Blogiversary Year 4

Do you know what today is? It’s my blogiversary! Yesssssss! We have reached 4 years of blogging. What an accomplishment! It has been my extreme pleasure to blog and bring you so much content. From starting this blog as an outlet from my stay at home mom days to now has been nothing short of a miracle. God is good!

I have learned about myself as a person. I re-read my blogs ALL the time. I literally want to see the growth that has taken place. From how they look, how they are edited, to what I am writing about, and what I put out. It needs to reflect who I am, what I want to represent, and what I hope you all get and that is the notion that we all just trying to be our best version of ourselves. Failure isn’t final. I love that about life. You can literally fail at something, take the time to heal and deal and then get up and make life happen.  It’s a personal choice that we all have to make. There is nothing we can’t bounce back from.

So every year I feel like I am getting stronger. In the first 3 years I was blogging but not as consistent as I am now. I like to attempt to give at least 3 fresh blogs a week and if you follow me on Facebook you know that I also reblog that are appropriate for Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays. So there is rarely a day where blogs aren’t going out. What I like about my blogging tools now is that I can write them all up, edit them and set them to release on a day and time of my choosing. This is essential for me as my life on the daily is super busy. I love that I don’t have to choose between my regular life and my blog life. I plan my blogs a lot of them ahead of time. I also will still write when inspiration comes to me too. It’s really a mix between prep and go and being consistent with blogging. I use my blog planner everyday. My kids even say which planner is this one?  I have it on me at all times.

Greenide

I recently in this year collaborated with Greenide.  This relationship has been huge for me. Being able to step out of my comfort zone and write for other blogs have been amazing. If you haven’t gotten a chance than check the article on Sex and Kids and the one on losing weight

TCP

I also regularly collaborate with TCP, The Cultured Professional. It is filled with blogs from writers such as myself as well as podcasts and really a one stop shop to get all of the information that any and all cultured professionals are talking about.

Dream Deferred

What have I learned about myself this year, is that I can make any dream happen. From losing over 50 pounds, to running and competing in races, to being a better mom, taking solo trips and getting my zen back in my life, to forgiving and moving on from past issues, there’s nothing I can’t do.  From having to take some time to get used to my move to Philadelphia, to conquering motherhood (I am still learning), to being a wife the journey has been a bit crazy. I value the changes that has taken place even when I wasn’t in the place to receive it. I have been out of sync to where I needed to be because I wasn’t able to catch up due to holding onto the past.  I held myself back for quite some time because I hated change that I didn’t feel as if I was in control of!  I love control. I love being able to call the shots, but in life that’s not how it works. Often times I have had to be vulnerable to change. From getting my life back on track after discovering my weight had gotten so far out of control that it was causing me some severe health issues to letting go and allowing someone to teach me a few things about myself.

Followers

One thing that makes this all great is having amazing readers. From those who send me questions for the Ask Toi segments, to those that interact with me across all of my social media platforms you are the REAL MVP! Having people still believe in your dream from all around the world is amazing. Thank you to each and every one of you.

Friends and Family

I have to shout out my amazing family who stand behind me. From my husband who sometimes fills in reading things if I think something doesn’t sound right to being an impromptu camera man, thank you. He has been truly open to this as I blog about anything and everything and that includes him to a certain extent. My kids for loving that mommy has blog friends and for the many times that I attend events.  Thank you to the Storr kids for understanding that a balanced mom makes a better mom. To my amazing friends who read my blogs without me having to send you the links, thank you. To the friends who share my links without me asking, thank you. It takes one second to share and I appreciate you for that. To the ones that was shooting with me in the gym, thank you! To my blogging mentors, you are amazing. I have so many that if I forget I would be amiss but you know who you are. Your advice has made this blog that much better. To my graphic designer Angelo. You have been amazing, when I call and slide them fees over, you never cease to amaze me with everything that I need!

Health is Wealth

We added a new component to ToiTime and that is Health is Wealth by S.L. Efua Joe who is our health is wealth contributor. We will be back in the near future with more content. It is a page that is dedicated to challenging you on what is actual health and having you spend more time finding ways to eat better, take care of self so you can spend less of your money at a doctor’s office. It’s not an anti doctor but often times the very diseases we have can be attributed to the bad choices we take daily.

Blogging Goals

  • To get a better camera and take me from behind the scenes and more into the scenes. I will be posting more intimate pictures where I am in them instead of always getting the shot without me in it! I dislike the camera and I have no reason to so this upcoming year expect a lot more of ME.
  • Collaborations are coming. I am working with more brands and working with more bloggers.
  • Attend at least one blog conference so I can network with other bloggers.
  • Being consistent. This has been the greatest push of my life to do so and its paying off so we not going to stop we are going to keep growing

If I had to choose a dream job it would be being able to blog full-time, and travel with my family. Trust me I am working on it. My vision is for me to blog all around this beautiful world and allow my children to come along for the ride!

