Acting Real Focused

Why is it that people tell you to reach for your goals? Simple if you keep going even if you fall, one day it will pop! The second you do you’re acting funny, cute, or like you got it like that. No the part your missing is I’m acting real focused. I know where I am going and I’m striving to get there. I can’t stop to make you feel better that I stayed in your lane. Either get a new lane or come up! Simple and plain! Also you have no idea what a person goes through behind the scenes in order to make their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication comes at a price always!

Who is going to push for your dreams more than you? Not one soul. Not one person is in charge of your journey like you are. You have to keep trying and keep going. There is an idea inside of you so keep on pushing until someone who needs to hear it does.

Do you know even in blogging there are moments when you snag that national account and moments when you don’t. There are moments when thousands read your work and days when they don’t. Never give up! Persistency is how you win! So this is why I keep going. I started my blog 3 years ago to a crowd of a few and now that crowd has grown and continues to grow. I’m more determined to keep going until I get to work with the likes of Essence or Mother Oprah. Why? I know I can reach the goal and I know that goal it’s attainable.

So whatever goal you have, crush it! Don’t quit or let the folks see you sweat! Use your voice to get the folks together and press on!Your yes is on its way!

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Take the Step out of Stepdad; Tribute to my Dad!!

Stepdads especially when they are great dads should be treated with the same respect as a regular father. Stepdads who take on the responsibility of a father are admiral. So today we salute the men who stepped in stepped up.

Stepdads from Hell

So before we get all gushy in our feelings let’s deal with the stepdads who only play their part to pretend for the women they marry that they are really there for the kids. This is awful. Many of these men can create more issues and make it hard for the marriage or relationship they entered. The kids are isolated. Many develop feelings of anger. Now if a mom is about her kids first she would get to the bottom of it. Sadly there are some who are concerned with keeping a man and won’t even on the surface look into the situation.

Stepdads who Step it Up

So I’m going to make it personal. My mom met my dad who is my step dad legally but my real dad in real life. I was around 5 or even younger so for me, my dad (I’ve yet to call him step anything) was and still is the only father I’ve ever known. There have been many things up and down that has occurred in our relationship but let me publicly say THANK YOU! My dad is an amazing man! He is active duty military, he has been to every function my sister and I have ever had, he helped us with our school work, took us on vacations, and has been an outstanding father and man!! He’s been in our lives so tight that some of my friends wouldn’t have ever known that he was my stepdad. The only time I talk about step is for things like this or if asked. It’s not a secret in anyway. He has just been a pillar in our life.

I can say that he set the bar high for any dad. His dad my grandfather is an amazing man and I’m not hyping them for the blog either, offline they are both amazing!! When I grew up I couldn’t use the I ain’t know my real dad as an excuse to act up, make a scene, or be less than I needed to be. My dad slipped in my life as if he had been there from our very existence. He was tough and it’s those tough moments that I’ve ever was really mad at him. Now with my kids I get it! He had to be stern. I was definitely the handful out of my siblings. I always appeared to be the one who didn’t give issues but it wasn’t true.

If you have a step dad make sure you make him feel that he is the most amazing father. Do your best to salute him the best way you can for Father’s Day. My real dad has never been in the picture and because of the love of my step dad the only thing I’ve ever have had was curiosity and never a lack of love. I never felt empty. I’ve never felt like as a daughter I needed anything. I think when I moved from my hometown to Philadelphia the only thing I’ve always remembered as I got older was my dad and I’s dates. It would be our time and it was the time he would let me pick his brain about men and relationships. Trust me it made for interesting conversations.

I’m sure as a daughter I have hurt him. I know I have. The time when I was younger and gave him an issue because I was a kid trying to figure it all out. I’m extremely head strong. He definitely pushed me to be vocal. That can be a blessing and a curse. I know that I’ve had moments where I’ve embarrassed him. For all of those moments I hope I have given you all of the apologies you were due!

