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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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!

Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!

On the Move: Crunchik’n Style

Shout out to #travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch buddies as we take you behind the scenes to local eateries. Again as a lifestyle blogger you are going to want to know the places to either get out, have new places to grab food with bae, your girls or even the fam bam. I enjoy getting around Philadelphia and yesterday’s spot was brought to us to by Crunchik’n.

Tuna bowl served with rice, lettuce, salsa, Japchae noodles and a dumpling

Crunchik’n is a Korean flare restaurant. It’s amazing food at great prices that is made fresh to order and it tastes amazing. From their homemade dumplings to their marinated sauces each bite is special. We caught up with Jen who is part owner with her father, John Choi. She stressed that the goal was to make quality food that was made on the premises and that the sauces made was fermented and marinated to give the meat their fresh, unique taste. I think they hit a slam dunk. The selections are so good that even if you didn’t want to sit and eat you could order their half or whole chicken cut up and make dinner at home special too. Oh and if you’re wondering they are on Caviar for delivery as well.

Kimchi cheese fries

Since I’m vegan let me tell you that they had amazing vegetarian dishes that I was able to veganize. I didn’t leave hungry in the least bit. My suggestion is that this is a causal dining experience, good for all types since although they don’t have a specific kids menu, kids of all ages would love the chicken and other offerings. We even had some kids along and I heard a few to all ask for seconds. This is a great spot to gather friends as well or makes a causal date night or date day location.

Beef and vegetarian taco I personally had the vegetarian and it was amazing to keep it vegan I had mine without the sour cream and it was still full of flavor

Crunchik’n has been open for a little over a month. This means you need to get in and show them a little love. For new guests who go you will also receive a gift! Who doesn’t love gifts?

Beef dumplings on the right and the veggie dumplings on the left was made with kale and spinach. The veggie dumplings were super good!

So if you love Korean style food that is fresh, high quality, and served by awesome accommodating staff, make sure you add Crunchik’n to the top of your lists of go tos. You will not be disappointed!!!

Korean fried chicken can come in 8 house-made marinated sauces

They serve tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches, dumplings, Korean fried chicken and even small bites! What’s not to love?!

Spicy pork melt sandwich

The drinks are good too!! They have arrangements from Bubble Teas to fresh Sparkling Ade…

Strawberry lemonade and grapefruit

Mango and Matcha Green Bubble Tea

One last thing:

Crunch Balls which comes with either rice or potato and either beef or vegetarian

The hours are as follows:

Weekly Recap: Friday February 22, 2019

Blog Life

I hope you are keeping up. A new blog has hit everyday this month so far.  We talked about a lot of mental health topics one way or another. It was necessary. One I got a lot of emails from followers requesting it. Also life hit me this week in various forms. I am one who tries to practice what she preaches. So I made my mental health my number one issue to maintain this week. Nothing in particular set me off it’s just that I am aware from therapy how to recognize when I am becoming elevated. I hope you have the same mindset for your life. It’s important to check in with yourself and slow things down. Life is already crazy enough.

Fit Life

I got into another Broad Street Run! I am more than excited. This is year 2 and although I now know what to expect I want to fix a few things that I didn’t know about the run this year. I want to train a little better.  So I am hitting the pavement sort of talk by running outside earlier. This will work with my stamina. It was pure adrenaline and training that helped me last year. But I want to get stronger and do this right!  Also I have the Hot Chocolate 15K in April. Its run season.  So I am training which means I will cut down on alcohol and focus on more water intake etc. Its hard lets not kid ourselves. The run is on Cinco de Mayo I will reward myself with a margarita and some banging tacos. Until then I go hard and show up for myself. So my training have gotten a little more intense. I am making sure I have what I need ahead of time. Send some running vibes my way!

Shout out to Cake Bams for sending me the best artisan rice cakes that I’ve ever had. These health-ish cakes were covered in goodness. The four flavors, love you matcha, chocolate chip crookie, salt in the dark and birthday erryday! You’ve had flavored rice cakes but never none like this. So such a sweet and amazing treat to end my 4 day workout week!!

Kid Life

We celebrated my youngest 5th birthday. That means we do not have any more babies in our house. She is officially a big girl! This is also the anniversary of the blood clot that almost took my life having her. I am grateful for her. She is like a fresh breath of life. She is an amazing child. She had the day to go to the movies to see Lego Movie 2: The second part. She honestly fell asleep but it wasn’t because of the movie it was because she woke up super early and excited to see what we had planned for her day. The movie itself was good having a lot of parts for the adults too.  She also went out for lunch, took in a lot of phone calls and Facetime from family and got the gifts she wanted. We also had a party for her with her classmates at school and that was what she wanted. I was glad that as parents instead of pushing our agenda. I am learning to take cues from the kids on how they want to be celebrated.  In our house birthdays are always a big deal because it’s the one day that should be yours. We enjoyed cake at home so this week my workouts had to match them slices!  My other kids have enjoyed their 3 day week and a snow day.  Pray for my grocery bill. They can eat. I enjoy watching them enjoy what kids should be enjoying.  As long as my kids are happy and healthy that is a big win!  I am extremely blessed to have the children that I have!

noey

Personal Life

This week I took out time to get me together. It takes a lot to juggle the many hats that I wear at any given time. I am amazed at each passing day just to get to the next. I do not think I am some wonder but its a lot in our house and lives to maintain it all.  However so much joy I have found in reconstructing what I want and what I need and finding alternatives to getting the things I want in a different way.

