A “GETAWAY” is Not Always About “Getting Away” From Something You Don’t Like

beach, lady, laptop

Some of the best travel experiences I have had included Las Vegas, Nevada. Yup, right here in the United States. The first time I traveled there was in 2010, on assignment during the time I spent writing for Examiner.com. It was a media assignment to cover the Floyd “Money” Mayweather and “Sugar” Shane Mosley Boxing match.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley was a boxing welterweight non-title super fight, in which Mayweather won by unanimous decision with two judges scoring it 119–109 and one judge scoring it 118–110.

I visited again while writing for Examiner.com to cover another fight: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, billed as The Fight of the Century, or the Battle for Greatness, was a professional boxing match between undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather.

While I had a strong interest in the sport of boxing, being in attendance for both the weigh-in and the fight, along with the activities and events that surrounded the weekend; it was the time I spent sightseeing in my free time that I was able to fully enjoy being in the city. So many things to do and so many things to see was what inspired my third trip simply because I couldn’t pack it all into the first two.

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Getting off the plane on that third visit to Las Vegas was majestic. It was hot as tamales of course, with temperature up to 110 when I arrived, but once I kicked the layers off, threw on some shorts, sandals, a tank top and tied my hair back, the rest was history. This time, I was still on assignment but was writing with a media outlet where I had more freedom to explore the city and share with my readers all that Vegas had to offer. So, while I was still working, I was having fun doing something that I loved to do. I had found a way to combine work with play.

Vegas is truly like one super-sized adult theme park on steroids! From the architectural designs of the buildings/hotels to the layout of the famous Vegas Strip. A sea of lights and it’s no wonder it’s called the city that never sleeps!

The highlights of my trip included:

The Mob Museum: Officially the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a history museum located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas Observation Wheel: High Roller is a 550-foot tall, 520-foot diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States of America. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Freemont Street Experience: Sprawling 24-hour mall featuring a huge LED canopy, casino & restaurant access & free entertainment.

Aerial Photography of City during Evening

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is a public aquarium located at and owned by the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its main tank is 1,300,000 US gallons, one of the largest in North America

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas: a wax museum located in the Las Vegas Strip at The Venetian Las Vegas casino resort in Paradise, Nevada. The attraction opened in 1999, becoming the first Madame Tussauds venue to open in the United States.

The Grand Canyon Tour: Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters – This magnificent helicopter ride provides stunning aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West. Additionally, passengers will experience an exhilarating landing at the bottom of the canyon on our private plateau overlooking the mighty Colorado River. Upon landing, guests enjoy a champagne picnic with refreshments and have ample time to explore the awe-inspiring grandeur that is the Grand Canyon.

Vegas Shows: Baz! Set in a modern and intimate cabaret, BAZ is a celebration, a mash-up of music, and moments from the greatest love stories imagined by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award-nominated director Baz Luhrmann. Theatregoers follow the romances from Luhrmann’s iconic films: Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby as the lovers discover whether fortune is in their favor.

Las Vegas Strip Signage

I encourage everyone to do a little traveling in their lifetime. Even if it starts with visiting the next state or over from them. There is so much more out there to see. But here’s why I think that part is important: It broadens your horizons. You meet new people. It connects you with people. You learn about culture. You become more versed in communication.

Being knowledgeable/aware of different things helps you understand different people and with that understanding, it organically generates compassion in the vessels of the heart. Depending on where you go or how far you travel outside of your comfort zone, it opens your mind to the things going on around the world, in which you will most likely relate to or at least have more insight into.

I came across a post on twitter recently, where the twitter user referenced “people who have to getaway” It read: “People are always talking about getting away and taking a getaway. If they didn’t hate their lives and were to create a life that they are happy with or if you were a happy person, there would be no need for a getaway. You don’t need to getaway if you are happy.” She then referenced hotel and vacation advertisements that use the word “getaway.”

Now, I am not fully sure of her understanding of a getaway and the purpose that it serves for most people, but on the surface; it sounded (at least to me) as if she was confusing people who are in an unhealthy situation who are always talking about one day getting away from a certain situation, with people who have a natural desire to simply want to getaway to a different place to broaden their horizons.

adult, book, business

I thought to myself that this was probably the most least profound thing that she could have said. Especially being a motivational public figure… (that’s the title individuals give themselves when they have a lot of followers on twitter) LOL

It’s not always about “getting away” from something you don’t like. And just because you take a vacation, (A Getaway: a place suitable for a vacation; a vacation especially of brief duration) doesn’t mean it’s so that you can leave a life behind that you hate. A getaway is just relaxing. For some, it’s therapeutic. For writers, it’s inspiring to have a change of scenery. Sometimes you just want the adventure of exploring new sights, sights unseen… going to unusual places because you cannot live in 100 places all at once.

Who doesn’t need a break from time to time anyway? Are you telling me that you can never go to enjoy the fruits of your labor because if you do, it means you hate your life? If you can show me someone who says they don’t want or need a getaway, I will show you a liar.

But for now, I digress. I would rather balance the universe by stating that it’s perfectly OK to want to getaway. It absolutely does not mean that you are unsatisfied with your life. It means that you are open to discovering the world and that you are realistic about the common day to day life that invites the idea of wanting a break to enjoy the other side of your front door.

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HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It!

It would be awfully selfish of me if I didn’t share this tidbit of information with Mom Bloggers Club. As much as I would like to be the keeper of this secret, I just can’t. It’s totally worth sharing, and you can thank me later. Unless of course, it was something that everyone else already knew about. Lol! I found something else that my son gave his stamp of approval on, and so, I proudly gave it my Mom Approved stamp of approval as well, after trying it for myself. SunButter came into our lives last week, while setting up for a Moms Group, to try out the product and see what we all had to say. I wasn’t 5 minutes in, before my own son had cracked open the On The Go sized, SunButter Single cups.

