LOVE for my child: There are many women who choose to date and have a separate life, apart from the one where their child is involved, because the person they date, does not want to be involved in the child’s life- or the woman doesn’t really want him to be around her child. I think when it comes to me, the reason I chose not to do this, is because I am not a serial dater or a casual dater. When I date, it is because I have a real interest in something developing between the person that I give my time to. I don’t care for a man who wants a life with me that does not include my son. Meaning, we can’t play house during the week, but then you disappear when I have my son, because you don’t want to “have anything to do with” children. I have a child. And so, I am a package deal.
  3. MANNERS: A man who has good manners when it comes to sitting at the dinner table in a formal setting breeds a second date. When he knows that there is a time and place for everything, without me having to break it down, it’s less work for me and I don’t feel so much like I have a project or a fixer-upper. When out in public, where the need for etiquette skills to be demonstrated, are done so, with ease… it gives me the sense of comfort that I need to continue entertaining him. I love to see a man treating the waiter and waitress with respect, saying please and thank you. The topper is when I see a man who knows that it is necessary to address my parents as, Maam’ and Sir…. saying Yes and No Sir, when asked a question.
  4. CHILVERY: While the above manners, fall under Chilvery, there are more things that do so as well. Opening doors for his lady, adorning her with cards that read sentiments of his love and respect, honor and commitment to her, in addition to flowers for no reason, are a few simple things that go into the metal ingredients, which makes up the key to my heart. When a man knows these things without me having to tell him or ask him for it, it’s bonus! I do not like when I must tell a man how to treat a lady. I do realize that there are a small society of men who may not truly know or realize and understand that this is what a lady might require, due to what he has been allowed to get away with in other women.
  5. COURTING: Maybe I am just from the South and I am addicted to the ways of the South, where courting a girl first, was a way of life. Courting, I believe goes hand in hands with chivalry. Courting requires getting to know a woman on a deeper level, and showing her that you care, and are around for the long haul. This included “dating” her…taking her out. It’s like a try-out. If you want to be the MVP, you must do the work of an MVP. You must show her the value of having you, show her that you are a man who knows what to and will do what it takes, instead of just being another player. Show her that you want the ball. It’s making your intention clear by treating her like the lady she deserves to be treated as. It’s having a vested interest in taking it beyond dating, and into something serious.

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To piggy back a little on chivalry, respect, good manners: If a man offers to take me out to dinner, I expect a man to know that he will be picking up the bill, unless I offer and/or insist on paying for my purchase. If a man gets up for a bathroom break when he knows the bill is coming, he should also know that he will never be seeing me again. If a man fumbles his wallet when the check comes, giving any indication that he was not prepared to pay, he can make it the final payment that he will ever have to make when it comes to me.

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  1. Wash my car and take out the trash – without me asking! When a man is around and the trash is still sitting in the garage, the hallway or the kitchen and any other part of the house, I think he’s a lazy boy, off the rip. I should not have to tell any man that he should stop walking by the trash and take it to the garbage outside or to the street for trash pick-up. Lastly, I should not be driving a dirty car, when there’s a man in my life. I expect him to know that he should always make sure that my car is clean and up to date on service. I need a man who knows this.
  2. Converse and listen– I said it before, I love a sociable guy and one that can hold his own in a conversation or in a crowded room, where the need for diversity in communication skills are needed. However, I do not like a man who goes on and on about himself, other people and never takes time for a breath. I do not like a man who does not listen, for the sake of him talking too much. A man who doesn’t listen, is usually holding on to his next thought, and is the reason he did not hear anything that you said. I can’t tell you how annoying it is for me to have to repeat myself- due to someone not listening.

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This is where the list gets a little shorter, as the last 3 things are that I require, I wouldn’t quite consider to be red flags. It doesn’t make a man a bad person, if he doesn’t possess these qualities. But they are certainly things that I still consider and account for, when taking a closer look at accepting his offer for a relationship.

  1. Take Heed to The Things I Like and Don’t Like: Such as: Niedria prefers carnations over roses. Niedria prefers fresh seafood over frozen. Niedria prefers red wine over white wine. Niedria prefers silver jewelry over gold jewelry. My sister dated a guy once, who kept a list of her likes and don’t likes in his phone. His list grew as he got to know her. When holidays came around, he knew just what to get. When invited to dinner, he knew just what to say. When going out for a night on the town, he knew just where to take her. When she was upset, he knew just what he did.
  2. Sense of humor – He’s got to crack a joke or two, or at least able to take one. A witty and intelligent guy is attractive to me. When he can jump right in, with rebuttal jokes, against my random joking spells, he has what it takes.
  3. TATTOOS: Yes, it’s a little-known fact. It’s not a deal breaker, if the man is of a certain age- but I do love tattoos.  See Full Article on CafeMom
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, Relationships, Travel