My dad and I when we talk we never say goodbye we just say see you later. If he would say goodbye I would be like what’s going on? See you later leaves it up that we are just waiting for the next conversation or meet up. My dad makes me feel like the best daughter in the world.

I love you dad!! Happy Father’s Day!!

Father’s Day Pain

As we approach Fathers Day we must talk about the pain of the day. There are a lot of amazing fathers that have passed away. It makes days about honoring a father hard just like it was for Mother’s Day. It’s unbearable feeling for many. The pain of the day has to be talked about because it’s unsettling and real.

Absentee Father

Unfortunately the way life is set up it makes it easier for men to be absentee fathers. Like the old folks would say mamas baby, fathers maybe! This is the time to note that not all men run from their responsibilities. There are some outstanding men who not only honor themselves and their children but some men who are stand up men and father and raise children who are not theirs biologically. Kudos to you wonderful men and we will be celebrating you all week. However there are children who regardless of having male influences in their lives or having a mother who attempts to play both roles still need and long for their fathers love, admiration, and respect.

I don’t know why a man would leave. I can’t answer for men in that regard but I can answer for the children who are stuck between this adult world and child life. Normally there is never an explanation. They have no choice to rely on what they are being told. Depends on their mother if they are told the real story without bias. I hear men saying well that child is being tainted by their mother. You are right to a point except often times when the father leaves it opens the door. Let’s not act like there are mothers who use their kids as pawns. You can open your local paper and read how some kids are even being murdered because the father won’t comply to the mother’s demands. We know it exists. However a child can’t understand and as that child gets older they will continue to see the absence of the father as something that is about them. The child thinks I’m not good enough! Kids need both parents!

Fathers raising other families

This could mean that the original set of parents have broken up, the father has left, etc and instead of that man keeping and maintaining a relationship with his kids, he leaves and starts a whole new family. This is the ultimate disrespect to a child. What was it about that new family that made it okay for you to leave and never look back. No calls on birthdays. No time spent on holidays. Nothing. But a new life with a new family and the father that your child longs for is now being done elsewhere. It’s heart breaking. Even grown kids feel a sense of pain.

Single moms as fathers

I will say this and I know a small amount of folks will get mad. Kudos to the single moms doing all the work. You are not mom and dad you are mom doing it alone. Your child may respect the hustle but they still want their father. You can give a child everything but it will never erase the void of that father. The child can even live a settled life but hear me clearly my sister, your child will still want their dad. It’s hard. The pain of trying to make sure that child doesn’t miss a beat only to think your child is not affected by the absence of that father is setting yourself up.

Salute to my single mothers. You get a bad rap! There are a million reasons why you are single and raising a child or children alone. You have the world on your shoulder and you’re doing the best you can! My hat off to you but do understand your child needs their dad. You might try all you can to get the father to participate and he won’t. You can’t make him! Love on your child but do understand how your child feels. I heard a mom tell her child “you don’t need that fake ass father of yours. I’m all you got.” I understood the pain. I get it! That’s how you feel when that father makes promises and leaves you with the pain from that child and the pain you feel everyday with no help! That child even if he or she understand will still want their dad. It’s natural. Thus the pain on the day!

What can fathers who have placed pain do?

Attempt to be there! Apologize and show up. I would rather know my dad cane and tried and was stopped than to think he just knew I existed and just kept living a life as if I was never apart of it. If you have a child then do right by that child. Do not tell me that the mother of your child makes it hard so you stopped only at her. Yes the courts do make it easier for women then men but if you stop at that you are to blame. Does it cost? Yes! But stop at nothing to be apart of that child’s life. There are organizations that assist men in being in their kids life. If you can google the little dumb stuff that we all google, google information to assist in being involved. Any reasons you try to give me will never be acceptable not to me but to your child. End of the day that child is the one losing.

As we continue to celebrate Father’s Day we will talk about all of the pain associated around the day. We will hit it strong and make sure we balance the pain along with the joys of being a father. I know how being loved on by your father and how that love pushes you through relationships or even with your own kids.

