I mean, let’s be honest – I didn’t really go anywhere. I was here. In Orlando. Maybe at work, maybe at home. But yeah, if you look at my Instagram or my Facebook, I took a small step out of the social media world for a bit. I mean, don’t get it twisted, I would scroll. I would see your sweet pics, funny memes, etc . But I needed to take a step back from putting myself out there.

Why? I think, I struggle with self love – a lot. And to be honest, I was using my social media to look for it (self love) in the outside world. I mean let’s be honest. We put the best pics out there. Stand in the “right” pose. (When you all see me on social – you are seeing the best me. I don’t get any better than that. LOL! That’s it – that’s the top of the Kristie line. ) I digress – you can’ t find self love in the outside world, now can you? That’s quite the oxymoron. For some strange reason, I want to present myself as if I am completely put together. And even if I vent, I want it to look the right way. And why? Imma tell you in a second.

But I’ll tell you something else. I struggled with jealousy. I really did. When I would see, in my perception, the perfect family – perfect clothes – perfect kids – perfect cars – perfect vacations. They seem financially set. Spiritually grounded. I really would let my inner voice beat me up. The things and insults I would hurl at myself – well, I wouldn’t say it to my worst enemy. It took an unexpected mentor to say to me – “Baby, you are that to other people. They see you as the perfect one. Always postive. Always coiffed. Always, always, always.” And she was right. And that’s when I thought – step back and do some serious soul searching, girl.

Here is what I realized. It’s okay to be a mess. It’s okay not to post that you are a mess. It’s okay to post that you are. It’s fine – and you owe no one anything. We don’t have to prove ourselves to each other, and feeling like you do? Well, that was my ego talking. My ego wanting to be stroked. My ego saying, tell me I am good. Tell me I am pretty. Give me value.

Then that moment where I realize, I am valued. By so many people. And it isn’t because of social media. It’s a little boy climbing up in my bed and saying, “Good morning, mommy”. It’s my daughter, asking me to come by her job so she can introduce me to her work friends. It’s my oldest son, leaving me a note that says “I love and appreciate you.” It’s grabbing my hand and the car. Kissing my head. That being said, I had to punish the same little boy for talking back. My daughter crying and screaming because she had a blowout. My oldest son being blatantly hateful – because he needs a nap. But even then, I am valued. Even in the dark moments. I am being a good mom by punishing my son for being sassy. My daughter, albeit she gave me a heart attack, she called me to rescue her. To tell her what to do. And my oldest? He walked up to me later and apologized, and said he was beat. All on his own. So with each good there’s bad – and it’s that way for everyone.

So, I will keep posting. I will keep writing. It might get read, it might not. It might be liked. It might not. My hope is this. That I will become more aware of myself, more grateful, less critical, more loving, and more accepting. That when I see something that makes me feel jealous? Well, in that moment, I am going to take an inventory of my blessings. I am going to pray that my heart loves more. That I care more.

And hey, you wanna know what I have figured out? There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m worthy, I matter, I’m significant, because I exist. Not because of anything I have accomplished. I am not less worthy because of anything that has been done to me or anything I have done. Same goes for you, too. Ya know why? Because we are human.

To wrap it up, I love each and everyone one of you – and I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas! And below? Well, Here is some pics from the past month or so. Enjoy!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

Today is my son’s birthday. My oldest. My first. And today, he is no longer a teenager.

Wow. I don’t know how that happened.

It seems like just yesterday, he was playing in the floor, asking for a “Kit Kat Big Kat”. Loving on his momma. Always wanting to crawl up on my lap and watch Blues Clues. Backstory, I lived in Tucson, Arizona when he was born. And we didn’t really know anyone but a few military folks. It was just us. But it was all we needed.

Tariq and I went on a ton of adventures together when we lived in Arizona. We drove to Las Vegas, in a Toyota Echo. We went to San Diego. Although he was only two or three, there was something about him, that made me feel strong. Little did I know how much that would always be true.

We ended up moving to Northern Virginia, and lived there for about 10 years. In that time frame, he went through alot. But that kid never lost his smile. And he was always there for his momma.

When we moved to Florida, he morphed again. He got involved in the choir program. And this kid found his beautiful voice. High school was calm for us. There were no issues. You hear nightmare stories about kids in high school – I have yet to experience it. (I pray I never do.) Now, he is twenty. And I am shook.

You see, this kid wasn’t the football quarter back. He wasn’t the most popular boy in school. He didn’t make a 4.9 GPA and receive a full ride to college. He didn’t do any of that. Let me tell you what he did do.

When his stepdad died, he sat with me and held my hand. And since that day, he has helped raise his brother and sister. From helping with laundry, to fixing lunches, to checking homework (I cannot do this new-fangled math.) But now, it’s different.

Somebody Loves his brother!

Now, my little baby boy is a grown man. This twenty year old man has seen more in his twenty years that many have in a lifetime. His heart is huge. A few months back, maybe more, I was sick as a dog. Puking – whole nine. He sat in the floor with me. When I was having health issues and they were trying to figure out what was wrong, I would wake up at night and he would be laying in the floor beside me. That’s something we do as parents to our kids, I never thought about them doing to us. When I was sad, he would just hug me. Not say a word. Not pry (he knows better, LOL!) – just hug me.

I can come home, and no one is there. Why? He took his brother and sister out to dinner. I get a text, asking permission to take his little brother to the new Marvel movie. AND HE PAYS. This kid works full-time, and is putting himself through college. He is involved in an adult choir, and last year went to Ireland – this upcoming year, Austria. He is smart, hard-working, and loves his family. I might have given birth to this man, but more than once – he has given me life.

When people ask me how I stay so strong? I’ll tell ya. It’s him. He never let’s my crown slip. He treats my like a queen. I love you, Tariq.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat nam.