Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

Image result for wits end gif

So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

Image result for wits end gif

Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

Image result for wits end gif

Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Our Engagement Story: October 16, 2010 (Sweetest Day)

So on October 15, 2010 my friend Colleen came to pick me up.  She had called me several times before about the birthday party I was supposed to attend for my boyfriend at the time’s uncle birthday.  I really want to downplay what I was going to wear. However Marques had already gotten me a dress that we picked out a few weeks ago and with the dress I figured let me get to the salon and get my hair done.She took me to one of her girls and she did my hair.  I got my nails done and proceeded with my normal day.

On Saturday October 16, 2010 I drove to Philly but I had to make a stop to pick Marques up from the train station.  He had went on a business trip.  We got to the house I talked with his mom and then we went to the mall because he said he had to get a gift for his uncle.  We left the mall with no gift.  He said he couldn’t find anything.  We managed to eat and then back home to get dressed.  On the way there he says that one of his cousins might try to be late and he had to call them.  He pulled over on the side of the road and asked if the cousin had arrived and then he had to fix his clothes.  In my normal what are you doing, I asked him if he could wait until we got to our destination to fix his clothes.

Well we pull up to Maggiano’s and I ran into a long time friend. I wasn’t paying any attention until we walked into the room and I saw his family than I looked over and saw my college girlfriends sitting at the table and I knew this couldn’t have been for his uncle birthday.  I looked back and saw my parents and family and best friend sitting at a table and I knew immediately but I didn’t want to play myself.

He came in the room turned on the most beautiful photo spread and video and asked for my hand in marriage.  I was floored.  I couldn’t believe it. All the things I had in my mind I could barely say much but yes!!  His family was clowning him I do remember that asking what would he have done if I said no, but Marques knew I wouldn’t have said no.

The back story is that my college girlfriends had arrived Friday and were staying at the house.  When I got there they had left and basically it was arranged for them to get dressed and not be in the house so I wouldn’t see them.  But we had crossed paths and  I had no clue.  He had my parents and family there and the only times I remember them interacting was for the sake of our daughter.  It was a really beautiful time. Oh and there was no business trip.  It was a way to divert me from going to house.

Image result for he put a ring on it gif

He put a lot of effort into this day.  I totally appreciated it all.  The other part to the proposal is the ring.  The ring was incredibly beautiful.  When he and I were dating back in the day, I would get my Essence magazines and read them.  In the magazine were always Tacori ring advertisements.  I fell in love with them.  They are super expensive sets.  Trust me. However he would ask me questions as to why I liked those rings.  My answer is simple, I loved how the band had diamonds all around it.  I like the princess cut and halo rings.  I liked how it looked different from other rings to me.  He never forgot that conversation. I later found out not how much he spent but trust me he wanted my social security number like Martin did Pam in the Martin comedy series but the effort.  It was the fact that he went and literally put this ring together.  He got the center stone from one place, got a setting and had it put together to my specifications like a Tacori ring.  So for that this ring means the world to me because of him listening to me, and knowing my style.  He could have gotten any ring and I would have loved it but the ring was made for me and it makes it that much more special.  Oh and my favorite food is Italian.  My favorite color is red he incorporated it all into the day.  We went to Maggiano’s at our first anniversary and the flood of emotions still gets me.  Marques has always been great with large gestures, the proposal was an extension of that.  To this day we celebrate Sweetest Day even when others don’t.  It’s our own special Valentine’s Day.

Image result for he put a ring on it gif

I asked him why he proposed, and it was simple, he loved me and it was time.  Also he told me that I was by his side throughout the years he wanted to give me the ring that I loved and he did!!!

 

Shout out to all of our family and friends who helped in the background to pull that day off!!

 

Ask Toi: What do you do if a wedding invitation was sent and replied to but you receive a letter saying you are no longer invited?

So the back history to this question is the reason given is that the bride and groom is over their numbers.

