Today my baby boy turned 11 years old. The number 11 has always been my lucky number. When I drove up to my shop, the first time, I should have known that I would be there for a long time… When the address was 1111 East Landstreet.

Insert column left my sweet baby Jacoby in his eleventh year. Jacoby is my strong-willed child. Out of the three, he got all of that. God gave every one of us free will, but my goodness, Jacoby cherishes that gift more than the other two combined. With my other two kids, they have always pretty much fell in line without much of a fuss. But with this kid – you tell him about his clothes, his free time, what he reads – anything that he feels that he should have complete control of – he will fight back like a caged opossum.

I am learning, that I don’t have to force him to what I want, but I also don’t have to give in to his tantrums or demands. So, this year, he wears sports shorts and t-shirts to school. I am of the belief you dress for school and church. I am now mentally prepping him for middle school, and what I expect him to wear. But we scroll pinterest and find things that he believes would be good for him, also.

I am listening to him FaceTime his grandparents right now for his birthday wishes. He sounds like a politician or a reporter, telling about his day. Very in command. Very confident. Yet he’s only eleven.

And although it’s funny to hear him,  being the parent struggling to guide a strong-willed child to Christ-like maturity – is not so amusing. I have cried more tears than you can imagine. It’s relentless, it’s exhausting. Sometimes, he seems so disrespectful, it’s infuriating. His behavior at times can seem so ridiculously defiant, that it seems hopeless. Like, literally, I said this week “Why did you not sit down when the principal told you to!? Just sit down. It’s two seconds? Where is your want of self preservation?” He replied, My pants were too tight and dug in my belly. Girls don’t have to sit down if they don’t wear shorts under their skirts. Why do I need to sit down, when girls are standing? I wasn’t acting out. I wasn’t being disrespectful. I wasn’t being rude. I wasn’t in anyone’s way. I won’t let someone cause me pain, because they want power. I wasn’t rude, mommy – ask anyone.”

Are you proud or mad? MMMMM. Both. The maelstrom of emotions he can create is all absorbing. And then, last night, I hear this. My sweetie came by after to work to say goodnight. I was finishing a test for school. And I hear laughter and talking upstairs. I walk up, and the two of them are laying in the dark. I ask what is going on. Jacoby says, “Just having some man time. Let me have that.” Bro. Chill. I’m cool. But understand this – at the end of the day – I’m still the boss of you, little boy.

This kid.

I am learning that with this one, I have to give in on some little things. But the big things are non-negotiable, no matter how much he tries to negotiate. But what I have forgotten, is while my self-esteem is taking a bruising, so is his. Beneath that tough I-don’t-care-and-you-can’t-make-me attitude is a seriously wounded heart. It hurts to always be “the difficult one,” “the stubborn one,” the one rejected by classmates for being “too bossy.”  From researching all of this, I learned that “The compliant child typically enjoys higher self-esteem than the strong-willed child. . . . Only 19 percent of compliant teenagers either disliked themselves (17 percent) or felt extreme self-hatred (2 percent). Of the very strong-willed teenagers, 35 percent disliked themselves and 8 percent experienced extreme self-hatred.”

That broke me.

So this year. Is going to be a good year. A year of guidance. Balance. Equality. Duality. And most of all, Kindness. I will be a good momma to my strong willed boy. And be grateful that he is courageous and strong. And teach him when to use it.

I’m so proud of my boy.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I’m back to blonde! And I am loving it!

Don’t get me wrong, being a ‘My Little Pony’ was a good time, but blonde is my go to. I feel like myself. And…. I can wear any color I want to and I don’t have to worry about clashing with my hair! Yep. That was an actual problem.

Oh! I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentine’s day! I did! I had such a good time! My sweetie got me a gorgeous outfit and heels – LOVED IT! And my babies got my flowers and chocolate covered strawberries. Then we spent the afternoon at Epcot.

