A few weeks back, on my personal facebook page, I posted the below :

You wanna know why that’s funny? Cause it’s true. This new year, I have been quieter. Well, this whole holiday season, (see the last blog). But I was still here, reading, and lurking… LOL! And I saw a little bit of everything from folks. From “New Year, Same me” to “Almost time for the gym to get busy” to “Make New Year’s Resolutions- but not about your body!” (I really saw that one, too!) And all of this made me think, about my own take on the new year.

I like it. Is it just another day? Sure. But is it a block of time? It is. I also like the beginning of a football game. I am a huge Baltimore Ravens fan, and there was nothing I used to like anymore, than Ray Lewis coming onto the field and doing his chicken dance. I loved it. And why? Because you knew that the game was about to start. Race on. It’s my starting line.

I am a Virgo. Competitive by nature. So it was no shock to my own self when I realized I was making baby goals in my mind. And some were big and some were small. Then I was thinking about how to achieve them, and then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks.

Last year was a tough year for me – mentally and physically. I realized in late September/early October, there is a difference in being a doormat and standing up for yourself. I am so lucky that I have some amazing people around me – who supported me – and talked me through this – and even encouraged me. Now, although I am not comfortable with it, I am trying to do it more often. It isn’t my nature, you understand – my nature is to be a people pleaser. So often times, I shut up and take it. Just not to make waves.

Sis, that’s just ridiculous. I have learned that you can stand up for yourself without being a raging lunatic. You can say “Stop.” You can say, “I am not going to allow you to speak/treat/talk to me that way.” You can create boundaries. And you can forgive the whole time you are doing it. I am realizing that disagreements, along with standing up for yourself, doesn’t mean the person hates you – or that you are killing a relationship. It just means, you are saying, this doesn’t work for me.

I am not a ‘wave-maker’ now, but I am heard. There’s a difference. I feel like, I have a right to be heard, as do you. And we should be able to express ourselves, exactly like that. I also believe, that if someone is doing something good, we should be supportive, right? As humans, all doing this life thing together, we should be nicer. I literally just said, we should be nicer. Why, oh why, aren’t we nicer!?!?

Well, and there was my answer. In 2020 – and from this point on – I am going to work on being more consciously grateful. Consciously Kind. And also, maintain respect for myself. And if I can do that? Well, I would dare bet – a lot can change, right? And notice, I said that I am going to “work on it.” I might not do it great, I might have days where I fail miserably. But what I do know is this – I can always do a little better than I did they day before.

I put this photo on here, because this was definitely – my favorite day this year.

So, join me on this gratitude journey. Try everyday, to think of a few things that you are thankful for. Big or Small. Then write it down. And here’s the key- don’t make it the same three or four things. Because then it becomes reciting, not feeling and thinking about it. And I am making my own rule here, My top two – will never make the list – and I say that because consider it unspoken. I am thankful for God and my faith, and for my kids.

So, I will start us off.

  • Love. I am grateful for love. Being loved. Loving others.
  • Modern Medicine and Alternative Medicine. When you have some of the health issues, I have had – you learn to appreciate both.
  • Having my best friend. A tell all. Another human to do life with – that gets you without judgement.
  • Coffee. I love coffee. I love the habit of it – the way it starts my day off.

So, big things, little things, and things in between. Tell me, what are you grateful for? Maybe, I am taking something for granted, that I need to appreciate a little more!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

August 5, 2019 we lost an amazing writer. Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88. And to be honest – he words changed me in a lot of ways. Her words encouraged me to write

The first time I ever heard of Toni Morrison, was back in my college days. I took a class called “The Nobel Laureates of the NorthWest”. Well, my mind figured it would be about the winners in the Northwest United States. Nope, not exactly. Northwestern Hemisphere. Just a smidge larger.

Anyway, in this class, we were assigned to read 5 books from 5 Nobel Laureates. One of the books I chose, was Beloved by Toni Morrison. And I was hooked. (Fun Fact, that novel also won a Pulitzer Prize.) But the story, was just – entrancing. I couldn’t put it down. Sethe, the protagonist of the novel, will break your heart while standing in awe at her resilience. That’s all I will say so I don’t ruin it. Fast forward to yesterday.

