Happy Birthday Naila

Today is such a holiday in my world. My oldest is 10! 10 years of love. 10 years of peace! 10 years of pure joy!

I love that I was chosen to be her mother! She has been amazing since I first laid eyes on her. I had her 6 weeks early due to me suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition that caused me to have elevated high blood pressure and other complications. It caused me to be on borderline seizure activity. From the time of them attempting to stop my contractions they told me they didn’t think her lungs were developed enough. I met with the NICU nurses who reassured me that no matter what happened she would be in great care.

After they realized my contractions wouldn’t stop they assumed it would produce enough to make her come down the birth canal but she didn’t. They then started to speed up the process and the pain was terrible. All of that and still no baby and I was in active labor for at least 2 days. Finally I was told I would have to have a C-section. At this point, I didn’t care what they did the only thing on my mind was her safety. Although I was in pain and having a lot of headaches due to my blood pressure, she was my main concern.

I got bumped several times to have the surgery, but at 11pm on May 26 we had a 4 pounds and 3 oz baby girl. She did everything the opposite of what I feared. She was hollering which meant her lungs were strong. She was still taken to the NICU. I barely saw her but I remember being sort of out of it but I was crying just hearing her. I kept asking if she was ok and everyone was all smiles. Thank you to all of the nurses in the NICU who hands down were everything we needed and more!

I went into recovery and a week and a half she was home. It was the longest time but having her home meant the world to me. She would go on to have several complications that required me to lose time at work, many hospital stays, etc. but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, she has smiled and had the best disposition that you can’t help but want to smile back at her. Everyone who knows her or been around her, knows that she has a heart of gold.

To the best 10 year old who made me a mom, brought out to best in me, gives me constant joy, the best big sister, awesome friend, and an amazing mini-me daughter-Happy Birthday Gummi Bear!

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Monday Motivation: Gather Yourself

So today I did my normal wake up in a great mode. Put on music. Wake the kids with love and a healthy dose of sarcasm while declaring a great day.  All of my intentions were in the right place, but the way life is set up….

close up of drink served on white surface

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I really almost took a mental health day. The type of day when you say oh well and you get into the bed and act like the day isn’t in full swing. These days are super necessary when you really need them. However with all that I had on my plate I had to take a few minutes to gather myself. Stop and pray, control my mouth, retract my thoughts….and still the day went left. I would love to tell you that the day just got better but it hasn’t… fully.  Will it? I am not sure it matters. It wasn’t in the gathering of myself that was going to make the day great, it was just in the press. When you attempt to keep your mind clear and your heart pure it seems as if life will just cooperate.  That  is false advertisement. Things go left and that is what it does.  We live another moment to change our perspective and make things right!

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Today and any other day I am still responsible for my thought patterns and my responses no matter what is going on around me. That little nugget is for those who say well my day sucks so I…. SO you what? You can spew negativity onto the world due to your disposition? NOPE. SO you can make those around you miserable? NOPE. SO you can go to work dumping your nasty attitude on others? NOPE.  You are supposed to remain in control of you at all times even when the traffic is backed up, your coffee was made with milk instead of almond work, and you get to work almost an hour late like I did. You have to remain in control with the ones in your home push indirectly their issues onto you. You have to gather yourself. I didn’t have to gather my words this morning in my house because I got to a corner, prayed, and realigned myself.  I know we all have bad Mondays but that Monday blues can be worked out. You can gather and reset in the midst of total chaos.

So if your day looks like mine did-there is hope. It doesn’t mean that gathering yourself will bring bountiful blessings in that immediate moment but you also don’t have to bring chaos to those around you until your day levels out.  Will it level out? Eventually but you can either delay that blessing with bad attitudes, bad responses, and spewing negativity on others while you wait without pressing. Press because that’s what adults do. Press because you owe it to yourself to not waste another minute on this Earth in a negative mindset. You owe yourself all the love and peace you can surround with!

I can happily report that the coffee chain that messed up my order refunded me almost double what I paid….the day is picking up and I hope yours is too! Lets do this Monday!

Sunday Message: Get Some Discernment

Discernment is the ability to see and hear beyond what people do and say. Discernment is necessary in dealing with others. It’s the link behind knowing when to walk away, leave a situation, proceed, or caution yourself. It’s like having the answer within you.

Discernment is the principle in making and living in healthy relationships, knowing when to make a business venture, or if you should continue in whatever goals you have on your plate. When you lack discernment often times you end up in situations that could have been avoided but it’s like you missed major cues. This is why you need it. The time and energy you save having discernment is necessary in life.

It’s like a compass and an alarm. I listen more when people talk. Discernment will slow their words down and reveal their true intentions if and only you slow yourself down to tap in. An example I was with a friend who I thought was a friend I should say. That friend suggested that we attend an event. As I listened more that friend suggested we “bump” into another friend. Had I not been listening I would have ran into an altercation. Something on the inside allowed me to not ignore the warning signs. That “friend” wanted me to help them ambush someone they were having an issue with.