Now, I put the word “Narcissistic” in there… did ya see that? Well, obviously I am not narcissistic. But I wanted to point out how freely I see people throwing around that word. So I am going to clarify something. Narcissism is a mental illness. A MENTAL ILLNESS. ILLNESS. And I am gonna be honest, I have dated some doozies in my day. But not a Narcissist. A Narcissist is rare.

So let’s stop using the term “narcissist” as a slur, when it’s a true sickness. It’s rude and disrespectful to those that have it.

And for clarity – narcissists do not try to make amends, do not try to protect feelings, are not caregivers – and are only self consumed. A narcissist can drop you in the blink of an eye – and write you off to never speak to you again. Not try to maintain friendships and working relationships.

So, you lie with dogs – you might get fleas. That doesn’t make them a narcissist anymore than it makes you one. Because often times, we can all look at ourselves in the mirror, and say we made choices that were only for self. Maybe we chose to go on a vacation, rather than a family reunion. Maybe we went to a day spa for mother’s day, rather than going to a nursing home to visit a grandmother. Maybe, we dated a person who was already taken, but we wanted them anyway. Maybe we invested money in stocks, with insider information and didn’t tell anyone close. Does that make you a narcissist? No. It makes you human.

But as humans, we can be so arrogant, that we believe that we are the center of the universe. We see it as “Look what they did to me”… when maybe it should be “Look what I did to…..”. We love to victimize ourselves. Myself included. I can tell you how people have screwed me over, and how right I am. But if we are honest, and real transparent, I don’t want people to see – that I have done wrong things in my life too. Things I am not proud of. But as God forgave me, I now have to forgive those that I felt wrong me. Because, how can I accept forgiveness – and not grant it? Wouldn’t that make me a narcissist?

But luckily, God knows we are human. And God knows our hearts. And God’s grace, well that is a beautiful thing. It covers us all. It covers your name calling – to murderers on death row – and everything in between.

For the past year – I have had the best year of my life. I really have. But to get here, I had to put my foot down back in 2019 and make some decisions. I had to extend grace. I had to pray. I had to work. And for some… I had to let go. I had to forgive. And with that came the biggest blessings of my life. It hasn’t been easy, not a bit. And some days are still hard. But everyday is worth it.

So, I say all that – to say this. I love you all. I am praying for all of you. Every Single One. From haters to fans. I really hope all your hearts heal, and you find happiness – extend grace – and self reflect. I know I have – and my heart is so happy. And I really want that for everyone on this planet!!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

This could go for men also, I suppose. Based upon my gender and my friend groups – I see it with women moreso than men. If the shoe fits, though – Wear it.

Here is what I am talking about. Let’s get down to it. If you are broken up with, don’t be petty. Don’t go after their job. Their kids. Their families. If you have been broken up with – say a prayer of thanks, and move on. Because if that person isn’t with you anymore – they weren’t meant for you. If you cared enough about them to be in a relationship with them in the first place, they can’t be all bad.

I have done things that I am not proud of. Things I don’t want to be judged for. Therefore, I do my best not to judge back. I have been a garbage human in relationships. I have been treated like garbage in relationships. It’s all relative. I guess, I just have the foresight and/or hindsight to see my part in it.

Now, I’m not saying I want to sit in singing circle with my exes and sing “Kumbaya”, but I don’t wish anything bad on anyone of them. The good exes and the bad exes. One of my exes just started dating a new girl. One of my friends sent me a pic and said “Look!” You know what I did? I sent him a text and said “Congrats! I am so happy for you! And she is beautiful!” And why is that? Cause I’m woke? Maybe. But in all honesty – I she is beautiful, and I am so happy for him! I want all my exes to find their special person – because we are all human and worthy of love. I can also look in the mirror, though. Even in the relationships that I really feel like I did no wrong, I have done wrong in others. Am I a bad person? No. Did I make a mistakes? Yes. So I haven’t got a high horse to sit on, and I know deep down my heart is good.