I had a blog post written, and I pulled it down. Because I knew I wanted to write about Toni Morrison, and I wouldn’t have time to do it justice until late tonight. So, you are getting it a day late. Sorry about that. But today, I got a blog notification from Brene Brown, and she was talking about Toni Morrison. (If you aren’t aware, this is just further proof that Brene Brown and I are supposed to BFFs… LOL!) Well, she was talking about how much she loved her also, and she brought up an Oprah interview. Of course, I google it – and I watch it. Below is from Brene’s blog, quoting Toni Morrison. I just can’t word it any clearer.

She asked, “Does your face light up?”
She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?”
Her advice was simple, but paradigm-shifting for me. She said:
“Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”

Boom. Wow. Quake. Think about that. And I thought about all the times that I have pulled into the garage, and little feet come running out the door excited to see me – and what do I say? “GET IN THE HOUSE! WHAT IF I HADN’T SEEN YOU AND HAD HIT YOU!?” Little feet scurry back inside. Ugh. I would give anything to turn back time to those moments and change it. All I can do, is apologize now – explain why – and try to change it. They are my whole heart. I never want them to think for a second that I don’t want to see them. I can’t let fear, bad moods, sickness or anything else – come between them knowing that they have a strong and powerful purpose.

Take it one step farther. Your boyfriend or girlfriend. Husband or wife. Parents. Does your face light up when you see them? If you hadn’t seen them for a month, would it be any different? A year? If you thought you would never see them again, but you got another chance? Listen. I ain’t judging, cause I am going to tell you the truth. For YEARS of my life, my modus operandi was this – If I liked a boy, I played it cool. If I was excited to see him, I played it cool. Don’t show that you are happy or excited. That will make you weak. Then they have the upper hand. And apparently everything in my life was some type of crazy display of power.

Until the day I decided that I just don’t care. If I am happy to see you – I am going to hug you and show it. Simple as that.

So today, take a second, and look lovingly at your kids. Really, do it to anyone you love. But hey, they are little. Start there. And read a book. Or get on Audible.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat Nam.

So, next week, my kids go back to school.

And I freaking hate it.

I know, a lot of parents get excited for back to school. They look forward to the structure, the schedule, the whole nine. Not me, though. I really hate it. I felt this way when I was a stay-at-home mom, and also as a full-time working mom.

For me, it seems as if the school years fly by. Once the it’s August, in a blink-it’s Christmas. After Christmas – end of another school year.

One of my kids has graduated. One will be a junior. And my little guy is going to be in fourth grade. Funny enough, the all get along. I am going to miss hearing them laugh. I am going to miss seeing them all pile out of my oldest’s car because they took a trip to Twistee Treat. I am gonna miss the ‘no structure’.

Granted, I do have a hippie vibe, agreed. That being said, I am also quite structured for myself. I like things tidy and orderly. It calms me. But I love the chaos and mess the summer brings. You wanna know how many times there were tears this summer? Maybe 20. Divide that by three kids – that’s a good number. You wanna know how many times there were tears during the school year? Probably 25,134. From over-tired, to not understanding homework, to mommy not understanding homework, kids being mean, my kids being mean – you name it. Tears. I love the peace that the summer brings. The laughing. I love it.

I guess, I am sad over knowing, that soon – way too soon for me – these kids are gonna go. And I am going to be in a house where the only differential between summer and winter is the thermostat. I dread those days, because I love these so much.

Are you excited for back-to-school? Why or why not? And if you got any tips for a momma to feel less sad, and try to act excited – I am up for suggestions!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat Nam.

This week. I got furious. You wanna know why? Because I made a blog that had a photo of Michelle Obama in it, and the hate mail began to pour in. I am not kidding. Now, ovbiously, if you read this blog, there was not a thing that was political about that post. I said I like her style of dressing. Which I do. She always looks classy. And she is also more my build, something I can relate to. And guess what? I think Melania Trump dresses beautifully, too. Don’t get mad at me – I like fashion.

But like for real, people made something not political – political. And guess what I don’t talk about? Politics. Until today. The only time I ever discuss politics is with my closest friends and family. One of my best friends, has polar opposite political beliefs. It doesn’t change my opinion of her, and I love her a ton. She respects my opinion, and I respect hers. Imagine that. In this climate of “Us Vs. Them” – two people with different political beliefs get along. And it isn’t just getting along – She is one of my best and closest friends.