Not that I couldn’t be a wingman, the issue was bigger than that. This “friend” didn’t even value me in that moment. They needed me to fight and didn’t even have sense to warn me before hand. FYI that “friend” became an immediate associate and ended up getting in trouble behind the situation. She went on pure emotions and had I been there I would have gotten in trouble too. And the higher issue had to do with a man and that I was getting cues when she kept talking but wouldn’t pinpoint why she was mad to begin with.

Discernment saved me from a situation that I might have even been blamed fully on since the non friend wasn’t the most loyal person to begin with. I attempted to use my discernment to warn the non friend but she wasn’t in the place to hear. Keep in mind you can miss cues when you’re not aligned to hear the message.

If you lack discernment, it’s in you. It’s around you. It’s within your grasp. You have to clear out some of the clutter of your mind and heart. I know people who can see other people’s issues but can’t see their own. It’s possible to live like that however discernment is mostly for you. It’s your life guide in this world. It’s the voice of reason and halt. Get you some discernment! There’s not a place that discernment can’t be applied.

Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

Monday Motivation: Light a Fire

Light a fire today. Never let others control your outcome. We do too much complaining about things that aren’t right and not enough making moves. You don’t like your job? Light a fire……under you. Not the job! Get a new one. Have a plan. When you tired it shows in your actions. You light a fire and make things happen.

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You don’t like your weight? Light a fire. Don’t sit around talking bad to yourself. Get up and use that idle time to work out. I used to work out to Khloe Kardashian’s “Revenge Body.”  This was after dropping weight. Sometimes I would listen with my ear phones on but it motivated me to move more. It motivated to see the reasons why I gained the weight and work on the inside out. I no longer sit talking about my arms is getting big, I light the fire and work on them. If my thigh or any other part of my body is bothering me I get to work on them.

You don’t like your relationship? Work on you actively and in addition suggest couples counseling while you get personal counseling. He/she unwilling to attend, you have your answer. Faith without works is dead you can’t simply pray good behavior into another individual. Either love is worth fighting for the right way or it has to be set aside. I fail to believe that all this living to be done is meant to be spent arguing and being miserable with an individual who doesn’t mean you well.

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I know the number one issue with lighting a fire is depression. That is why things like bad jobs, weight, relationships, and goals seem hard to achieve because you have allowed your mindset to take over. Your mind has made a nest of negativity and you don’t have the mental strength to move. Well your first light of fire needs to be a certified counselor or therapist. It will be hard. I hate when people paint happy pictures of people attending therapy. But all that bad has to come out. Often times you leave hurt. You leave empty. Its a process, but one that is worth the journey. What do you have to lose? Everything-like a fire!

Whatever you need today, light a fire. Get up off of your do nothing and take a few steps. Make a few calls. Send out a few hundred resumes but get the fire started. Every day you should be doing something to ignite fire in your life and in your soul. So light up the gifts inside of you, work on you, and make life happen. The only excuse you have is you. So stop making them. Get back into life and light a fire in your soul to make life beautiful!

Chapter 38: Birthday Message

I’m so grateful to see my 38th year! What an honor it is. A lot of people didn’t wake up today and for that I am grateful! It’s the final day of Toibration!! My personal new year to reset and refocus!!

I’ve learned a lot about myself. My goal is to be more accepting of my life. I want to love me to the moon and back. I want to exude confidence and strength that looks past physical barriers or emotional struggles. Let’s be honest, we all have them. There are days when I wake up smiling and eager but there are other times where anxiety or just life awaits and it’s hard to push through. If I could wake up, and try I’m half way there.

I’m going to be honest I probably hear more negativity from my own voice and thoughts. Often times I judge myself harshly. You add comparison and the world and it can lead to a downward spiral. This year I have proven to master myself more. Everyday through self-care I push! I’m not going to stop working hard on my body, and mind. I’m going to keep working out even when I hear people judge every part of what they think I should be. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be like the miserable folks who sit and point from a miserable heart. I have to be sure my heart is right and I have the right response.

Relationships

I am going to make a lot of changes in how I allow others around me to move at my expense. I’ve cut back on half the things I’ve done for others because I’ve learned it’s okay to put my needs first. It’s okay to make sure my cup is full! I have learned it’s okay but to end bad vibes and people with bad intentions. I also put into perspective how I nurture those around me.

Also shout out to Marques! Another year of loving. Another year of patience! It’s been a whirlwind! I pray more strength to stand by one another!

We have had a great year filled with highs and some unforeseen lows. I’ve wondered how we were going to push through. I’ve questioned the paths we have taken but not your loyalty. I know that when I dig under your skin you still have remained vigilant in keeping the promise you made me in the car in the driveway a few years ago to work through. You took hits for me that I couldn’t!

Twin Power

I didn’t come into this word alone. My twin Tierra means the world to me. She is my first friend. Contrary to sound belief I am going to always be in her corner. If you see us fighting or arguing don’t jump in because we are liable to start fighting you! We are close. We speak daily. I am aware of most things in her life. There’s nothing that could separate that love!