So before you dog out others – look in the mirror. Think about the mistakes of your past. The ones you think you got by with. Would you want your parents to know? Your grandma? Your church? Your job? Because let me tell you something else – we often want to tell others people’s dirt to hurt them. What you don’t realize is this – it actually sets them free. I remember hearing a sermon one time, and going to my mom. I was heartbroken. Like any other teenager, I had lied to my mom over things, and I love her. And I wanted to apologize and tell her the truth. I was crying and told her that I had some things to tell her. And before I could even get a word out, she said to me, “Stop. I forgive you. Right now I forgive you for it all. I don’t want a roll call of it though, it will just upset me. Some things I might know, I might not. But you are forgiven, so just keep it to yourself.” She kissed me and walked on. I talked to my dad about it, because my mom had confused the bejeesus out of me. And daddy said, “If you forced her to hear it, you were doing it to ease your conscience – not for her. So maybe, your punishment in this is to carry the weight of it and protect her from it.” Well, that hit a cord. I say to say this, when you gossip and you spread either truths or rumors – The ones that you hurt are the unintentional victims. The ones who care about that person and you. And if you think that for one second, that the ones you told aren’t running and talking to everyone else about you – they are. It’s what people do. It’s messy. It’s embarrassing. And it’s shameful. And while you are out to ruin them – you really are shining a spotlight on yourself. You also lose credibility and trustworthiness. Because if they will talk about others and spread their business – they will talk about you. Word gets around – and no one will ever hire someone who creates drama. Remember that.

God teaches us forgiveness. And those that sit and speak of God’s love, but will then run and trash talk another human out of their own personal choices, well – It’s sad. So think more of yourself. Of each other. Hold your head up – and quit being a victim. Own your life choices, and carry on. I know I have. And I am so happy and grateful for it.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I am going to be real transparent here.  I have never “unfriended” anyone.  I have blocked them. Of those I have blocked, I only personally knew five of them.  When I get super weird requests, inappropriate messages, etc. – that equals a block.  The only people I have blocked that I have known, were toxic to me in one way or another.  Not saying they are all bad people, because to be honest, they aren’t.  Three of the five, mentally put me in a dark spot.  Not of their fault – just of that time in my life. Two of the five?  Yeah, kinda garbage in my opinion.

You know why I titled this I wish it was Nov. 16, 2009? Because it was Nov. 17, 2009 – when the word “unfriend” was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary. Unfriend is a sad word. To me, anyways.

That being said, I have been unfriended – and I was unfriended recently.  The second I realized it, I reached out.  I am never confrontational or opinionated on social media, to be honest I am quite vanilla.  So when I saw that I was unfriended, I was concerned.  I never want to hurt anyone, and if I do, I want to apologize.  So, I reached out.   

I sent a message letting her know I noticed and asking if I had done something to upset her.  What I received back was a “No, I just have unfriended people that I haven’t talked to in awhile.”   Whether that is true or not, is between her and Jesus.   But, I did the right thing for me.  And now I move on.

Here is why I am writing this.  I am sensitive. But the last “unfriending” I went through, made me think. First, my feelings were hurt. We wouldn’t walk up to someone we know and just slap them, right? When I realized I was unfriended, it stung.  Then I thought about it again.  All relationships evolve.  Some grow into beautiful and lasting connections, some end.  This one ended.  I trust that it evolved into what it was meant to be. She was right, we hadn’t talked in a while.  Why?  Because as we say in Tennessee, “I have nothing against her, I just don’t have anything to say to her.”  I wish her well.  I hope she has a lifetime of happiness and success. 

And that was just my personal example. I am sure you all have yours, too.  If you really think about it, you can get unfriended for a million reasons. We live in a society where people throw other people away for something so small. Many people also feel powerful on social media.  You know, the keyboard warriors. Keyboard courage allows us to behave in ways we would never behave to people’s faces. Can you imagine going up to someone and telling them you do not want to see their guinea pig photos anymore so you are not going to be their friend anymore? Sounds hilarious when you think about it.