TRY IT OUT PEOPLE.

When did our country become so childlike? On both sides? When did name calling become acceptable? It makes me absolutely sick. I have seen both sides, be so ridiculously ugly in their posts – it makes me wanna be sick. From Calling Obama and his family racial slurs – to making fun of Donald Trump’s little boy? When is it going to far!? Why can’t we just discuss the issue of our differences without childlike name calling? Why try to insight hate and anger?

Hillary Clinton is no supermodel, nor is Donald Trump. Why are we making fun of the way they look? They are politicians. Both ran to be president of the United States. And you are making fun of their appearance? How about discussing what you do and don’t believe and why?

Now, I was born and raised a Southern Baptist in Northeast Tennessee. I love Jesus and Sweet Tea. And I am now speaking to people who profess the Christian faith, as I do. I am talking directly to you. And I know a lot of you. I want you to picture yourself, sitting in front of Jesus. And him scrolling your Facebook page. Remember… If you are a christian, you have the knowledge that he loves every, single one of us. Would he want you mocking one of his kids? Making fun of a race or religion? Would you have shame for anything you posted if Christ himself was in front of you? Does your politics line up with your religious beliefs? Do you express it in a loving and Christian way? I bet some people are uncomfortable right now. And if you aren’t, you should be. Also, if you are a Christian, and you post a lot of political stuff – you could be alienating people from talking to you. What does that do to your testimony?

If you have gotten caught up in the frenzy of trash talking, hate mongering, and straight up consummation – you can stop. Tell your friends and family, that you are stopping. That doesn’t mean your beliefs change. That means the way you present your beliefs change. And I can promise you this – people will listen to you, when you can present yourself intelligently and they don’t feel attacked. Think about your political beliefs. Now, how do you feel when someone says that you are “A moron for thinking that way”, or “Left wing baby killers”, or “right wing baby prisons” ? You take offense. Your blood pressure raises. You feel attacked and insulted. Because if someone trashes your belief – it feels they are trashing part of you. Don’t take part in that. What a difference a conversation can make! It can really change everything!

And trust me when I say, I don’t care if you are democrat or republican. Be classy. Stop the name calling. And let’s try to make this nation stronger rather than ripping it apart at the seams. If you have strong political beliefs and want to share it, write it out and share it. Also remember, once you share something on Facebook – it never really goes away.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat Nam.

I know, we learned this as little kids. But I am not talking about your standard – “Don’t lie.” I am talking about tell your truth. Yours. The dialogue that runs in your head. What is that truth?

For the past 10 years, I think I have suffered with some type of identity crisis. No seriously, I think I did. Around January – February of this year. Everything seemed jumbled, and then it slowly began to come into focus. I am a big fan of self – help, meditation, prayer, the bible, journaling, all of it. And I used all of these tools for years, but it wasn’t until the past couple of months – that I surrendered.

Surrender, you say? That seems dramatic. Yes. It is dramatic. And here is how. You see above how I said I love the bible? Well, since I was a little kid – I was brought up in church. I knew these verses – I just never thought to actually apply them. Yeah, I know – I am a quick learner.

“ ‘Do not steal. “ ‘Do not lie. “ ‘Do not deceive one another. ” – Leviticus 19:11. An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. Proverbs 14:5 And well, that’s just a couple.

Now you might be sitting there and saying, “Well, Kristie – I am glad you have gotten your pathological lying in check, but I don’t have that issue. ” Well first of all Karen, that’s not what I am talking about. But second of all – I think we all struggle with this a little more than we think.

I have a therapist. And she is great. Why do I need a therapist? WE ALL NEED A THERAPIST! Now, maybe you have one. Maybe you have a girlfriend, sister, someone else – who steps in as a therapist. Me, personally – I like having the outside perspective. I have girlfriends I can talk to – but guess what? They love me. If I’m mad – they are mad. We are a team. So, I need someone who will say – “Kristie, you are wrong and you are being crazy.” Jan loves doing that.

So. Here is my big lie. And maybe yours, too. It’s only two words – and I used it like a badge of honor. You ready? —– “I’m fine.” ——- That’s it. I always acted like everything was fine. And to be honest, the last ten years of my life – not really fine. There’s been a lot of good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s been a lot of bad. And it’s only been in the past 6 months or so – that I have gotten comfortable with saying what my truth’s are.