Let me give a sad face to the couple. Okay that’s all they get from me. I would not attend the wedding and forego the reception.  I personally think it’s super tacky to invite someone, have them send in their reply card on time and then you send a letter about being uninvited.  The reply card is exclusively for the reception. No one is charging per head to step in most public churches so this is about the reception per plate cost. Do I understand the expenses of weddings? Absolutely. There are so many that you love but just can’t accommodate. However have your final count before sending out the actual invitation. For me it’s as simple as not going and DEF no gift being sent. If you are planning a wedding please understand that this is the most tackiest thing you could do. It’s tacky even if you call your guests and try to explain BUT a letter is just plain craziness to me. 

I’m not saying don’t be their friend or if they are family cut them off BUT you can best believe an invite for anything else going forward would be getting the side eye. Who does this type of craziness? 

Recommitment 2017

So May is over. It’s been a great month for me but it’s time to get new goals for June. Another thing happening this June is we are officially at the half way mark to ending 2017. Time is flying. We are coming into a new season.

As we jump into this second half of the year what have you done with the first half? Looking for a new job? How many applications and interviews have you been on? Looking to end love but in the name of not being alone have you cut off the old draining love? Nope, he or she is still there? Looking for new love but haven’t stepped out to enjoy yours? Want to travel but haven’t even applied for a passport? Want to lose weight but won’t even work out at home on free YouTube channels? See the one main ingredient that is missing is action.

We all love to talk. We talk about dreams but won’t make the first step towards them. New Year’s Eve night and you will have a new set of things to do but haven’t put energy to at least begin the set you are supposed to be working on now. I know you have excuses we all do but the only person who hurts from uncompleted goals is you. It’s one thing to be working hard towards goals and not measure up but you can’t even begin to even complain if you have done nothing.

So what you gonna do? Simply dream? Simply talk? Just hope things just line up? Let me know how that works out for you. Anything you want takes work. It’s going to take effort. So let’s step it up. No more dreams without a plan. Be realistic in your plan. Start with one work out day. Change what you eat, pack your food for your day if you are serious about losing weight. Fill out 5 applications a day if you’re looking for a job or a better one. Call a recruiter and ask the questions and set up a tour if you want to go back to school? All of this requires energy and action.

We say year after year how this is our year but you really can’t believe it if you don’t work towards it. I blogged and stand by the premise that if you put half the energy you put into others around you-you would be a better person trust me on it. You can be a better person by working on your inside than out. So in this new month-take a step and leap.

Do you really want it that bad? Prove it to yourself.

  1. Write it out. What is your vision?
  2. Research what it will take. If it’s money needed how much. Do you have a gift or talent that can help you make the money to get there? Do it. Get you a jar, decorate it and save towards it.
  3. Clear your mind. You can’t make space with new things still holding onto the old stuff. 

  4. Get around like minded people who already doing it. Get a mentor.

    So you have things to do. You don’t have time to sit around watching the world be great. You don’t have time to babysit what everyone else is doing. Time to make it happen. Recommit to you!! Invest in you.


    When Basics are Celebrated

    Please do not get me wrong.  I think anyone doing anything positive is good news.  I love that people are attempting to move past the backward thinking that has seemed to take this world over.  However, can we just be real for about a few seconds?  When basic behavior is like the best thing since sliced bread than we have a problem.

    You are in a dating situation the man of your dreams is wining and dining you and pulls your chair out, etc now you are like see my man loves me?  I don’t doubt he does.  In a world where men and no not all men are too busy getting caught up in the negative things, playing video games and no job, making babies with no responsibility this could seem like a breath of fresh air.  However the issue isn’t in the mere manners, it needs to be our own personal standards that have gone on a decline. Even when I dated the most thugs of boyfriends they pulled my chair out.  It was the way I carried myself that lead them to know from the gate that if they never pull a dime like myself they was going to step it ALL the up.  So opening up doors is normal for me during my dating processes. Opening doors was basic.  It wasn’t because I carried myself in a stuck up way, I didn’t I was laid back but my mere demeanor said hey buddy, this is going to be a classy outing. Now this didn’t always mean I was at 5 star restaurants all the time either.  I could go to a night of dancing in the hole in the wall but still be treated like I wasn’t living in the hole of the wall.  I set the standard!