And to close this out, I advise you all – be politely discreet.  I hide nothing, but I also don’t broadcast everything.  My personal and familial relationships matter more to me than anything.  So I keep a hedge of protection around those things.  I do this, so this garbage doesn’t get into my home.  Social media is a great tool, use it as a tool.   

And if you haven’t read  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I strongly suggest you do.  One of the four agreements is :

“Don’t take things personally. “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

So chin up buttercup, and keep being the awesome person you are.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

So, I’m good. I got more than a few emails, asking if I was okay because I hadn’t posted. I AM SO SORRY THAT I HAVEN’T POSTED ANYTHING! I am here. And I am good. To be honest, after my last post, I sat back and enjoyed the break. It was super cool the way Christmas and New Year’s fell, so I had some extra long weekends. And I took advantage of that!

My Christmas was fun! We opened presents super early in the morning – and I don’t know if I was more excited or the kids! LOL! But it seemed that everyone had a great time and was super grateful. The gratitude makes my heart swell with pride in my kiddos. I got a treadmill for Christmas – and I was so surprised and excited! I love to walk/run – but I don’t like going alone at night – and I leave too early to go out in the mornings. I have become totally addicted to this thing.

For New Years? Well, ya girl went to sleep. I woke up at 11:57 – Kissed in the New Year – 12:02 – back to sleep. Exciting, I know. New Year’s I took down all the Christmas Decor – and basked in the cleanliness of my house. I love to decorate for Christmas – and I also love to take it down and get my home back to normal.

Since then, to be honest, I didn’t even think about posting. There has been so much crazy stuff going on! I am not getting political – that isn’t my vibe – we all know that it’s been a lot these past couple of weeks. I felt that anything that I posted or said, could be considered bad timing. So, I stayed quiet. That being said, I enjoyed my weekends, and enjoyed my work. I had some super fun dates with my sweetie. OH! And I got my hair done again!! My hair is life right now. I wanted to do something fun again before it is summer – because fun colors come out so easily – so Michelle gave me my dream hair!

So, now you are caught up on me.

What have you guys been up to? I pray that you all are hanging in there, and that everyone is staying safe and healthy.

And if i can give you a piece of advice to close this up. Be kind to each other. Connect with your people. Send your friends an uplifting text. Kiss your significant other. Kiss them for real. Don’t take them for granted. Next time you see them – Just lay one em! Let them know how appreciative you are of them.

Remember, none of us are perfect. You know, how you feel like deep down you are a hot mess? Everyone else feels that way, too. At least at some point. So build each other up today, and everyday. But especially your kids and your s/o’s, make sure you don’t take them for granted. Make them feel special and loved. That has been the biggest game changer for me. I always feel like a priority – and therefore I want to make him a priority. And then, well – it becomes a beautiful cycle, rather than a vicious cycle.

I love you all! Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Everyone is talking about how terrible this year was. And I will say, there were times my heart felt like it would fall out of my chest. Times where I couldn’t stop tears from flowing. And times where I felt like I was failing every time I turned around.

On the other hand, there has been some amazing things that have happened in 2020. AMAZING. So I decided that instead of discussing the negatives, I am going to write what I accomplished and learned in 2020, and maybe you can do the same.