I have had some medical bills. I have struggled in silence with those. Well, mostly silence. And finally I had enough. I made a decision. That decision was going to require me to be vulnerable, and tell the truth. I decided to implement Dave Ramsey’s plan to pay off all my bills, rather than just staying afloat, and making everyone else thing everything was perfect. That meant, telling those in my tribe. My friends, my kids, and to be honest, some people I work with. Why did I have to tell them? Because they were going to see a change. I am on a budget – a strict budget – so extracurricular stuff is gone for awhile. I am not being rude, I am not being distant. I am just being broke. But I am choosing broke for now, so I can be great later. That’s my truth. My truth isn’t that everything is fine. Because it isn’t. My truth is that it will be. So guess what I did. I told my friends. My family. My co-workers (that I am close with, anyway). I told them that I was going to start selling stuff that I/we didn’t use. I was going to throw every penny at my bills, and get them paid off ASAP. And guess what?

Every single person was nothing but supportive. Even my kids. Even Jacoby. No one thought any less of me. No one acted like I was some irresponsible 40 something screw-up. And to be honest? Most everyone either then told me about their financial struggles, either present or past. Gave me great ideas, and also said – ‘I’m proud of you. I know it’s scary. You can do it.’ They are right. I can.

Next, and here is a big one – I think especially for women. Let your loved ones know what you need. Just let them know. Jan said to me, ‘One day – You are going to have to actually say what you need. People aren’t mind readers. It isn’t being selfish. It isn’t being weak. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you aren’t okay with something. Because if they react negatively? Either they can’t do what you ask – so you change your expectation, or you accept it and progress. You shouldn’t suffer and worry in limbo. So, at least then – you can determine where you place that relationship.’

Well, Jan. What if they don’t say what you want them to? What if you want them to love you? Need you? What if you want to be the apple of their eye? You want them to see you as strong? The go-to friend? The best daughter? An amazing girlfriend? The best employee ever? Telling someone what you need – THAT’S WEAK! I said this, not quite so eloquently, to her. She folded her legs up underneath her and shook her head. “I didn’t say it was easy. I said you needed to do it. But if you wanna suffer, hey – go ahead. But this piece of advice isn’t going to change. People aren’t mind readers – as much as we might want them to be.”

So, months later. I did it. (Listen, don’t judge me. I didn’t say I was obedient. Or a quick study.) But I did it. I started talking to those I trust and have relationships with. I told them about my trust issues. I told them about my fears. I told them when I felt ignored. Or not wanted. I told them when I just wanted to be alone. Once I started telling, it got a little easier. And guess what happened? Some of the folks – not all, but some. Started telling me back. And guess what? We are closer than ever. Some, have just listened to what I said. Some, have listened and told me that they couldn’t do what I needed. But guess what. Every scenario was a win. Everyone. Because one, relationships grew. And I was told how to love them better. And even in the situation where I was told that they couldn’t do what I needed? It wasn’t mean. It was just – they couldn’t. I can’t be mad at that, and I now have realistic expectations.

Listen, I still struggle. The act of being vulnerable and admitting you have a heart and feelings – well for me – that sucks. I’d much rather be viewed as the “tough, I don’t care, I’ll fight you then spit in your grave” type person, than the one who is tender hearted and cries by herself at night. I’d much rather be seen as tough, than the girl who is afraid that she will never be loved the way she loves. I’d much rather be seen as distant and cold, than for anyone to know – just how much I would give for those I love, and how I am scared to death that no one will ever love me back that way – and maybe, I don’t deserve it. I’d rather be seen as a bully, than the tenderhearted woman that I actually am.

Because once you see that side of me? The soft side? I feel like you can ruin me. I feel like you can hurt me like no one else can. And when someone has been hurt? Well, like my momma says, ” A burnt child, dreads the fire.” So, I guess – I have been afraid of the fire. Not anymore.

Well, that I lie. I am scared of it. But what scares me more? Missing some amazing opportunities, to self preserve.

So guys. There it is. Tell the freaking truth.

Wish me Luck.

Love fully. Live fully. Sat nam.

