Christmas Fun: Story time with the Polar Express

So not bad for a Friday night but we decided to go to the Barnes and Nobles story time of the Polar Express reading by Chris Van Allsburg for the 30th celebration!!

The reading included hot chocolate and cookies and Christmas carols. It was an amazing time.

The kids enjoyed wearing their pajamas outside the house!!! I enjoyed the fact that there’s no place I would love to be than in my favorite store of Barnes and Nobles.

We ended our night with you guessed it purchasing books!

Take some time to Google free events in your area especially around the holidays. You will be amazed of the fun you can have!!

Advertisements

Monday Motivation: Keep Moving

This morning was an interesting start. That first day back after a few great days off. We were tired and sluggish. My cousins came to visit us so we allowed the kids to stay up a little longer than usual. I had me a great glass of red wine before bed and before I knew it, the alarm had sounded. It was time to face the day and the week!

So this week we have to keep moving. Between the overload of  shopping that will happen, we are going to have a million and one messages being thrown at us. Some are able to move past and take in what’s for them.  Others will feel weighted down and unable to push through. I am encouraging each and everyone of us to keep moving. Do not stop. Do not break. Do not stay stagnant. Keep moving. Allow things that do not serve you to move past you or you move past it. Sometimes merely stopping to give a petty response is problematic. Do not allow that to be your story. Keep moving. Don’t let disappointments mount up instead use that fuel to keep going. We have so much to do with our energy than to allow it all to phase you into doing absolutely nothing. Remember its not the person with the better resources that wins. Sometimes those resources are there, and because someone is burnt out, they stay stuck. It’s the one that wiggles around lack of resource and continues to build that makes the journey worth it! Keep moving!

What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you

So I’m out and about today. While out a woman is behind me talking to another woman. The one woman asks where her husband was. Her answer was he just started chemotherapy and he’s home. So I’m like wow Lord bless her and give her strength. Then they keep talking and she said well he also is evil. It caught me off guard. I’m like oh wow either way help them both God! She stated that he was abusive now and before his treatment and she’s just trying to get through whatever happens to him.

My heart immediately dropped. She appears to be an older woman and even with her husband going through chemo she still is aware of how he treats her. Should she give him a pass? No. When the woman tried to tell her she should be nicer to him because of his medical condition she made it clear that she might have except he’s still abusing her now and had done it before. It made me think about how some people define their vows of in sickness and in health. Yes you’re supposed to be there for him but she chose the words abuse. Abuse is not okay. She remembers what he did and what he’s doing.

Abuse is not something you tolerate. I hear so many times of people abusing their spouses in other forms not just physical. Gaslighting a person is a form of abuse. Financial abuse where one partner withholds money and resources or makes their partner practically beg for money is a abuse. What about the men who asks for a detailed list of what their spouse bought, but he doesn’t have to? Don’t even hit me with well what if the woman doesn’t work?! I was a stay at home mom for years and if my spouse made me feel like I was his child instead of a partner when it came to abuse then I would be writing this piece from the perspective that he was abusive and a shitty partner period! This isn’t love. This is demeaning and abusive!!

What a wicked way to treat your spouse if you can to yourself yes my spouse does those things to me. How about the husband or spouse who embarrasses them out in public? What about the spouse that deliberately reveals the spouse’s intimate moments to others? This is abuse. Women are expected to ride or die for a man and not receive love, understanding, and commitment. It’s not okay to sit and hope one day their spouse will treat them well. Note for the good man, this may not be you but you can speak openly to your friends when you are alone with them and they speak of doing these things. I have had male friends who do these very horrible things to their spouses and girlfriends and guess what if I know about it I speak about it. How could someone you love be treated so badly by the hand of the one saying I love you. You don’t get to say well I don’t have male role models in my life therefore I just can’t…..