  1. In 2020, I read (well listened to, thanks to Audible) 28 books. By doing this, I cut down my tv time a lot, and I learned a great deal!
  2. I have learned that I have to quiet myself, and recognize how magnificent it is to be alive. And be grateful in each individual moment. And when things happen, I know I can go back to the moment I am in, and I am surviving.
  3. I was blessed to be able to stay employed, and able to pay some bills off – and also my Jeep! It was such a great feeling to see that title!!
  4. I learned forgiveness. Forgiveness of myself, and forgiveness of others. Forgiveness is not condoning. Forgiveness is not ignoring the pain you inflicted on yourself or others. Forgiveness is freeing yourself and others, from that pain.
  5. I have learned to play. I have intentional playtime. Whether it’s a day at Disney, or walking through the neighborhood and laughing, I make intentional time to play with my kids and my guy.
  6. I am a very Type A personality. If you aren’t familiar, a type A personality is defined as “A personality which is characterized by a constant feeling of working against the clock and a strong sense of competitiveness. Individuals with a Type A personality generally experience a higher stress level, hate failure and find it difficult to stop working, even when they have achieved their goals.” Guilty. And I want to add to that, have a hard time asking for help. Well, this year – I allowed help from everyone. My kids, my guy, my co-workers. And as much as I love helping them, they were excited to be able to return the favor. I am not a person who needs someone to take care of me. Not the way I am wired. But it is so nice to be comfortable enough to allow someone to help carry the load at times.
  7. I changed my hairstyle. And I am letting it grow. Because I am ready to do so. (Don’t get it twisted, it won’t super long, just not a shaved mohawk.)
  8. I have successfully had a date each week since about June/July. Whether it was a walk around the neighborhood, or a trip to the beach for a day – we made each other a priority.
  9. I went back to school. Full-time. 4 classes. 12 credit hours. GPA? 4.0 – Not to toot my own horn, but “Beep! Beep!”
  10. I learned I love to decorate other people’s spaces – and do it as cheaply as possible. It is so exciting!
  11. I kept my kids alive. LOL! I mean honestly, especially with my little guy – that sometimes seems to be feat.
  12. I learned to vocalize gratitude. It’s good to tell others that you love them, appreciate them, and want to spend time with them.
  13. And then, my actual kids – not just my mad skills of keeping them alive. I am so proud of the people that have become. I am talking about them as people. I am proud of their souls. My oldest is comedic, always joking – and always wanting to make people feel included. Just like his momma, he can get heartbroken easily by folks, but he will try to laugh and act like he’s okay. He is kind, and will help anyone if they need it. Then my daughter. She is a little ball of fire. She is so sweet and kind, and really cares about everyone feeling included and loved, too. She prides herself on her customer service skills – and if I wrote about her and didn’t mention Publix – she might disown me as her mother. She loves her job at Publix, and she is such a hard little worker and talented artist. Then there’s Jacoby. He is forgiving, but he will fight somebody. He gets that from his momma. He is ready to fight – because he is fiercely loyal. And I admire his loyalty. He also speaks his truths. If he thinks you are wrong, he will politely disagree. And he has never met a stranger – this boy has personality for days. So what I am saying, it isn’t “stuff” that they have done, to make me proud. It is their character and personality that makes me proud to call them mine.

So, to me? Twenty/20 was good year. With a lot to be proud of. A lot to feel good about. Sure there was some bad moments, but here we are still breathing. Still here. And the worst moments? Well, they made us so much stronger.

That’s a wrap!

And if you made some mistakes this year? Well, never be a prisoner of your past – it was a lesson. Not a life sentence without parole. And if I wronged you in someway this year? I am sorry. Deeply sorry. And if you wronged me? It’s done, forgotten, and forgiven. I hope you have nothing but success and joy in your life (albeit, I hope we can both have happy lives and not run into me ever again, LOL! I forgive you, but I am not crazy nor a glutton for punishment). I’m Woke, Not Weak.

And if you wanna share this? Please do. It helps me out when a blog is shared. I hope you enjoyed it, It made you smile, and I can’t wait to see your list!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I know. I know. It sounds rude, and pessimistic. Well, today I feel a little rude. I’m kidding. I don’t really feel rude, but I do feel anxious. So as I was talking this morning, I figured out why. Thanksgiving is coming. Three days away.

People love holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Those rack up a lot of points when I ask what is everyone’s favorite. And I love decorating for Christmas, and Valentine’s has adorable hearts – and Thanksgiving, well who doesn’t like to be with the ones they love the most, and have a great meal?!?