 

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Keep in mind in case you didn’t know you can follow me below:

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Ask Toi

You can also send all questions for Ask Toi to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Keep in mind that all questions submitted will be confidential. I will always give you a longer response than I do for the blog. I am here as an outlet. I will do my best to answer you and of course all answers are based upon my own experience. You at the end of the day should always do what’s best and safe for you and your life!

Most Requested Blogs of the Year

Drum Roll on the Most requested Blogs of the year in order; these are the most requested blogs of all time to a certain degree. So these are the issues that most of the readers come back to:

Boss issues:

Those who deflect

Going to a party without your wife as she wasn’t invited

Where are my Followers the Most Engaged

Out of the 30 countries that my blog has been read, these are the top 3:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

 

 

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Anniversary Behavior: The What If’s

So this is going to be obviously from my perspective but in reality all relationships have doubt. Even if the love is on a thousand there is doubt. Doubt comes in many forms and pops up at different times but one thing I can say is I never doubted if I should marry Marques. I’ve always known it and told him when we first got together. However when life didn’t give me my perfect love potion I had to work on myself until we came back together.

College Sweethearts

Oh to fall in love like I did in 1999 should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be an easy match. I was happy to be away from my parents and just broken up with my high school sweetheart. In my head I just believed I would keep him on ice, conquer my first year and party like a rockstar. I had big plans! Then I saw this 6 foot something man who caught my eye and made me laugh. Initially I thought how cute is he but……I got big plans. I wasn’t interested in dating him alone so I secretly dated or attempted to date others. My thing was I had to keep within the Church or churchy realm so that was my small goal.

Nothing about Marques said church to me. It didn’t say heathen either but it said girl he could be the perfect middle ground. After some drama cause at that moment of my life I was about it, we finally made it official. He made me feel safe, he got me what I wanted, he loved me and loved on me, he took me to places I had never been and on a college budget trust I thought I was the ish back in the day! So once Love was established I definitely knew we would ride off into the college sunset. It didn’t happen and with some years and distance between us obviously we made it back to one another.

The proposal

I was semi blindsided by the proposal. I told him that he had to either ish or get off the pot. I mean we had history, a new baby between us and real responsibilities. I think we broke up for one weekend and I knew we couldn’t keep playing these college games with grown up responsibilities. What I didn’t know was he was planning to lock me down. So he entertained my conversations. After he asked I was in shock for a few days! I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.

The wedding

The wedding like anything in life didn’t go as planned. We had to go to plan B! Even at that moment I didn’t doubt the marriage. I know the few fleeting moments that came to mind thankfully I was in counseling for postpartum and my counselor was able to divide my issues. Has I not gone we wouldn’t have gotten married or we would have been further miserable. It’s no secret about my fight with postpartum and by the time we married we had two babies and the situation could have given Love and Hip Hop a rated G rating. Our lives were in a mess. We didn’t have a lot of answers. We had a lot of turmoil for us to weed out. However on August 2, 2012 with tears coming down we exchanged vows!

So now to the what if’s:

What if I had listened to my mind tell me that Marques was against me before we got married?!

What if I had allowed our living situation initially during marriage to cause us to go through a divorce?!

What if I listened to all of the folks’ whispers cause us to be more divided?

What if I had allowed myself to run like I had attempted to do several times??

What about job loses and financial strain?

What if?

Things are going to happen before and after the vows. What I know for sure now more than the first year is that both of us is doing the work. The work includes giving the other the love they need and not what we think they need. As much oneness that exists, we also have our own lives, friends and activities. I know now that hard times don’t last but the words and attitudes you give during those times will. Don’t be so quick to hit below the belt all the time. It takes more time to heal from what someone said in anger than any other hardship that may pop off.

So we are going to celebrate love this week and give the good, the bad and the beautiful!!

A few highlights from our 6 years of marriage and almost 20 years of friendship is:

Marques you have given me:

1. A family which includes our 3 children!

2. You worked hard to help me cross things off of my bucket list

3. When I make a list of ideas and things to do you help me complete them from Summer outings to Fall parties we as a family of 5 are always our own party

4. Helped me become financially sound even when I argued my way through. Making sure I’m strong financially independent doesn’t take away from what you have done, and continue to do

5. We still laugh at one another! Our little quirky conversations are everything

6. You allowed me to support you during the toughest times

7. You can always sense when something isn’t right and always remind me to pull back during times when I’m overwhelmed

8. We have balance now in how we do things together, apart, and as a family

9. It’s really you and me against the world

10. You remember the small things and always have even when I forget moments! You’re a rare jewel for that!!

Here’s to chapter 6!!