I read a story this week where a fiancé was going through cancer and he had like the married couple of today’s story treated her with abuse before and during. She left him and everyone was all up in arms about it. What was she supposed to do? Stay and wait for his treatment to be over while being abuse? He wasn’t moved by his treatment neither did he focus on his health and make a decision to be kind to the one taken care of him. She wasn’t even married so she had more to lose than the wife of today’s story. She decided that being abused and leaving was more important than the folks who would condemn her inability to ride it out during his treatment. His treatment is unfortunate but if you get that close to potential pain and death and that can’t change your behavior, you have bigger issues!

Relationships are great when two parties want to make things work. They can also be Hell on Earth if one or more partner thinks that it’s okay to be disrespectful or when one party things you should stick it all at your expense. Be careful who you align yourself with. Always find ways to speak up for yourself. If you find yourself in an abusive do everything you can to get away. What you’re thinking isn’t wrong. What you feel is your inner voice telling you that the late nights alone while they run the streets isn’t okay. What you feel when they set you up for failure or tell you no one will love you like them isn’t just an alarm to leave it’s an alarm to run.

Abuse is not okay. He can love you all day with his words but if his or her actions says different, pay attention to action. Actions matter! It’s not okay to stick it out just so others will think you left a person when the chips were down. The chips are already down if you’re being abused. You being abused is wrong. There is no good time to leave abuse. You don’t have to wait until you think it’s socially acceptable to leave. Your mental and emotional well being matters!!

Please make the best decision in love. Not all love is made up abuse. I love love. I love hearing two people come together and just mesh so well. I love to hear when two people come together and beat all odds. Love isn’t about being beat, emotional drained or mentally beat down but smile and bear

Fusing Friendships

One of the biggest challenges when I moved to Philly years ago was leaving what I was comfortable being around. I was used to my set of friends. I was used to my town. I knew how to get everywhere. Lancaster was small enough for me to navigate my life and it was fine. Fast forward to getting engaged to my husband and I knew that I would have to move. In the beginning I was excited to start this new life but I didn’t think about the challenges.  The biggest challenge was friends and wanting to have my own sense of community like I had in Lancaster. As much as people want to leave Lancaster, one of the biggest things about leaving that you can’t deny is community.

Friend Factor

Being that I was comfortable with my friends, I never thought about what would happen when I moved. I didn’t invite anyone to visit me in Philadelphia. I always just went back to Lancaster. Lancaster is home. It feels right. I can go back today and fit right in with zero issues. Friendships matter to me. Having a core set of friends even if they aren’t from Lancaster has always been my saving grace. When I was single and not attached I could take a trip and have girl time with any of them. My biggest hurdle was being pregnant with a toddler in a city I had NO friends in.  At first I focused on making sure my toddler was secure. I made that my number one priority. Then making sure the new baby I was carrying was safe and healthy.  Then I would go back and forth traveling either pregnant, or with a toddler and newborn baby.  When I think about it now there needed to be balance in that. No way should I have made that into one sided trips. Anyone who follows my blogs know the reason I kept going to Lancaster was my refusal to be in Philadelphia and attempt to make things happen.

Fusing Friends

The issue I have less now of but definitely more when I first moved was when my husband wanted me to fuse relationships with his friends. He never asked me to but he would tell me to be open to relationships. My response was so super negative and I wasn’t able to take his advice at face value. Even now some of his friends wives who I think are completely awesome I don’t see myself getting as close to. I never wanted to have my friends to only be an extension of him. Meaning I didn’t want to get in a situation where his friends or their significant others felt obligated to be nice to me out of respect for him. I don’t keep friends like that. I only and always ask for respect and I give it.  I do not expect people to extend themselves to me to save face.  So even know I have met a great level of friends through him but I refuse to force myself on any of them. It’s hard for me at times to push past anxiety.

When I do often times I find folks aren’t as receptive.  Let me give an example. I reached out to one via text. I still have yet to hear back. Like not for nothing I’m in a better place. Petty Toi would be super stank when I see her in the future but why?! Now when I see the same person (s), it’s always hey let’s get together. To my husband he thinks they are being nice. To what actually happens is after a few text messages, the real of let’s get together to be nice in public and the real of let’s get together in real life don’t match. I am the person that will take you at what your action says over what you say to save face.  This isn’t to say they are fake or they don’t like me. It’s the fact that this is the real of what happens when you come into someone else’s circle. It takes time to build a relationship or if you are honest, as a wife no one is obligated to be friends with me just because they are friends with him.  Having my husband be the only thing in common isn’t enough to fuse a relationship. This thought process takes growth.