    Image result for basic gif

    If you are married and your husband is super caring, we uplift them. We start labeling relationship goals right off the bat because a husband kissed their wife.  Okay I get there are sexless and boring marriages (all by choice) but a simple kiss even a romantic passionate one making relationship goals only means that there are a lot of married couples who do not enjoy the union they are in. Kisses are done simply at the altar or union as a seal of commitment.  So….yeah we have got to raise the standard.  I had a conversation with my own husband and we acknowledged the highs and lows of our relationship and how outside things and distractions are often celebrated when we lack the self-sufficiency to love on each other and ourselves in the way it should be.  A husband who simply comes home is celebrated as if he isn’t supposed to return home after his outside of the home obligations are done.  He is celebrated and the phrase, “well at least he’s not cheating” comes into play. Like is he supposed to be cheating?  I know cheating is big but let’s not give more respect to the cheater than the faithful?  We live in a messed up world.  The only way to make the world smaller is to learn to leave the outside world OUTSIDE. Spend more time making YOUR world what YOU want it to be.

    Image result for basic father gif

    If you are married and have kids and your husband doesn’t lift the finger to assist you with the kids some of it on you because you won’t speak up and other reasons is because he doesn’t think he should, I hear well at least he’s in the home.  So many men are locked up or leave after they make the babies.  This is true.  However him being in the home still living like an absentee father is even more crazy.  You do know they exist.  They are simply bodies but they don’t do a thing but get the greatest father in the world book just because they stayed.  Um, if you have a baby and make a baby it is YOUR responsibility to be there, provide, and dare I say interact and assist in the raising of that child.  It is simply not okay to come in the home, say hi, watch tv and send the child to bed and think you have arrived in parenting.  NO you need to be a force in the home.  You need to be helping with whatever it takes to make sure you have healthy, loved and supported children.  Ladies, if you have a man who is simply there don’t expect it.  Also speak up and don’t berate him because he doesn’t do things like you do either.  It’s give and take once ALL parties pay their part.

    Image result for basic gif

    I believe in rewarding kids but kids are supposed to do good things if they are influenced in the right way.  For instance every time your child does something he/she will NOT always be rewarded.  Teaching integrity means that at some point they learn to do the right thing simply because it’s right and not because someone is watching them or will give them something.  This is why some kids feel a sense of entitlement because you love your little love muffin and use rewards for everything.  Reward systems are awesome.  It can be used to motivate but should not be in the place of all parenting techniques. These little angels grow up and think the world owes them something and you and I both know that really isn’t how it works.

    Like I have always pushed, balance is key.  Never do more on one side over another. I know this whole not wanting to be “basic” is a thing but the reality is there are times when going back to the old landmark really does still work.  The standard you set in your life and how you work through it should still be set by a measurement.  If a person is worth your time they will know what your standard is.  That is why some people go ga ga over things like good sex.  Is sex supposed to be bad?  Yes there are some sexual partners that don’t always do it right off the bat and you have to set the standard even in that on what you will accept or not.  However some folks get one strong sexual partner and will throw caution to the wind over some wet sheets and weak knees.  It’s like having a stack of cards and as long as one suit is good, you don’t pay any attention to anything else.  Set the standard.  Know you are worth to be treated the way you want and make no excuse for it.  In time once your basic needs are met the other items will line up because you are looking through balanced eyes.

    Get Your Ass Home

    So recently my husband celebrated his birthday with a birthday trip with some of his closest friends.  Now I am team enjoy your birthday and before we married we took trips separately etc.  So him going away wasn’t a big deal.  I am usually with the kids not because he isn’t a hands on dad but our schedules and how our life is set up that’s just how the cookie crumbles.  I think every parent needs time apart from their kids.  I think every couple needs some alone time as well to renew their mind. I think it makes the relationship and familyship healthier as well.

    This particular trip took me for a whirlwind.  I enjoy my kids. However in the midst of his trip we are in the process of moving as well.  By the way we are still packing and prepping for that move.  So between my work schedule, my kids social schedule, and packing boxes to say that I was a bit overwhelmed is an understatement.  It was natural and normal for me to feel but I learned  few things about myself during his absence.