Daily Women Crushers

As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, I want to shout out all women who are crushing their dreams.  Wednesdays are designated as #WCW or women crush Wednesday.  However daily women are failing, dusting themselves off and getting back out there and making it all happen.

Single women who are lonely and longing for relationship and finding ways to enjoy their single days and taking trips, starting businesses, becoming sound individuals without someone in their company. Those are daily women crushers.  They want to be with someone but aren’t allowing the lack thereof to stop them.  Until love finds them, they are out here making life happen for them under their own guidance, salute.

To the married woman who gives daily to her husband and attempting to be united, you are a daily woman crusher.  People think that marriage is a cure-all but it’s not.  It’s hard work to put someone else above your own.  It’s a union that actually makes you confront a lot of who you are or who you think you are.  Marriage is being there for someone and trying to keep the spark going regardless if that woman is tired or not, salute.  FYI the same should be done from her husband towards her.  If you find you are in a one way marriage, there are a few talks you and your husband need to have.

To the mother who is tired and feeling overwhelmed and still continues to get up before her house, getting things in order, and making it look effortless, you are a daily woman crusher.  To the days when those around you takes you for granted, and forget to say sorry or appreciate what you done, salute to you.  Salute to you when you lose yourself and literally have to pick yourself up before you can give again, salute to you.  Salute to you as you endure your body going through hell and back to deliver, salute to you.  Salute to you as you almost sometimes die on those tables waiting to hear that first cry, salute to you.  Salute to the women who have lost life many times and feel like their worth is tied to being a mother and can’t.  We salute you.  Just know that is a real pain. A real fear.  A real cry.  A real emptiness and I stand behind you and with you.

To the business woman who has to have her work checked twice just because she doesn’t have the same “member” as those on her team, salute to you.  Salute to the woman who is making moves after she was denied financing, salute to you.  Salute to the woman whose ideas failed many times before it took off, salute.  Salute to the woman who while accomplishing her goals, had the very folks who now want to stand with her after the fact and those same ones laughed, talked about, and ridiculed for that venture to pop, salute!

To the woman who has or is facing many demons and finding herself alone as she pushes towards getting her life together.  The ones that seem and feel like constant failures while others around her is flourishing.  The ones who say why not me too but they seem to be saying this only to themselves and there is no one around who understands you.  We salute you.  We get it.  We understand because as a woman regardless of what we have all accomplished we have all been public goals and secret failures.  Trust the process, understand that it will work out. Even in the dark, there will be light.  At the second you go to fail, you find a solution. At the moment you decide today is the day you will give up, light shines.  You are purpose and you were created for purpose.  The world has something that you have inside of you.  We salute the process of growing in the dark with limited water and resources.  The best flowers sometimes have thorns but are the prettiest in the end.  Don’t give up!

From the Heart of a Parent

I spoke about it briefly but I want it to be super clear that as a parent I can’t imagine sending my kids off to school and someone coming into the school and taking my children’s lives.  I can’t! It hurts that parents are having to deal with this.  After the Parkland shooting it has left me numb.  I felt numb after all of these rash of shootings to be honest. I am tired of being numb.  I wished that no child had to fear for their lives.  If you watched the videos that arose after the Parkland shooting, hearing the gun go off, hearing those babies cry and scream in terror, it hurts all of us.

Regardless of where you fit in all of this, the fact still remains that 17 families had to feel yet another impact of gun violence.  I could debate either way on the scale but none of that will bring back those lives that were taken.  They were taken.  Young people who had bright futures ahead of them are gone. As a parent it makes me re-evaluate what I do with my kids.  I stopped worrying less about if the house was super tidy in the morning over telling my kids I love them and making sure they are secure. I wasn’t worried if everything was perfect. In our  home we strive to love on them instead of worrying about a few meltdowns.  We stopped worrying about if everything ran according to schedule and focused on who mattered.