So anyone who has ever dealt with social anxiety knows it takes a large level of bravery to put yourself out to others. The Toi that I was when I first moved here was a lot more cut throat than I am now. I have completely softened but not to the point of stupidity. Back in the day when I needed to feel apart I was more hurt and out of that hurt I would cut a person off. Now I don’t worry about vibes that don’t return to me. I get that I am coming into already long lasting relationships and for that I don’t get moved as much.  I don’t over extend myself to people. There is a fine line between hey girl, and feeling like after 4-5 attempts and not getting the message. We all have lives. I am married. I have 3 kids. I blog. I work a full and a part time job. I am not looking for someone to be an instant bestie.

Here are my tips when you struggle to make new friends in an established group:

  • Be yourself
  • Always be cordial
  • Attempt to make yourself a friend
  • Don’t get caught up when the friendly relationship is only when you see certain folks
  • Look to find your own friends by getting out in social events
  • Do not feel obligated to overextend yourself to others if they show you who they are-believe them
  • Don’t take things personal
  • Work on you this will bring others that are supposed to be around you
  • Remember you are awesome

Be gentle with yourself as you fuse into a new life, new city, etc

It’s hard to figure out the life balance. You don’t have to have all of the answers.

Know that you will get better as you practice self care, take risks, put yourself out to be a friend, etc

It’s not the number of friends you have but the ones who are super solid! They outweigh having large entourages any day.

Shout out to my friends new and old who are all around awesome!! You have made this transition in your own way, better.

Monday Motivation: Mario Kart Life

Today is a day like any day to make the best out of our situations. Let’s not front and act as if everyone woke up with their affairs in order. You might have gotten up this morning with stress on your heart and feeling overwhelmed. I sympathize with you. I want you to know that no matter what’s going on in your life, mind, or heart we have to press through. There may not be someone to come and save you but don’t have to let your situation overtake you.

I know you’re saying that it may be easy for me to say but it’s not. Most days lately have been pure crazy. If I could touch on the things you would be like wow. I know that life happens to all of us. I know that even with crazy life circumstances, what will pull me through is resetting myself daily. It’s going to take me being in charge of what I entertain in my mind and who I allow around me. Your thoughts matter. It’s the first line of defense in how you continue in your day. If all you speak is negativity and worry that’s all you look to see. Even in bad situations I’m like what’s the lesson and where is the good that can come out of this. I know I’ve been in worst situations and I know some how I’ve come out. That’s the reassurance that motivates me to wake up and intentionally push.

Some mornings especially in this holiday season I can feel grieve and sadness around me. So I do what I need to do for me to push out of it. Prayer is how I start, music and speaking to my children is also how I push through. Sometimes journaling. Whatever you need, grab it while your situations work themselves out. Take care of you while life happens. The worst thing you can do is fall apart and while life is happening to you. The stress of life is going to be there. Losing your mind or losing yourself is not worth it.

man climbing on gray concrete peak at daytime

Photo by Rodrigo on Pexels.com

Take Monday by the horns and have a great day on purpose. You ever play Mario Kart?  In the game all kinds of objects are being thrown. The objective is to dodge the objectives and keep going. Sometimes life is like that. I think about that when I am driving in Philly and trying to avoid the potholes. Life is like that sometimes. You have everything being thrown to you at one time only to find that some you miss and others you don’t. The objective is to keep going and win. It didn’t say it would be easy. It didn’t say it would work out, life is about not quitting. Usually regardless of skill set, resources, and help the person who wins in life is the one who doesn’t give up. They are the ones that push through.  How about you?