It was a hilarious moment, because as I was trying to video the real, raw reactions and thoughts of the moms that attended, my son can be heard, butting in, to say: It’s good! I’m eating it all up! There couldn’t have been a more natural and unrehearsed moment, as he continued to dig into the cup with his saltine cracker. Take One, Final cut- My work was done! He dismisses us, to ask “Can I have another cracker?”

Where do you go from there? Does it get any better? I found a snack, on my hunt for some back to school goodies, and I got one that he took to, off the bat. #Winning I know that moms everywhere can absolutely agree, that this is a monumental moment, when you have a picky eater; one who is hard to please sometimes, who judges food by the smell, the texture, the look, the everything else that frustrates you while you’re saying, “Just Eat The Cake Anna Mae!” All the while, wondering if your child is malnourished, because he won’t eat anything on his plate.

He’s an active 6- year old boy, who’s always running, jumping, flipping, bouncing around off walls, beds, sofas etc. He’s a playful ball of energy who thinks that sleep is the enemy. To get him to sit down is one thing. To get him to sit still is another thing. While getting him to eat, is not impossible, it has been a challenge.

However, on that one-day last week, and every day up until the SunButter On The Go Single cups were all gone, I accomplished a moment of silence. That’s the big secret I had to share. Thank GOODNESS, we had more!

This has made it onto our list of top 5 things to add to your child’s lunch box, while considering that its Back to School time. It also makes a perfect on the go snack for adults! Check out these awesome recipes for incorporating Sun Butter into y…

SunButter Curry Meatballs

Here are a few fun facts: 7g Protein, USA Grown and Made, More Vitamins and Minerals than NutButter, Top 8 Allergen Free, Non GMO.  SunButter Sunflower Butter comes in 5 choices:

Natural -most popular variety – with 7 grams of protein per serving!

Creamy- Creamy, delicious and easy to spread – perfect for snacking

Natural Crunch- Delicious roasted sunflower seed flavor with a crunch you’ll love

No Sugar Added-Simply roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of salt for flavor.

Organic-SunButter Organic is made without added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oil.

SunButter On The Go Creamy Singles -Six convenient 1.5 oz. cups of Creamy SunButter with 9 grams of protein per serving!

Originally posted on Mom Bloggers Club, Here

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!

Recognizing the season that your relationship is in

While watching one of my guilty, reality show pleasures, among my beloved DVR recordings that I’ve reserved for nights that I suffer from insomnia; I tuned in to Married to Medicine, with Dr. Jackie. I heard her make a remark to her practice manager, while they were going through her calendar and checking dates of availability. Dr. Jackie responded to a date that her practice manager selected by saying, “No, that’s Curtis’ Birthday.” That is when the practice manager said; “You don’t have to celebrate his birthday on his birthday.” And finally, Dr. Jackie responded by saying, “In this season that we are in, we need to celebrate on his birthday.” I thought that was such a BEAUTIFUL response!

Curtis is Dr. Jackie’s husband of many, many years. However, most recently the two of them have struggled in trying to navigate through a rough patch in the marriage. It was inspiring to hear her say this because she was able to recognize the ‘season’ their relationship was in and then to prioritize the marriage, and her husband’s birthday above all. Dr. Jackie knew the significance of doing this, at that moment in time- where she had to show her husband that he is loved, respected and wanted, by acknowledging the importance of doing her part.

Watching the show reminded me of my own mom and dad. I always see my mother making sure that my dad is taken care of, he’s happy and they have a healthy relationship. She constantly makes sacrifices and compromises, to keep the marriage together and strong. She gives with her whole heart. She gives without expectations. She always puts her marriage first and if there was ever a moment that she didn’t, it wasn’t because she wouldn’t, it was because she couldn’t.

This is the balance that most people cannot find. Acknowledging a critical time in the relationship that could possible make or break the union, is extremely necessary. There are many times where you will have to put work first, but in those times where your relationship may suffer, or is already suffering, you may have to make a choice. It’s not all bad though. It’s not a case where you have to truly choose your family first, over being employed. And it’s not a case where this happens everyday. It’s a matter of knowing and being able to discern when those times are, when you do need to put your marriage first.

It is absolutely necessary for a woman and a man, to put each other first, in the relationship or marriage; when the season that you are in yanks on strings of separation and or ultimately a divorce. If you want your marriage or relationship to grow and survive, you have to be willing to do the work in that season.

Think of it in terms of the 4 Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. In the colder months, where there’s snowfall, you will have to work a little harder to maintain the yard. You will have to plow streets, shovel your yard, driveway, doorways and pathways into the house. In the months where leaves tend to fall constantly, you will do a lot of manual labor in the lard by racking and disposing of the leaves more than any other time in the season. In the season where the grass grows a lot faster, you will have to work a little harder in those seasons by mowing, cutting and hedging your landscape. And again, before you can do any of this, you have to know what season you are in.

Lastly, have you ever tried to maintain your yard, but the leaves from your neighbors yard blows over into yours? That happens in relationships as well. Which is why it is wise to put up a fence, and shield your relationship, while you are in your critical season, doing the work to clean up your yard. I’ll also add that it’s vital that you keep people out of your business and relationship. Don’t air your problems while you’re still working it out. That is because you’ll find yourself under the pressure of doing what your friends say you should do, and also being influenced to do something your own heart truly doesn’t want to do, but because you’ve told everyone about your problems in the marriage, you feel obligated to take their advice; which may not be the best advice.

In my humble opinion and experience, private relationships last the longest.

As Seen On SheSavvy.com