Today my family and I was interviewed about how we feel about all Parkland and school safety. I don’t feel like my kids are super safe regardless of the extra additives in place.  People are dangerous period.  So now I spend my time making my mornings and my time with them in general is solid.  Making sure I can always say that as a husband and wife team we make sure we treat each morning as if it was their last.  Nothing else outside of that matters.

The experience of even being interviewed has pulled on my heart-strings.  I spoke to Anna twice and I remember the first time having tears in my eyes.  This isn’t just about getting a story out.  I practice what I say everyday.  We huddle as a family in the mornings.  We do our best not to be in such a rush…….

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Here is a look at the article written by Philadelphia Inquirer, Anna Orso

Philadelphia Inquirer

Weekly Recap: Friday February 23, 2018

I hope everyone has had a great week.  I am super grateful for seeing another Friday.  This has been a good week so let’s get right into it.

Personal

I got into the Broad Street Run! This is the nation’s largest 10 mile race.  So I am excited, nervous, and in training.  I did my 5K last year, but this is the big league.  If anything say a prayer for me.  I have a lot of support around me and that is making sure that I keep myself fit and this will continue to push me as I keep my fitness goals for 2018.  No falling off the wagon will be allowed.  The race will be on Sunday May 6 of this year and that is in about a little over 70 days but who’s counting?

Also I am grateful for my kids getting over the flu.  I am super glad and praying that my youngest doesn’t get sick.  The older two got sick and that was more than enough for me. And as many knows since I posted an old throw back my littlest turned 4.  We are super proud of the big girl she is becoming.  We wish her well this year as birthdays in our home are always special and definitely a great time for a reset.

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I am still going strong on meal prepping.  What I mean by meal prepping is above the meals I prep on Sunday for the family for the week but the healthy meals for me and my husband for our lunches, etc for the week.  I do a cook up Sunday and between two crock pots and the oven I am making sure that food and food options is not a problem in the Storr home.  I cook at least 3 options that usually gets us through the week and then all of the lunches and snacks for the kids and adults for the week too.  So the Produce Junction knows me.  I am okay with that.  I can buy bulk and really not spend an arm and a leg and we have meals ready to go for the household.  It takes dedication to do it but I save a ton of time during the week.  As a parent my number one goal is to make sure my kids eat well and that they are in the bed by 8pm nightly.  And thankfully we make it happen by spending some time using some of the weekend to make the work week go a little more smoothly.

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I have a few other changes that are coming up and I will blog about them as soon as I can.  Just a reminder since February is when most people abandon their goals, DON’T! Keep going and you will see that breakthrough you have been waiting for. Intentional goal setting and sometimes resetting are all necessary so go out and reach for whatever you set your eyes on and crush it!

Blog

Next month is Women’s History Month.  With that in mind we have some amazing women that I have had the great opportunity to interview. I can’t wait for you to read their stories.  These are some amazing women that live all over and are the everyday women who are out here failing, picking themselves up and crushing their goals.  I know that often times we put so much emphasis on celebrities and forget you may be a woman who is doing phenomenal things or have women in your own circle that are doing phenomenal things.  Don’t count them out.  Always be okay ladies, with giving props to other women.  Another great woman can’t take your shine, it only enhances it trust me.

We kick of Women’s month on Thursday March 1, 2018 and we celebrate ALL month-long.  If you still would like to be interviewed, please send an email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Parkland Florida

Our hearts goes out to all of the staff and children who lost their lives during the school shooting that took place last week.  I as a mother can’t imagine what those parents were thinking as they heard the news or got the call that their children were in harm’s way. My heart goes out to all of the children who had died over the years due to these senseless killings.  It makes no sense to me.  I am not one to think I have a concrete solution but I know that we need to have action along with prayer.  May all who have lost their lives R.I.P and the families be filled with comfort even when the news dwindles.  May comfort come to each home affected!

 

I was therefore I am…own your …. edition

So we are in the New Year and so many of us are trying to be positive and make change. With that in mind we have to be honest about what we have done or do that contribute to some of the bad things in our own lives.