Fall Clothing Reboot

I have been guilty of dressing less than my best.  Either from pure laziness or not being inspired it has happened. As fall comes along layering will be key and for me going into my Pintrest and transitioning my outfits will be my number one go to. You can take a few of your Summer pieces and layer them up to make some cute finds for any occasions.  You can go from hayride to a Fall brunch with just a little effort. I laugh every time I go out with my one girlfriend, I am always on Pintrest finding an outfit for the occasion and because she’s my boo I want to be too cute for our Instagram pics!

I would love to be drippin in finesse when it comes to money but sadly the way my bank account is set up, I’ll have to settle for reshifting my outfits.  What that means is shopping my own closet.  I have so many pieces every season that I simply forget I even have.  For that reason I plan to reshift my closets and break out my boots.  Yes boot season is upon us and I have some that I bought and was excited for that the second I bring them out nobody will say they can remember seeing me in.  Pretty sad but blessed thing to be able to say.

So armed with my Pintrest, I will be reinventing a few pieces.  A few things are a must have such as scarves to dress up or dress down any outfit.  Scarves worn around the neck especially a cute bulky oversized infinity scarf is a Fall staple.  You can really make an outfit pop with a scarf.  I would say if you have a scarf you can take an outfit from blah to wow.  Warm boot socks is a great thing to have because you can pop a color and have that boot sock appear above your low-cut boot or even just have to help with layering.  Remember Fall is all cute and games until the temperature dips and its cold.  So grab a few.  You can go to places such as Five Below, a department store, or even my favorite spot, Target for some awesome finds.  Remember your wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive.

photo of woman gray sweater

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Invest in a few statement pieces and cute sweaters.  This will be a game changer.  Fall is all about sweaters or cute hoodies.  A few weeks ago it rained so hard that I had to go and get my Penn State hoodie that I bought in the Summer.  I wasn’t mad.  I paired that up with a cute rain boot and some well fitted jeans and cute headband and left the house warm and cute without a lot of effort.  I also would suggest 2nd hand stores.  These are your Thrift stores.  When I was a kid I used to hate it.  My parents were so into Thrift stores they had frequent shopper cards.  I never understood how the clothes were cheap but we needed a frequent shopper card.  I would always find cute pieces but I was so embarrassed.  Now I get it.  Shout out to them for showing me the way.  I know for a fact that a lot of fashions that are out now have been recycled and what better place to look cute and save money than a Thrift shop?  I’ll wait……

Take the time to put a little extra push in your wardrobe.  You do not want to be out this Fall looking less than your best.  I always would get frustrated askign myself in old pictures how I could have come out of the house and although I am no fashion expert I know a few tricks of the trade by looking up the look I am going for and if you too want to look your best, I would suggest you do the same!

Back to School Prayer

Within the last few years the increase in violence on school grounds have been too much. I don’t remember having my parents worry if I would come back home after leaving. It was understood I would have a long day, work hard, and then go home. Today parents like myself are doing what they can to make each moment count. No longer do we take for granted that our children will return. That breaks my heart. To all the parents who would have had children starting this school year, my heart goes out to you!!

Another aspect of our children going back to school is for their education. So many students fall through the crack that my prayer is that they will have the necessary tools to be successful. I pray that the teachers who are already underpaid are there for the right reason. So many teachers and no not all, are there for a check. It comes out in how they govern their classrooms daily. They are in neighborhoods they don’t believe in and they take away from those amazing teachers who give beyond their means to see that no student is left behind in school or life.

I pray that the students would be successful and make strides this year! I pray that all students no matter what they face will be successful. So many students who don’t have lunch money, no rides to school, having daycare issues for those who are parents trying their best to graduate, may they have the resources necessary to make it happen! May the teachers have supplies! May they have cooperative parents! May the administration be understanding and stop discriminating, power tripping and have the students in mind when they make decisions that will affect them! May the parents have the resources necessary to meet their student’s demands. May the parents have the patience to go back in time and remember math work it’s been a thousand years that they had to do so they can help their kids.

All of theses blessings and more I extend to all students, parents, administrators and teachers!!