    My anxiety was the most increased at night.  I don’t know if it was because I am used to him being there or not but it was.  I found that I went to bed with the kids for a few good reasons other than just being tired.  However I couldn’t sleep and that bothered me.  I get missing your significant other but I really do not want to get into a pattern where I can not do the things I would normally do at night or in the day because he is not in the home.  To me and this is MY opinion I do not want to get to the point in my relationship where I become co-dependent.  To others this could be nearly a temporary feeling and one would just move on but when we were in college I used to wait for him to do the least bit of things.  So I am super aware of getting into these ruts where I literally will wait for him to suggest a move.  So the first night I was uptight.  By the second night I found myself forcing myself to get past my temporary feeling and simply exist and be okay with that.

    Image result for exhausted gif

    The second thing I noticed was that my patience meter was low.  Now for someone who has their kids all the time one would think this trip would be no big deal but this time it wasn’t.  I had to find ways to go into my bathroom and shut my door to gather my thoughts.  It may be that their level of missing their dad and some anxiety I had been rubbing them and me the wrong way.  I have never in all of my almost 8 years had to shut myself in a closet to stop from hearing my little people’s request.  They were truly making up stuff. Asking if they could take a boat trip, wanting food we don’t even normally eat, and wanting to go everywhere.  Whew.  I am grateful for being in control of my emotions but I swear I had dip mentally to another place.  Everyone who knows me knows I am the queen of ideas and my kids are never bored but truth moment I was exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed.  I am okay with admitting to that it was what it was.

    Image result for exhausted gif

    What I did to get through it other than take a few more time outs that I usually don’t have to take was dance parties.  I turned the music up and me and the kidlets let loose.  We had a blast and it allowed them to get their sillies out making it much easier to deal with them. We ate great food and I didn’t cook much.  I cook just about everyday and this time during his trip we went on a mini vacation.  So bring on all the bad good food.  Why? Because we could.  We enjoyed every bit of it.  I also played a lot of games.  Yes, games and keeping the kids and me distracted instead of hearing the words, “when is daddy coming home” saved us.  I also watched a lot of good movies that I had been wanting to see.

    So when the day came for my husband to come back the grin on my face was super wide.  It wasn’t that I just missed him but knowing that even if I am doing a super lot for my family. There is huge comfort in knowing he’s around.  Even for the nights he works super late and misses bedtime with the kids etc he’s always there as a comfort in our home.  I am super happy he is home.  I am super glad until the next trip he may take that I am well prepared for my emotions and my anxiety will be a lot better.  I am not attempting to be super mom.  Every super woman and super woman can and will experience what I felt during his trip.  I am tuning into those feelings, acknowledging it and making more of a better and clear path for next time and until the tables turn for my birthday trip….

    Image result for relieved gif

    Ask Toi: Do I tell my husband his perfect friend is hitting on me?

    Yes.  There’s no way around it.  Perfect in whomever eyes he still is perfectly wrong.  Now to my readers the back story is this perfect friend of my reader’s husband adores his wife publicly on social media and appears to be the best husband in the world but is still sliding into her emails, etc

    I call foul. I think some men like the chase.  He appears to be the best husband but that’s the tool that he is using to see if you will take the bait. I would tell your husband. I would show him the emails so he can see it for himself.  You have no reason not to tell and trust and believe if you don’t that it can be turned on you.  I have seen men try the whole your wife tried to seduce me bit.  Always protect yourself.  No one has you like you.  Also let the friend know that he needs to stop.  Don’t mention anything now if you have NEVER responded.  Now even more of a reason to show your husband what has been going on so he can check his friend.  Perfect husbands are not a real thing.  People are people.  If your husband’s friend was so loyal to his own wife, he wouldn’t have the time to be in your email.  This is why I caution people not to go by what they see on Facebook and other social media. Everything that glitters isn’t gold.  Some people over compensate their love on social media to appear to be good and fight like cat and dogs at home. The real test of a marriage should be between that husband and wife and he drew you into their stuff by stepping out on his marriage.  Lastly if he feels so comfortable talking to you like he than what type of husband and friend is he really?  You aren’t the only one he is doing this too trust me.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if he was living a double life.  Some men like to tell their boys that their lives are the worst so it justifies that they want to have other women on the side.