When Acting Your Age Is Your Shoe Size

I don’t know about you, but the size of my shoe in the U.S., is an 8. That makes it a size 39 in Europe, which is also how old I am and will be, for about 5 more months. I have one son, who’s 6- years old. I have entertained a range of careers. All of which, were opportunities for me to grow and learn from. I have been up and I have been down. I have traveled to many places in my life, in which I was able to see a lot of things, meet and know a lot of people. I attribute the attitude that I have about approaching new things with an open-mind and a fearless attitude, to having been in High and Low places, throughout my life. I can argue that some of those things introduced me to unexpected growth spurts. Coming out of college and having to make a living, required growing up in the moment. An unplanned pregnancy required more growth, overnight. While I was 33 years old when it happened, it still required conforming into a different kind of adult…. A Mother… A Grown Woman. I do my very best to only compete with who I was yesterday, making a concerted effort to be submissive to the idea of growing older and wiser and becoming better, by doing better, but also by acknowledging the need to constantly be evolving. So, what does the idea of, “acting your age” involve? That is the question, as I take a stab at the responsibilities and characteristics of what it means to be a Grown Woman.

There are many daunting tasks and responsibilities, which may require the attention of the woman, who is of a certain age. Such as: Leading a team professionals. This person may be chosen based on the characteristics they possess in their educational background, extensive knowledge and experience, their attitude and personality and their skill level, as well as their proven ability to do the job.

While we often attribute the above to an older woman, like I just did…these same responsibilities and characteristics which may define a grown woman, can fall on a woman of any age, as those task, don’t always belong to a certain age group. I believe that telling someone to act their age, stems from a place of expectation. We expect a woman of a certain age to act a certain way. We expect a woman with certain responsibilities to act a certain way also. That expectation is not an unwarranted expectation, but it has come increasingly clear to me, that its possible to encounter a woman in her late 30’s, who may act more like a grown woman, than someone in their late 50’s.

When a young lady evolves into a woman, perhaps after child birth and marriage, her responsibilities increase in her life and sometimes even in the community of which she resides in and within the society that she lives in. She becomes a woman of distinct character and she continues to unfold the beauty within, as she grows older.

In seeking the counsel of several wise woman, who all agreed to the following, as being a few of the stronger characteristics; which will define your status as a Grown Woman. It was after we determined that age wasn’t anything but a number, and that although women of a certain age could lack the following, they shouldn’t lack the following:

Ability to Prioritize Prioritizing your life, so that the most important thing is addressed and given the attention that it needs. Priorities can vary from woman to woman, as one may have children and another may have a demanding job. When and if they have both, it’s about a balance your priorities and determining when one over another deserves the attention at that moment in time.

Professionalism This can be seen in the way a woman may dress and present herself in a work setting. When conducting business and leading a team at work, a grown woman will always maintain the professional standards of the workplace.

Growth from childlike ways Growing up from childlike ways is growing out of the need to gossip, to be the mean girl, and to not like someone because ‘your friend doesn’t like them and they don’t like your friend’. You’d have to admit, that’s childish, isn’t it?

Discernment When you grow up, you welcome and embrace your naturally ability to discern. You no longer engage in activities that may have occupied your time in your youth. You recognize the difference in healthy chatter and gossip, where family and friends are concerned. You excuse yourself from situations that require you to demote your success.

Make more conscious decisions You have grown into a someone who thinks things through more carefully, before acting. You study and weigh options, so that you can make healthy choices, mentally, emotionally and physically. You analyze to a solution or a remedy, which has the greater value and shelf life.

Distinguished You entertain yourself with Grace, Elegance and Virtue…Which voluntarily reveals itself through your caliber of character. You possess a certain zeal about yourself, in the way that you walk, talk and stand.

Wisdom You know when to do whatever, when to say whatever and you realize that in business, sometimes no move, is a move. You become distinctively clear about your business affairs, family affairs and the affairs of your children.

There’s only one thing in my opinion, that isn’t supposed to get better with age. That is your immaturity level. It may have been in your nature as a young person, but after 30… 40….50… it doesn’t look good on you. Maturity and Immaturity is a universal language that can be understood at any adult age. The two-bit, penny-ante, and pettifogging ways are the things that should be left behind, long before your late 30’s. That is what sets grown women apart from other women.

All of the Above require maturity! So, next time you tell a woman to act her age, and not her shoe size; be mindful, she probably is. Perhaps we should say, “Act Like a Grown Woman.”

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