I was able to celebrate Galentine’s Day with one of my favorite humans, K at True Food in King of Prussia. This is a great spot if you want to eat healthy and without regret meal but still have an amazing food experience.  I had the Dashi Ramen bowl that had the right amount of kick to it. I also for dessert had the flourless chocolate cake. I know what your thinking-how can this be good?  Well it was amazing. It was served warm with vanilla ice-cream on top drizzled in caramel sauce and it was super delicious. Can’t forget about cocktails. I had War of the Roses (keep in mind it was Valentine’s Day weekend) which had pomegranate infused vodka, rose petal, pineapple and orange. From first sip to last it was definitely memorable. True Food also serves an amazing brunch on the weekends and has a kids menu in case you have to travel with the kiddies. Thanks True Food for an amazing dinner date with my boo. Also the restaurant is super beautiful. If you love taking pictures for the gram, this is your place. The green is beautiful and its so open and clean including the see through kitchen area.

date

I don’t always get to see all of my girlfriends as often as I would like. Many of my closest friends live out-of-state. However K and I are able to have monthly dates. Monthly dates help to keep us close and being around each other is pure joy. If you have good friends nurture those relationships. I try to keep in contact with my out-of-state girlfriends with messages and videos as often as possible!

Events

spread love

This Saturday join me and the rest of TCP as we “Spread Love” event. You can either donate goods, help spread love, or attend and bring ideas as to what can be done in the community.  One winner will receive $500 to make that idea happen. Let’s come together and support one another!

cake.jpg

Diana Anello from Bredenbeck’s 2018 best in taste and show

I will be attending this Sunday Variety, The Children’s Charity of Delaware County “Let them eat cake under the stars” event. You can get tickets to this amazing fundraiser as with your cost of ticket allows you unlimited drinks as well as samples of some amazing cakes from the area. Who doesn’t like cake?  I will be doing my morning run and workout just so be sure I can eat cake and help deserving kids and juveniles in my area live a quality life.

I have a special project that I am working with on Monday with some of my fellow bloggers that I will do a special blog for on Tuesday.  All I can say is my workout game got to be strong it’s going to be one yummy treat!

Also March is coming! It’s Women’s History month and we are going to be giving you some amazing interviews this year! Be on the lookout!

Today is also national margarita so if you’re able and like them grab one!!

Take a Break

I love my family. I really do. Today I had to take a break. I have them spoiled and they know that I will make them a huge breakfast every weekend without hesitation. However today when they came in and wanted more emotional support than I had filled in my own tank, I said no!

No means I need a break. That means go grab some cereal until I can gather myself. That means no I can’t manage your emotions until I manage mine. No I can’t figure out all of your needs right off the bat. No means I still love you. No means I will be back in working order after a small break. No I won’t just jump up and act like nothing is wrong. No I won’t just accommodate you until I have some time for prayer and calm.

I will be back after I gather my thoughts, get a shower, plan my day, or simply sit in quiet. I’m simply taking a much needed break!

Communication is great. A few years ago I might have went off to get a break but today, nope! I know what I need and finally realized how important it is to take it. Self-care is not just a Sunday thing but a daily thing. It’s a moment by moment release so I can live my best life. The pancakes can wait. The kids are old enough to manage. My husband is fine. This break is everything!

Monday Motivation: Take one Step

This morning I had to remind myself to get up before my family. Not just because of my work schedule but to set the tone. I got up and prepared the house and got everything aligned. That initial thought when you wake up is ugh, do I really want to get out of my warm bed?  The answer is no you never WANT to get out of a warm bed, but life says otherwise. I said my prayers and got my mind together and knew if I took one step, all of the other necessary steps would follow.

boots cardigan denim fashion

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

That is how life works. Sometimes we are so afraid to take that initial step but we fail to remember that one step is all that we need to start any process. Think about the New Year and how excited everyone was to reset. You only needed to refresh your mindset to know that one step towards your future would be enough. If you are struggling from one point to the other, do all that you can on your end and know that all other steps will follow. Want a new job, update your resume, get emails out to your contacts, that’s one step that if you continue to be vigilant interviews and eventually offer (s) will come. Looking for love? Getting your spirit and mind together is one step that will lead you towards a path of self discovery that will lead you to your forever love.

Take one step. Sometimes getting out of the bed may be the hardest especially if you feel like your life has dropped. It hurts. It sucks if all of the moving parts of what you feel your life has become has fallen. I have been there many days. But you have to learn to take that first step out and soon you will you have more strength that you thought. As I whipped around my house this morning with a great burst of energy, I didn’t realize that before 7am I had most of the house dress, medicine given. coffee made, pets secured, and I was on my way! Take your first step today! You are going to surprise yourself!