Well, this is gonna be short. I didn’t plan this blog, she just kinda flew out my fingertips. I have had a good day. No major issues. Hiccups. All good. Then, out of nowhere, “WHAM!” I got slammed by a flood of emotions that I didn’t see coming. Long story short – in a previous blog I wrote about the best friend break-up. (You can click the underlined part to read that if you haven’t). Well, some of their social media popped up in my world – and it was like I was stabbed all over again. I guess, I should just feel blessed that I don’t know how you do that. How you just drop someone for literally no reason/no explanation.

Anyway. That sucked. Tears were burning my eyes. I shut my office door. I cried for a second, cause my feelings were re-hurt. And then I did it. I made a phone call. I called and I cried. And guess what !? I wasn’t made fun of, I was listened to, and I ended up laughing at the end. So I say all that, to say this. I am so grateful. In a moment of yucky – I realized that I have so much to be grateful over. And guys, when you are upset, let it out to someone you trust. I started off feeling crazy for being emotional. I ended up receiving understanding and a deeper connection with them? Why? Because I got vulnerable and showed emotion instead of choking it down. So, try it. Let it out.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

It’s worth it. For real.

I mean, honestly. Boulders and clubs might . But sticks and stones? Nah.

Tonight while surfing the web, I got a great idea for a blog.  One that has affected me my whole life.  And something that I haven’t conquered – but is a work in progress.  You know the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break by bones but words will never hurt me?”  Well, that’s a big fat lie. First, I am gonna self admit – I have done a whole lot more damage with my words than ever with my fists.  I have had my fair share of run ins with sticks and stones… from falling down hills, playing sports, you name it.  But, I can honestly say – that not one single stick or stone has broken a bone. Ever.  Maybe made a bruise, but nothing that I can even really remember.  I am just sure in the course of my life so far – it has had to happen.  

Words on the other hand, can break your heart.  Words are something that can only be forgiven – no guarantee forgotten.  You know, looking back on old photos and videos – I can remember a lot of conversations – funny little things that I had previously forgotten.  But I remember those words.  Now, in the age of social media – it seems so much more prevalent. People will trash talk their spouses. Make fun of other people. Critique someone’s clothes, makeup, or even a birth mark.  People can say anything they want to someone, because they don’t have to look them in the eye.  My term for them, are internet gangsters. Here is a rule of thumb — if I wouldn’t say it if they are sitting in front of me – I will never type it.  And that goes in all areas  —  I’ve been hurt enough by words – I am sure we all have — so I don’t ever want to do that to anyone else.  

This week- THIS FREAKING WEEK – I was upset, and I said something I didn’t mean. I wasn’t even mad at the person I was talking to, I was just all up in my own feels. When they told me that they were hurt – It broke my heart. My mouth did it again. I couldn’t do anything but apologize. And this person, is super gracious, said that they understood, and accepted my apology. Now, I need to work a hundred times harder – to show that person that I meant it.  

I have even made the mistake my kids.  When you say, “You are grounded until you are 100!” — well, we know that’s not gonna happen.  I mean, I don’t normally say 100 . I do though, make more dramatic statements of punishment, than what would actually fit the crime. So then, when I calm down, I have to explain that I was angry, that was dramatic, and here is the actual punishment. I have had to do this more than once.  You get what I am sayin’, I’m sure. 

Let me tell you something, the word “whatever”, “nothing”, ‘I’m fine”….  I used to say it all the time. I know its a joke that when a woman says, “Nothing is wrong..” – that means something is.  Honestly, isn’t it sometimes so much easier to say those responses?  Like, it’s easier to say that you don’t care – than to explain all the reasons that you do. And why? Because if you don’t want to be vulnerable and show how you really feel.  And I know I feel that way sometimes.  That being said, if something is wrong. Say it. Don’t scream it. Maybe you know you are being moody – preface it with that. Because let me tell you -everyone has been moody. Everyone. Wouldn’t you rather someone tell you what’s wrong ? I know I do. Then you aren’t guessing. Worrying. Do everyone and yourself a favor.

Here’s my challenge to you. Watch your words. Tell your truth.

Be kind to each other.  Life is too short. 

