Day 11: Veteran’s

It’s Day 11 in my #23DaysofThankfulness and I am thankful for the men and women that have served in our armed services. Today is Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and we have to honor those that serve to protect our country. Those that were in the kitchens to those on the battlefield. Everyone plays a role.

I’m thankful for each of you. Your service matter. You matter.

I spent yesterday dropping off toiletries at the VA Hospital in Washington, DC with some of my sorority sisters. It was amazing to give back to those who have given so much. How will you honor those who have served?

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Day 2: My Niece

I had to send a special thankfulness post to my beautiful niece. In this #23DaysofThankfulness post, I wanted to highlight this amazing young lady that I’ve been blessed to know, love and watch grow into the great woman that she is today. My niece is a sophomore in college and is a cheerleader for her school. What makes her so amazing? Her fighting spirit.

See, my niece is 19 today. Happy Birthday Princess! Auntie loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Nineteen years ago today, I was blessed to witness the birth of my first niece. It was an epic experience as that was the first time ever that I had witnessed a live birth and just being there with my sister and her husband watching life come into this world overwhelmed me with such joy. She was a preemie. She was born eight weeks early. We were so worried, but the doctors told us that her weight being 5 pounds even was a great sign.

She was in NICU and her dad and I went to visit her. She was so tiny and beautiful. I put my hand through the holes in her glass incubator and rubbed her chest as she screamed, crying and oblivious to the world around her. I said “Princess, don’t cry. Your daddy is right here with me.” No lie, she stopped crying, opened her eyes and looked right at her dad. He started crying like a baby.

A fighter was born.

And just like those many years ago that she was fighting for stronger lungs and a low birth weight, she’s continued to make us proud. In everything she does. It was at the age of 16 that my princess suffered a mental break down. I watched this strong and vibrant girl crumble from the things in her mind. I loved harder.

I admired my sister for her continued strength to love and encourage her daughter as well as mother her other two children while being a full-time working wife. Can you imagine having to do all that? I was thankful for it all. My niece brought mental health closer to home for us. She helped us understand her needs. She grew super close to my mom and we just loved each other more.

Throughout her mental health struggles we learned to love and learn how we can help. We encourage each other. We encourage her. We are thankful for the opportunities that her school provides with free therapy and her own room. What a blessing! So, my day two of my #23DaysofThankfulness is for my niece. Thank you for making me love a little harder, learn more about mental health and just living this beautiful life. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Did Your Standards Change?

One of the things that I realized as I got older was that my standards changed when it came to men. When I was younger I really didn’t know what I wanted. I mainly dated men who were rough necks or blue collared workers. There was nothing wrong with it, it was who I was attracted too. They didn’t have to go to college, they just had to have other attributes that made it worth my time.

If you know what I mean.

However, that wasn’t who I ended up marrying, which is weird. I married my ex who had a graduate degree and who had attended great schools. We just clicked. I had assumed it was what God wanted, but I think it was probably just chemistry. We liked and then loved each other and got married. God fell by the wayside for most of our relationship and marriage.

We weren’t focused on God.

When our marriage ended and I was in my late thirties entering the dating realm it was overwhelming. Things had changed. I had changed. I had a child now. I didn’t have the luxury of just wasting my time on random ones.

I had to decide what I wanted. I knew that I didn’t hate the institution of marriage. I knew that I wanted to get remarried someday (at least 5 years away) but I really wanted to get to know someone. What was I going to do differently? Did their education level matter? Their past?

Yes. I didn’t care if a man was a blue collared worker or an IBM executive as long as he wasn’t broke. You had to afford to date me. I wasn’t supporting a man. Money mattered.

His past mattered. I wanted to know if you’ve ever been unfaithful to a girlfriend or wife. Why did your last relationship end? Are you a serial cheater? Cheated one time? Why did you cheat? What responsibility do you accept in the breaking up of your relationship if any? Were you ever in jail? Why were you in jail. A man’s past mattered.

I actually had men reach out to me who had just got out of jail and wanted to date me. Really? Not that I’m judging you for serving your time (okay maybe a little), but I have a son and that is not the message that I wanted to send my son. Get your life, build your empire and date other women. That doesn’t include me.

My standards changed. I was a mother. I was over 40. I had been married so there was no need to rush down the aisle as someone’s wife. I wasn’t having any more children so there was no biological clock ticking away waiting for me to give birth. Whew! Thank God.

But, in changing my standards I had to realize that I wasn’t the same woman in her early 20’s. I had grown up. My needs were different. My dating profile was different. I had to be okay with that.

And I was.

I was specific when it came to dating. I needed you to have stability and a healthy relationship. I wasn’t dating broke men. I wasn’t dating ex-cons. I wasn’t dating men with baby mama (or ex wife) drama. I wasn’t dating men with insecurity issues.

