Weekend Coffee Share – 8/14/2016

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you welcome. Welcome to my busy life. I would share with you how happy I am that you found time to have coffee with me today and would offer you a cold cup of iced coffee. It’s too hot to have anything less than a venti iced coffee or iced latte. This heat is doing a number on my hair. The heat index is supposed to make it feel like 110 degrees today.

If you and I were having coffee, I would ask you how you’ve been. I would want to know all the things you did since we last talked. I would try to encourage your spirit by praying with and for you. I would want to truly know how things have been since we last talked.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that it was my daddy’s birthday last week. I would tell you how I didn’t get a chance to put a card in the mail before his birthday. I would tell you that I’m looking forward to seeing him next month when we go home to Tennessee. Munch is going with me so we are going to take my dad out to dinner. I’m also going to get him a picture frame with some photos of Munch and I.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that we threw my niece a wonderful graduation party yesterday and I’m exhausted. My sister was so hand’s off and repeatedly reminded me that it was me and my mother’s idea to give her a party. She would be right and everything worked out accordingly. I will share pictures later on in the week.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that Munch took his first guitar lesson yesterday and it was awesome. He was super excited and the teacher was very patient with him. I  on the other hand lost it. I was so stressed out. I’ll twll you more about that later. I asked him how he enjoyed it and he said he liked it very much. He wanted to continue lessons.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m struggling to maintain a low blood sugar. I feel so frustrated some times and I’m trying to adjust to everything. I watch what I eat, drink vinegar, eat cinnamon, drink lots of water and I work out. Not as much as I should and I need to get better. I need to workout more at home. On days when I have Munch and it is too hot to go anywhere. Mr. C was really good with this because he said, “We’ll get through this together.” I liked that. He says “we” instead of putting it all on me.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that I have to go. It’s been a crazy busy weekend and I’m trying to rest my mind and body and wish you the same. I will miss you dear friend and I can’t wait until next time.

Peace and blessings dear friend.

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This post is part of the #weekendcoffeeshare at Part-time Monster Blog. Join in the fun!

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Date Night with my Girls

So, last night my besties and I went to Korean BBQ. We had a blast. This was my second time at Yechon with my Ivory and I had a blast again. The food was so delicious and afterwards we had dessert at a great café called Breeze. I was in heaven.

I love the cafe but more importantly the conversation with the ladies. My friends are so awesome that it was just a great way to have girl time without our kids. Mommy time was well deserved.

Enjoy the photos:

I Am My Sister’s Keeper

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood. ~Louisa May Alcott

I am my sister’s keeper. Not just my actual sisters (I have two), but my girlfriend’s too. I care about women and love my girlfriends immensely. They are the most powerful, inspiring, straightforward and loving women I have ever known. They listen, support, encourage and push me to keep my head up in spite of adversities. They are my support network. Better yet, they are my sistergirls!

My sistergirls have picked up my son from daycare or school when I was stuck in traffic and his dad was stuck in a meeting. They have kept my son overnight when I’ve been too tired to play mommy. They have kept my son when I have traveled out of town to their city for a date night. They have kept my son when I was an emotional wreck and had no family in sight. They have drank with me, shopped with me and gave me some of the funniest and best advice ever.

The bond between two women can be an incredible experience. You love the person and they become a beat in your heart. They don’t change your relationship with your significant other, they encourage it and remind you that no matter what…nothing will ever come between you two. They understand that you’re too busy to get together because you’re playing wifey or supermom. They cook meals when you’re sick so you can focus on getting better. They are just awesome!

Sistergirls are a requirement for any woman. You need that support. God has provided me an awesome network of women that do that for me and more. When I go to them with my “issues” they just listen and give me a non-judgmental and practical approach on how to handle things. “Whatever you want to do girl, you know I got your back” is what they say.

How encouraging is that?

Recently, I had a man tell me that he worries about me being everything to everyone. He said, “If you give of yourself tirelessly who will take care of you? What will you have left in the end?” I smiled and said, “Enough”. He looked at me puzzled. I said, “God gives me enough. Enough heart to love and strength to be the support that my sistergirls are too me. Yes it may seem like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, but the load I carry is not heavy. It is enough. I am enough and I can handle it.”