Let me roll call this for you in my perspective. Valentine’s Day this past year was good. And it was the first one and I am 43. I am not saying the rest were terrible and heart breaking. But this was the first one, that was good. It has been a day in the past where I hoped to feel special, but was let down. Where I tried to make others feel special, and they didn’t care. So, for years, I chose to just scoff at it and not acknowledge it. Lame, but survival mode kids.

Christmas. I still look forward to it. But often times, the desire to give my kids the best Christmas and make sure that they had all their little hearts desire, stressed me out. I felt like they were so good, and didn’t ask for much, I wanted to make their day magical, just like my parents did for me. So, it gave me so much anxiety, but it always worked out. But still, Christmas gives me some pangs of anxiousness.

Thanksgiving. We all want to be with those we love right? Enjoy a great meal? Sure we do! But this year, due to Covid, I won’t get to be with my mom and dad. Not to mention, when you are a split household, there is stuff that goes along with that too. So thanksgiving, isn’t traditional at all. To avoid anxiety? I order it. You heard me right. I order my thanksgiving meal from Publix. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious. The kids love it. But for years, It was me and the kids for thanksgiving. That’s a lot of work for 4, especially when the kids are picky. And not to mention, when you are dating someone that has a child also, you have to take their traditions into considerations, their timescales – so guess what – Thanksgiving day might be Cinco De Mayo – you gotta be flexible, even when you want to be selfish.

Maybe it’s one of the reasons I love Halloween. Halloween is just fun. You can celebrate with kids, or without. You can do it with your friends. You can do it alone. Just sit outside with a big bowl of candy. Costumes and candy never let you down!

So right now, I am glad to know, that this time next week, thanksgiving will be done. And I am going to be honest, I don’t need thanksgiving to be thankful. What I need, is exactly what I had yesterday. Yesterday, I was cared for so well, and so sweetly, and for that – I am thankful.

Another pro tip – do something fun. Saturday, I felt frumpy. I hated my hair, and felt the blues – dreading the holiday, missing my parents, etc. So what did I do? I got my hair cut and colored. And I did a blueish -silverish color, that I love. I did something fun. It put a big smile on my face. And to be honest, my kids love it, my fella loves it – what more can you ask for. I love the fact, that my people love me enough, to love me how I am. And you know what feeling good makes you do? Eat better. Exercise more. Put on your make-up in ways that would make the best drag queens envious. Get out there and slay it.

“So, Listen up here’s the story… About a little guy that lived in a blue world..”

So, this Thanksgiving, if you dread it or feel sad, be glad that Friday isn’t Thanksgiving. If you are looking forward to it – cherish it and have a fantastic time! What I am saying, is make the best of each situation, but don’t beat yourself up, if you catch yourself in a struggle. Give yourself some grace, but in turn, give grace to those around you.

Is there a holiday that you love or hate? How do you cope?

Kids, make good choices. Have a great day. And most importantly…

Love Fully. Live Fully. And Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Here we go. A break from all things political. I am going to write about something I have been asked about – a lot.

Disney.

I live in Orlando. I am a season passholder at Disney. And a lot of folks have asked me what it is like, after Covid. So I am here to tell ya. It is better than you could even imagine.

First, I loved Disney – but I hate crowds. That made my life and Disney love complex. But, my kids always performed in Disney’s Candlelight – so I had to have a season pass to see them perform each time. (Edited: A season pass isn’t required. But they have performed up to three times each before. Which would be six tickets – a season pass is cheaper. And I go all the time since I got it.)

So here you go, a play by play, of the parks after Covid. When you pull in – they scan your band – and off to park. The park you “ever other spot”. This is to ensure social distancing while you get out of your car. And might I just add, this is brilliant. You can get out and have room. Then, they reload the spaces in between, but you are already in the park. So. Stinking. Smart. DISNEY DON’T EVER CHANGE THIS PLEASE!