Happy birthday twin!

Blog Love

Between TCP and my this blog, life has opened up! I am grateful! I’ve stepped up and become consistent. With that it’s opened up doors that I never imagined. I prayed for days like this and to walk in it is humbling. I look forward to the many opportunities that are on the horizon. I’ve had some amazing adventures this year from theatre, the zoo, amazing food and drinks and everything else in between. Thank you to each and every reader! You make this worth it!

Lifestyle Changes

I’ve made amazing choices. I’ve become vegan and it’s working for me! I am continuing to work hard on my body and goals! I am more determined to keep pushing. I also am dedicated to running more races this year! So far 2 down and 4-5 more to go! I’m not stopping. It makes me happy! It keeps me calm and relieves stress!

Mom Life

My goal as a mom is to be solid. To give them what THEY need. I pray to be more calm. To be more understanding in this 38th year. I am soon to celebrate my oldest being 10! It’s a milestone. I love my children and it’s always a pleasure to be their mom. For every trinket I make for them and every memory we create, I feel like the blessing has been all mine. They bring me joy! I pray when they look back on their childhood it was about love, fun, lessons and peace!

So many goals this year to make happen! So many goals I’m actively crushing. No one is to say what will transpire but in these last few years of my 30s, I plan to dust myself and push harder and work smarter.

I promise to rest when necessary

I promise to schedule more days of magazine reading and podcast listening

I promise to continue buying my own flowers and practicing more self care

I promise to say no without explanation

I promise to work this body so it can continue to be there for me

Year 38 I see you. Some folks didn’t make it and won’t make it but I promise no matter the choices good or bad to stand in it!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for the amazing shoot cake pictured below that I almost ate before getting my shots. My favorite fruit is strawberry and that frosting was almost too much to handle!  Thank you for always delivering quality tasting food and having my taste buds on a 1000!!!! I’ve said it once and I will say it again-you can Go Vegan and have amazing taste. You like what I did there? So hit them up for all of your vegan goods! They are also selling items at Martindale’s Natural Market

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Happy Birthday to me!! Let’s do this!

 

Mother’s Day: Miscarriage, Loss of a child, and Infertility

Again I say that Mother’s Day doesn’t always bring these cookie cutter images that television and marketing companies want you to believe. It’s a place of grief for so many women and men all around the world.

When a woman conceives or attempts to conceive, there’s very little ways to do it without your heart becoming attached. With that in mind there are large amounts of women who mourn the day because it’s a reminder of what they desire (d) and can’t have. It’s a place of pain that can’t be measured. With all of the cards, flowers, and joy that should be given to women I want to recognize the women who aren’t in the celebratory spirit.

Are you pregnant?

It’s down right rude to ask a woman of whom you do not share an intimate space if or when she is ready to conceive. That conversation needs to be when and if she is ready to ever have it. Our culture has no boundaries on other women and their uteruses. It needs to be reminded that some women endure a heartache that they haven’t or may never be able to share. Asking her when and if, may inflict a level of pain that she may want to keep private.

Infertility

She may also have suffered a miscarriage and those wounds no matter how long ago it may have been are always fresh and sometimes gets reopen on days like Mother’s Day. You mourn all over again what your child would be and it’s hard. It’s debilitating to have to keep reliving the pain. We need to do a better job of acknowledging this and being sensitive. Your comments matter. Saying things like “just try again” or “it will happen in its time” may not always be received well. There are women that no matter what just can’t hold life and it’s the one thing that we all feel is reserved for women to “naturally” do yet it doesn’t always come so easily!

Miscarriage

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is the most scared part of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re high risk or not; anytime you’re able to hear it, you hold that sound dear to your heart. There are many women who may or may not initially wanted to be a mother but once life has entered inside of you, a real mom will want to protect that life. Not hearing your child’s heartbeat is one of the most devastating events a woman can experience. It signals that even through no fault of your own, life has stopped. The process following that silence is grueling. We don’t speak about what a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, or physically but it’s life changing. It’s real and it can cut a woman to her core.

Loss of a Child

There are women who unfortunately either through miscarriage, still birth, death of a child or late pregnancy miscarriage experience the greatest loss known. Not knowing how to deal with those feelings have sent many women into a tailspin. It takes love, patience, sometimes medication, therapy and some of the most amazing support systems to get through. Outsiders are the first to put a time stamp on this level of grief when it’s no one’s time frame to control. You will forever remember and never forget.

Regardless of where you as a woman or the woman in your life fits, please understand that these are delicate topics that deserve reference during this time. Please be patient with yourself if you fit the above categories. Know that even if you feel you should be passed a point in your healing that healing is up and down and constant. Some days are better than others. If you need help it’s okay to receive it. If you’re struggling it’s okay as well. You don’t have to have it altogether. Just know that I for one understand! I sent you love! I send you peace!