I need my sistergirls more than they need me. I’m always the one calling them with the latest and greatest thought, idea or piece that I wrote and I want their advice. They give it to me. Without hesitation. When I have a break-down and cry about a situation, they love me and support me and remind me that “God never gives you more than you can bear.” They are the ones that have encouraged my writing and they are the wind beneath my wings.

But lately, my sistergirls have been going through things that I can’t fix. Do you know how that annoys me? They make things better for me and I want to do the same for them. I know I can’t carry their burdens, but I share in their heartbreaks, disappointments and pain. I willingly love and try to inspire them with subliminal tweets, posts, texts and Instagram love. I want to be their rock because they are that to me. So, you know what? I will.

I don’t want a man telling me to not concern myself with their problems because that is not what sisterhood is about. We live, we love, we laugh and we cry. Shared joys and disappointments. If you are my man and you’re going through something, don’t you want my support? Yep! Absolutely! So, understand this…there is no greater love than sisterhood. I am my sister’s keepers.

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Moments

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One of my favorite quotes. I haven’t had many breath taking moments by many people’s estimations, but I’m thankful for those that I have had (both good and bad). So, my #favorfriday message is to be thankful for the moments that have taken your breath away.

Here are 22 of my breath taking moments:

  1. My first “real” kiss. Was sweet and reminded me of the simplicity and softness of lips.
  2. My first love. Was wonderful. Showed me that I’m beautiful both inside and out.
  3. My acceptance of Christ as my personal savior and baptism. It showed me that there is nothing that can separate me from Him.
  4. My first heartbreak. Was needed. Prepared me for the reality that life is not fair.
  5. My participation in a beauty pageant. I was scared as heck and couldn’t walk in heels, but it taught me how to smile through the uncomfortable situations.
  6. My graduation from high school. I was free. I was legal. I was going to travel the world.
  7. My graduation from college. Showed me that I could actually be committed to something for four years. It was hard.
  8. My first job. Taught me that I could be a great assistant while figuring out what I want to do with my life. I started from the bottom and didn’t mind.
  9. My first and only time filing a restraining order against a boyfriend. Because it showed me that in the midst of terror, I was still strong enough to survive a judge questioning me in courtroom full of other people.
  10. My marriage. Taught me that I can do anything. Good, bad or indifferent. My wedding day was perfect.
  11. My pregnancy. Taught me that I am strong. The illnesses that plagued me during my pregnancy didn’t break me. I prayed harder than I ever knew possible.
  12. My delivery. Taught me that I love my anesthesiologist. He didn’t paralyze me when he gave me my spinal. I felt no pain. All was good.
  13. My son’s cry. Showed me that God has favor over me yet again.
  14. My separation. Showed me that even in the midst of my pain, if I go to the throne of grace, it will get better.
  15. My reparation with my dad. Showed me that even the most dysfunctional and broken person needs love and to be forgiven. Just like God forgives me.
  16. My girlfriends. Remind me that I am incredible. Beautiful, smart and deserving of happiness.
  17. My family. Reminds me that we are sometimes cracked up and crazy, but there is no other place I would ever want to be.
  18. My heart. Shows me that I am deserving of love because I have a beautiful beating instrument inside.
  19. My head. Reminds me to never just follow it, examine everything and pray for guidance.
  20. My accepting Public Displays of Affection (PDA’s) allowed me to see what others see. I’m a beautiful woman deserving of attention and affection. I like PDA’s.
  21. My writing. Allowed me to bond with people in different parts of the country that see me as a kindred spirit. They appreciate what I write. I am immensely grateful.
  22. My current job. Reminded me that I can have it all. Both motherhood and career and still be happy.

These are merely a few and I have many more that may not be appropriate to share in cyberspace. LOL. But, know this…I love to live in the moments. I’m grateful for them because if you’re lucky, some may just take your breath away (in a good way).