Next, you walk in and there are two white tents, and people with the scanning thermometers. Quick temp check, and off you go. And I haven’t had a temp, and have walked 100 plus yards in 90 degree heat. I was actually worried it would make me have a temp and I couldn’t get it – but that didn’t happen.

Then you walk through then metal detectors. Once through that, you walk up to the gate, and scan your band again. No fingerprints now. Just scanning the band. I am grateful for that too, because I could never remember which finger I scanned. We have yet to stand in line at the gate. Have literally walked through every step of the way.

Once inside – it is glorious. It’s different. But I like it. No one is on top of you. The waits for rides, are tiny. You can do more than two rides a day, if you choose. The only thing that I found hard, was finding a place to sit and eat or drink. And let me be clear, it isn’t that it was hard, we always found one, it just took a few minutes.

There are a few things that are closed, but none of it affected me, or my good time. I felt safe, it was clean, people were polite, and it was a great experience. The only thing that I think is weird. Is that they require that you leave your masks on with the Disney Photographer. You are over six feet away from them, so I don’t get that – but, go with the flow, right?

We got some amazing food though, some great pics, and the animals in the Animal Kingdom don’t know that there is a pandemic going on. We rode the Safari ride a few times, and saw something new and different each time!

We had amazing food. And amazing fun. Then, we decided to try Universal.

I love Harry Potter. Obviously. So let’s go.

I have been to Universal before. I loved it! This trip thought? It was terrible. You can’t make reservations, so you show up and hope. I wasn’t a fan of Disney having reservations, but it keeps the crowds down – and guarantees your admittance. We wanted to go into Islands of Adventures – but we never made it there. We got there early in the morning, and it was already at capacity. So we went to Universal Studios side.

I have absolutely zero idea how it wasn’t at capacity. I am not sure what their capacity is. And I mean, capacity Pre-Covid. I am not one who panics, etc. But being in there, no less during a pandemic – I was out. In less than an hour. We tried to get a soda. It took 15 minutes, and there was no wait. They guy didn’t know how to use the cash register. Another guy was fixing the soda machine, and then when we got it – it was gross. The employees were less than polite, there was zero spacing on rides, with the exception of two. People were literally standing on top of each other. We rode nothing. We only went into shops to get away from people, and got out free and clear. I only got a couple pics. Here ya go. And that’s from CityWalk. Not even Universal. And you know, if I didn’t take pics – It was seriously bad.

So, wanna go to a park? Disney is the way to go. It’s clean. Hand sanitizer every where. Not crowded. I actually enjoyed it more than Pre-Covid.

Universal? Stay home. Or maybe go during the day during the week? On both all trips, we went on the weekend – but maybe a weekday would be better. But I won’t be back to Universal on the weekend for awhile. We said we would try it one day, and I would take a weekday off – but I am still not excited about it.

To me? Disney won hands down – not even close. I pray that they can bring back some of their employees soon! They are doing so great!

Anyway – if you got any questions… Please ask them! And even if you aren’t comfortable going out much yet, Do some fun things. You deserve it. Get out and live whether it’s dancing in the rain with your sweetie in the backyard, or going to Disney for a day. Do what is comfortable for you – but have fun doing it!

And most importantly –

LOVE FULLY. LIVE FULLY. SHINE ON.

Sat Nam.

Not original, I know.  But for me, 2020 has been that year.  The year to wake up.

Everyone keeps talking about how excited they are for 2020 to be over.  And to be honest, 2020 has been tough.  I agree.  Covid-19, politics, everything in the world got cancelled.  It has not only been annoying and scary – it has been inconvenient and stressful.  Along with a lot more adjectives I could throw in there.

I had plans.  I was going to New York. Chicago.  I was going to see Hamilton.  I also was gonna see Lizzo in concert.  I did none of those things.  

Here is what I did do.