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

Ok, I know that this sounds horrible, and it is. But, I am a plethora of knowledge on this subject, and I am here to help you. I have had alot of close friends, ask me, “What do I say or do? What should I bring?” – when they find out someone has passed away. Who do they go to? The Widow, that’s who.

Now let me start off with saying, use some sense. Since my husband passed away, I also lost my grandmother. I loved my mamaw. She was a super sweet, super kind, and also super old – lady. She died at the ripe old age of 103. Now, her dying in comparison to him dying – not the same at all. So, use your intuition and guidance, and start there.

When my husband passed away, I was shocked. Floored. It wasn’t even something remotely on my radar. I hadn’t thought about him dying. He wasn’t sick. Super healthy. Young. I mean, he wasn’t even driving a car. I am assuming, that those feelings would go for anyone who suffers through a sudden loss. There whole world is crashing down. And you, being a loving soul – want to help. What do you do? Well, first. Text them. Don’t call. Text. And, being southern – that goes against everything I was taught. But when you are in it – it’s good to see the text messages, but not feel the need to have to answer the phone.

  • Don’t do what we all instinctively want to do. DO NOT ASK IF THEY ARE OK. I mean, obviously not. And I know, you know, it’s just a thing we say – I said it 1000 times before. Never will again. Because when you are emotional – you get annoyed – and I wanted to scream back – WHAT DO YOU THINK!? But, I didn’t.
  • Find out who the point of contact is. For me, I had three. My parents, and my two closest friends. Those folks are the guard keepers. They are so important. Send any correspondence through them. And please – feed them. They have stopped their lives to care for another human – and that deserves some serious honor. I wouldn’t have made it without them. When you find out who the person is – send it out to any mutual friends, so they also know.
  • Come over, when the gatekeepers says it’s fine. And understand, you might not ever see who you came to see. I promise. They know you are there. And appreciate it. I remember laying in my bed, and seeing all the friends and family members showing up. And I was so grateful. I just couldn’t get up out of my bed.
  • Do not tell the loved one to take something for their nerves, unless you really believe that they are losing it. I got so irritated when people asked if I needed “something for my nerves”. Ummm.. No Tammy, My husband died and I am widowed with three babies. So there’s that. I believe my crying is kind of warranted.

Now, you might have someone who wants to talk. And be in it. And cry. And if that’s the case. Do that. But understand this – once the funeral is over – life will never go on as normal for them again. Ever. They will have a new normal – and it can be a great new normal- but, they probably can’t see it then. I was so lucky that I had friends who didn’t forget me. My friends would come over and sit on the porch. One of my friends, actually moved in with me for awhile, to help me with the kids. I mean, she moved in. I am not asking you to move in – I’m just saying – it’s a huge transition.

Next, let’s talk about what to bring. Isn’t this something that we all want to do? I mean, you can’t take away the pain, but you can try to make the situation a little more endurable. So, here’s my list of the things that I will never forget that were brought to me.

  • Toilet paper. A pack from BJ’s. A big one. There are going to be people coming in and out of the home. People go potty. You really don’t want to be crying in your bed, then have to run to Wal-Mart to get some toilet paper. And once everyone leaves, and your life is creating it’s new normal – it’s nice to not have it all used up, and have a stash.
  • Paper towels, paper plates, solo cups, napkins, trash bags, etc. And why these items? They are needed. There will be tons of people, food, and no one wants to worry about dishes. And, check the trash cans. If it’s trash day – take it to the road. More food, more people, more trash generated. Those little steps were so thoughtful.
  • Gift cards. Gift cards got me through a lot of tough times. Restaurants, Wal-Mart, Gas. You pick it. It will help. It will be used.
  • Don’t bring food unless you are part of a meal train or requested. So many people won’t follow this – and you have no idea how much food I had to throw away just because the sheer volume.
  • Nice comfy pajamas. A girlfriend of mine brought me new pajamas. It helped.
  • Send a card. Bring a card. Either one. They will keep it forever. It does mean alot.
  • Don’t send flowers. If you want to get a plant, get a house plant. I’d go with a peace lilly, a succulent, african violets, a fiddle-leaf fig, viper’s bowstring. Flowers are beautiful. Flowers also die. And when you are going through a death – it just made it feel more apparent.

If you are the outdoorsy type, and the individual has yard – make sure they either have a lawn service, or its handled. If it isn’t – organize a group to handle it. Also, think of any other little thing that you can to make someone’s life a little easier.