I made my list and dated accordingly. Looks are not at the top of my list, primarily because I determine who I’m attracted too. If you’re sexy as hell to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.

My standards had changed because I had changed. I grew up and realized what I valued was someone that embodied those values. Mr. C may not be like the men of my past, but it doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because I’m living the life I want with the man that I love. We have a healthy and respectful relationship that is allowing me to grow in ways that I never could have imagined. In this space we created, my standards allowed me to find someone that makes me feel safe.

 

Have your standards changed from when you first started dating? Do you have a specific type that you date? What are your dating no-no’s.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

I Finished

I finally caught up with the 2,000 blog posts that were in my email. Some of you new followers may not understand, but I usually send your posts to my email because I am not always good with checking on my reader. I’m getting better. Well, I took a hiatus from reading posts the last week and had to catch up.

It’s been good. Thank you for sharing your world, your photos and your wisdom. I always feel like I’ve learned things. I may be slow to reading your posts, but bear with me. This was the first week of summer camp and my new summer schedule.

Munch has been with me this week and it has been absolutely wonderful. He loves his new camp. I was worried and surprised, but when my mom picked him up the first day he said it was awesome. He doesn’t use that word often. In fact I can probably count on one hand how many times he’s said that in the last year. He uses that word sparingly.

My days are long and my nights are short and I feel like I am in a perpetual state of existing. Thankfully, my schedule returns to normal beginning tomorrow until the 12th of July. But, I don’t complain. Motherhood means that you have to make sacrifices and do the things that matter even when you don’t feel like it.

I am loving on my Munch and making plans for beach days, fairs and time spent with family. Oh and before I leave I want to share this picture of this bracelet he made me at camp. He rushed to give it to me when I came home Tuesday night. He asked “Will you wear it Mommy?” It’s tight as hell on my arm. LOL, but I will always wear what he makes.

You know why? Because my word for 2017 is gratitude. I’m grateful for it all. The good, the bad and everything in between.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Why The Paper Matters

I’ll be the first to tell you that marriage is hard as heck. Is it rewarding? Umm, sometimes. Is it beneficial to you? If you marry the right person. Isn’t it just a piece of paper? No. It’s more than that.

Think about it. The Declaration of Independence is more than a piece of paper. How about the U.S. Constitution? Pieces of paper matter to everyone. A piece of paper gives you a driver’s license. A passport. Paper matters.

So, why would a marriage license only be a piece of paper? It’s not. It’s more than that.

I’ve known people who never got married. They had children and bought houses and believed that paper didn’t matter. Until one day they realized it did matter. When did they realize that? When the person they loved died.

I know of a woman who believed that her parents were married all her life. Her dad died. Her mom tried to get the life insurance company to work with the funeral home to do an assignment of benefits so they could bury him. Guess what happened?

Her parents were never married. Her dad left his life insurance policy to his former boss. Her mom had no legal leg to stand on to contest the policy because she wasn’t the spouse. They had to pool together to find money to bury her dad. The former boss didn’t help nor care.

Let me break it down simpler for you. If you are a legal spouse, most states will say that a spouse has rights to the insurance regardless of your husband changing it to someone else. You could go to court and fight the beneficiary form. It matters.

A friend told me that years ago a woman she knew was with a man for many years. They bought a house together, loved each other and created many memories. He got sick and she was there taking care of him and never leaving his side. Coordinating with his children over care and all things with their dad. He died.

His children put her out of the house that their father owned because they weren’t married and her name wasn’t on the deed. Disappointing. Yep. Disturbing. Absolutely. But, what rights did she have? None. She wasn’t the spouse.

Paper matters.

I believe in the institution of marriage. I believe that once you’ve gotten to the point that you’ve decided that there is no one else that you would rather be with then you should definitely consider marriage. Legal documents can be contested once you’re dead by family members or children. The law will never take it away from the wife. Remember that.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Welcome June

Welcome a new month. A chance to make new memories. Forget about the past and focus on the present. Summer is almost here. School’s almost out here in Maryland. Time for family, BBQ’s, festival and fun. Don’t forget the beach.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mother’s out there. This day is about you. You who love and labor without recognition. You who kiss and cuddle and make boo boos okay. You who help on homework, cook meals and give baths without ever having taken a break. You who clean messes, care for your sick and bake cookies. You who do none of those things but are a mother figure regardless – know that you are loved and appreciated.

This Mother’s Day, Munch and I will go to church and then grab a bite to eat. Nothing fancy. I don’t want to cook and my mom is out of town celebrating with her mother. Munch and I will cuddle on my bed and watch Disney movies and laugh. It is this memory that I will remember. He’ll make me a beautiful card and I will hang it in my office to remind me that I have the greatest son ever.

Whatever you’re doing today, I wish you peace and happiness. Whether you spend it with your families or doing what you want to do, know that it is about you today. We honor you and your commitment to your children. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.