I have had deep and heartfelt conversations. And have become a better person because of it. I have learned forgiveness. For myself and others.

I’ve hung out with the people most important to me. 

I realized that I work with a bunch of folks, who do what it takes to keep our company opened – even when there are companies shutting every time I turn around. I always loved my job, and the folks I worked for – I loved it more after this.

2020 has taught me a lot though.  A lot that I am acting on.  A lot that I am changing.  And a lot that I realize that I am doing just fine with.

There were things that I always wanted to do – but I was lazy.  Things I wanted to do and see around here.  In Orlando.  But, I always had a reason to put it off.  Not now.  No way. No how. 

I have been to Epcot.  Animal Kingdom. Orlando Eye.  I have went on amazing walks.  I have stayed in and watched movies – that I always said I wanted to see. And for transparency, I have watched even more that I didn’t want to see…LOL! But the company made it completely worth it.

 I have danced.  I have laughed. 

I have calmed down. 

I have realized that any problem can be solved through conversation.  I have realized that I love being with my people, and sometimes that can just be sitting together quietly.  Sometimes it’s a walk.

And to be honest, a lot of the stuff that I used to get angry over – just doesn’t matter. 

I am intentional with my time, where I hadn’t been before.  I enrolled in college (got straight A’s, btw).

Listen, there were parts of my life that weren’t working before.  I see that now, and I am fixing it.  I have thought about what I want my life to look like, and I am working to make it that way. 

Hang on, my friends.  74 days left in 2020.  What have you learned this year that’s positive?  That you are gonna carry into 2020?

Wanna see pics from 2020 lessons? Follow me on Instagram @kristiegreenberg

Love Fully.  Live Fully.  Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Forty-three. Shocks me to even say it. I don’t feel it. Not even close to it.

But, I am every minute of it. So, I’ve been busy, and sick – so I haven’t written for a couple weeks. I figured, what a better day to write than my birthday!?!

So where am I at 43? How do I feel? Well, I am stepping into this year feeling loved, cherished, supported, grounded, and grateful. From Covid, to acquaintances, to friendships, to motherhood – this year was tough. It brought me out stronger than ever before.

I learned, that when you trust someone, your truths aren’t scary. I also learned, how forgiving I can be – when given the truth. I have learned that parenting is harder than anyone could think. Also that parenting is the best thing ever.

I learned I love evening walks, holding hands. I learned I love holding hands, actually.

I learned that jokes from my oldest son, are actually the funniest out there. His comedic timing is perfect. And I can’t even stand it.

I also learned, that when your child’s heartbreaks, so does the momma’s.

I learned that my daughter has a huge heart, and feels more than she ever lets on. She is so loving and kind. One day, she will be an amazing momma and wife if she chooses.

I learned that my little boy feels a lot, and hears even more. He expresses sadness through anger. That’s tough to parent, but so much easier when you recognize it.

I learned that parenting takes a village. All good villages have soldiers. I am the Colonel of the village. Try to attack my village, I will cut you. (#kiddingbutIamnot).

This is 43!

I learned I not to take on other people’s issues. I lost a friend this year, I’ve written about it before, and I still don’t know why. I have just decided – it was God protecting me from toxicity. And for that, I choose to be grateful.

I have decided, I will forever be, unapologetic about being me. I will not allow others to critique my hair, my body, my clothes, or frankly – anything else about me. If I want your opinion, I’ll ask and listen. Otherwise, stay in your lane. Unless… You are a some type of fashion icon – then maybe I’ll listen… But probably not. I like what I like.

I have learned how to let someone take care of me. I have learned how to lean on another. I have learned, not everyone will let you down. I have learned, that grown folks talk out differences. I have learned, that no one is perfect, myself included. I have learned, that mistakes can be forgiven, laughter is contagious, and peace is priceless.

So going into my 43rd year. I am happy. I am loved. I am grateful.

And for everyone who made my day so special, I love you all.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.