But I saved the best and most important for last. Pray, my friends. And don’t stop. I am still prayed for today – years later – but some powerful women in my life. And I am so thankful for that guidance. Those prayers. They got me through, and have continued to carry me. If you have any questions – leave a comment, shoot me a message, I’m here.

Come on back now, ya’ll.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

I love my kids. 

All three.  Equal. 

Every single day, they amaze me.  Their heart, soul, laugh, faces, well – you name it.  Everyday.  Pure amazement.

But last night – took the cake. 

Let me give you a little backstory.  I hate video games.  Abhor.  They make me mad.  I hate to see kids just completely consumed by them.  But there was a time, about 10 years ago – that I too, had an obsession with a video game.  That game was SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE!

I loved that game. Tariq and I would sit for hours, side by side, playing this game.  Until a very tragic day.  They day, that at seven years old, he deleted my game.  The memory card.  I was about to beat the game.  Months of playing, straight down the tubes.  It was so sad.  I never turned it on again.  That was the last video game I ever played.

Through the past 10 years, I have been asked why I don’t like games.  If Tariq is around, I tell them that it’s because, “Your memory card could be deleted, and then it’s heartbreaking.” As I would look at him.  He would always say, “I’M SORRY!”, and we’d both laugh.

But last night, I cried.  Again.  Over a video game.  And here’s why. 

Tariq led me into his room telling me he had a surprise for my birthday.  He had created an emulation of Super Mario Sunshine on his computer – and had the game back at the spot I was at – when the game was deleted.  I was floored.  Overwhelmed.

The amount of work, the amount of time, the amount of dedication that it took on his part to make sure he knew how special I was to him – overwhelmed me.  That he remembered.  He worked.  And he surprised me.  I just can’t even believe it. 

I really am the luckiest mom alive.  The luckiest woman alive.  I have never felt more cherished and loved in my life.  God has blessed me in ways I don’t deserve – and I am forever grateful.

It’s funny, in a an absurd type of way – but it’s true.  I bought an iPhone 6 plus, one year ago.  It’s the one with 128 mb.  And you want to know why I bought it? Because the level of storage for photos was so high.  I have two obsessions.  One is music, the other is photos.  An iPhone – well provides both.  That is, as long as you have the memory for it.  So when it came out – I was on it.  There was nothing I hated more, than getting ready to take a picture, and my phone stop me.  The phone would tell me, I needed to delete a picture to take another picture.  Did this phone know what it was asking me to do?  How do I delete a moment, to create another?  What if I didn’t save it?  Needless to say, it was drove me nuts.  And you want me to delete a song?  No.  ‘Nuff said.

I had a conversation with one of my bosses this week, about iPhone Vs. Android.  He asked me why I loved the iPhone, although he has one.  I told him the above.  And he said, “You really take that many pictures?”.  Yes, I do.

So this weekend, I looked through them.  And didn’t delete any.  But I did notice this. Photos tell such a story, that we might not remember.  Photos tell the truth.  They show happiness, sadness, and absence.  They capture moments that we forget.  They an often show how you feel, even when you didn’t realize you felt that way.  I saw a photo of me and Jacoby – and he was squeezing my neck, from behind.  I remember, that I felt so thankful.  In that moment – I felt teary.  And I posted it on Facebook and Instagram – and no one knew I was teary in the picture.  But I remembered when I saw it.  After everything I have been through – I was thankful.  And completely at peace with those little hands around my neck.  I was okay with the hand I had been given.  Because, although it was a horrible road – God got me to where I am at today.

Photographs can show you things you can’t see through your own eyes.  Maybe you can’t see how beautiful you are.  How great you look when you laugh.  Sometimes, Looking at a photo – can tell you more than you thought you ever knew.  So, keep your photos.  Save them – and let’s be a little different.  Print some out – hang them on your wall.  Keep your amazing moments in your foreground.  I posted a quote a few months back on Facebook, I believe, and it said, “Photographs seems unimportant, until that’s all you have left.”  For some parts of my life, photographs are the only proof it existed.  But for now, in my current life, photographs show me how lucky I am.

Have a great night.  Xoxo.

Let brotherly love continue.  Hebrews 13:1