This isn’t the blog to make sure you slide this into the one who hurt you email. No this is a self-reflection blog to own your own crap. As much as others have been disrespectful I too have shown disrespect. Did you hear that? So not for nothing on some we all have mess either. I mean times when the things that I have done have contributed to mess at various points in my life. We like to talk about the glow up but don’t talk about the drama that had to unfold before we became the version of who we are.

I’ll use myself as an example since I’m best at talking about me. My mouth is sharp. I try to lay low but if stirred I can be a beast. It took a long time of learning how to speak up instead of holding things in. This holding things in have caused me to leash out and cut off various people. Now the verdict is still out on whether some of those relationships will be fixed or stay the way they are now but honestly I was a cause of the death of them or at least played a part in it. I won’t dismiss what was done to take all of the blame but will I will say is I was in control or not in control of myself and my responses.

I talked openly about a friend I had who called me one New Year’s Eve hollering at me about how much better I was and how she wanted my life. First of all I have a good life but nothing to be envious about. After her hollering phase oh which was so loud I had to place the phone down on my bed to even hear, I let her have it. And it’s like why give that energy?! End of day I saw things beforehand and never checked it. I could have ended things amicably. I could have hung up and not answer her and let it die naturally. I had to own that my personality struggles with having the last word. Once stirred I won’t back down.

Going into a new year one thing you have to acknowledge is if you were bad with money and planning then yes the reason you’re displaced has to do with that issue. We can’t keep blaming others for our issues. Sis, just say you are bad with finances and find ways to fix it. If you and your husband aren’t putting in the work to make a marriage that is healthy, full of life, good sex, and strong then don’t blame others when it goes flat. Own your part like you want him to own his part. If you date the same type of man don’t get mad at the man, own your crap on what you attract.

Owning your crap will make you solid. It will even if you can’t use damage control over the past will make you better for the future. Owning your crap is hard work. It hurts. Sometimes it’s lonely. I’ve been the bad friend who wanted to change and then got mad when others needed to see change longer to accept me. Yes if you’re owning your stuff not everyone will believe you. You will still be the messy chick (or man), liar, cheater etc that they think you are to them. You can’t say oh well I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Is your change for them? Maybe your relationships needed vamping. In the midst of that good came from that season.

You have to own it instead of pointing fingers out. Point in. Trust me when you do and after time when others still point it out just shake your head like you’re right that WAS me. I don’t believe that I have a right to say how long it will take others to “believe me,” but I won’t sit around waiting on the blessing of approval. Plain and simple you can be better and walk away.

So this year don’t cut people off to get them to approve your life. Cut them off cause the relationship no longer is positive. Be open for conversation. I think and believe that there will be dialogue this year. I’ve already had one person reach out and I have chosen to let them know I wish them peace but that doesn’t mean I will be open to a relationship. Being cordial costs me nothing but restoring it back to what it once was can’t happen because I’m no longer that person.

Own your crap. Own your bad decisions. Own that you got work to do. In addition to owning it, keep working even when you get no apology. Keep working even on days you’re lonely and feel isolated. Keep working on you even when it sees you are being punished. Heal. Healing is one of those things that no one can take from you. When you see them and nothing moves you. Healing when you see them and you’re not defensive. Healing when the past isn’t the only conversation you have. What still has you, you talk often on. Don’t give others that power. Shift that power and be better.

Also be okay with silence. Be okay with the deadness when relationships shift. I think that’s hard we all want to be connected. I found that I had to see connections differently. In this last year I’ve grown some amazing relationships. Often times they didn’t mirror what I initially had in my mind it would look like.

Also while owning your crap, drop the charges. This doesn’t mean don’t remember them. It just means in comparison to the world around leave it be. Walk away if you choose to and be solid in your decision.

Own your crap this year, do the work to be better, stop giving negative people your energy, find ways to fix the underlying problem, and be solid as you transition from the old you to the new you!

Lastly make this year your best year! You are in control and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want and you don’t need approval. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Send peace even to relationships that may never mend. Keep pushing even when you feel alone or isolated or punished. Own your stuff!!