But I Have Black Friends

As a black woman, I have to tell you that each time a black person hears a white person say, “I have black friends” there is a collective sigh that tells us that you’re lying and you’re probably a racist. It’s not an accurate statement, but understand that it makes us think that you probably count your colored friends if you can name how many you have. Black people don’t count our friends, but after reading the article in the Washington Post, entitled “Three Quarters of Whites Don’t Have Any Non-White Friends”, I wondered if it really matter and if I had any non-black friends? Do I count them? Am I just like the folks surveyed in this article?

Who knew that when Chris Rock joked in his HBO stand-up that blacks have many white friends, but whites have only one black friend that I could be moving into that circle. But, I have to ask the question…does it matter? Friendships take time to develop and some people are friends for different reasons and experiences. Being a woman we tend to gravitate and bond with like minded women, but does that make that person a friend or an associate? Your neighborhood, environment and experiences can affect your interactions with other people and your ability to develop and define friendships with people of other races.

When I was growing up on a military base in Texas, I was exposed to all different races. However, most of the family on base knew each other. My best friends were white in color but two different nationalities. Sheila was from Tennessee and Kristin’s family was from Mexico. We were called the Three Musketeers by our parents because you would always find us together. Where I went, they went and vice versa. My closest friends lived in my neighborhood and I had a crush on the white boy who lived next door named Charlie. I knew some other black kids who lived on base and we bonded at school, but the military sort of shaped my view on the world. I realized one thing being on an Air Force base in Abilene, Texas…all they cared about was color: blue and your rank. Not race. It wasn’t until I moved away from that base that I realized that the world didn’t operate with a singular track mind. It focused on all things including the color of my skin.

Moving to Maryland was the beginning of that realization. When I came out of the first day of school looking for my school bus among hundreds of others (bear with me, I was 13) and couldn’t find it I began to cry as the buses started pulling out of the school. The bus left me and the principal was kind enough to take me home. I cried all the way and when my mom asked me how was the first day of school? I replied, “I hated it. There were so many black people and they were mean to me.” She gently replied, “Baby, you know you’re black too, right?” I did, but that didn’t mean that I liked the black people I was around. You know the ones that laughed and pointed at me when I wore my Levi’s and cowboy boots (Hey, I was a Texan).

When we moved to the northern part of the county, I was able to develop friendships with other non-black people. I was in advanced classes and student government so it made finding like minds a little simpler. I took Modern Dance and loved history. I was different, but in high school, I was able to find a place in the High School puzzle. I just fit. I had friends from all different races and so did they.

So, what happened? I grew up and formed relationships with people based on common interests and not color. But, if you weren’t in my circle, how could we develop friendships? I formed friendships with a couple of white girls at work that I truly and genuinely adored. They were smart, funny and very caring. I formed friendships with a couple of Asian women at work. They understood me and we formed a sisterhood of solidarity in trying to break the glass ceiling. I formed friendships with other parents as we bonded over our kids. But, I am not a straightforward person that has a line of friends.

My friend chart looks like this, but does it matter?

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Does it matter that white people may be in the same situation that I find myself in? Can’t people just find people that they genuinely like and develop relationships with those folks? I don’t think it matters and I am a huge proponent of developing relationships with people that have similar interests. My interests range from the gun range, jazz, hip-hop and hockey. I want to hang out with people that have similar interests as well.

Friendships are fluid. They take time to develop and with social media and getting older, we sometimes lose contact with one another. But, the thing about friends is that you can pick up where you left off without missing a beat, knowing it will be okay. You just go with the flow. We change jobs, addresses, sometimes spouses but the bonds that brought us together as an adult make it easier to stay in touch. Random emails or likes on Instagram or Facebook allow you to know who is in my circle. Some have been there since middle school and others when I moved back to Maryland, but I am thankful and blessed for each relationship and I suggest we spend more time cultivating them instead of trying to make a case of pointing out that skin color separates us.

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Vacation Chronicles: Tampa

I returned from a great weekend in Tampa bonding with my best friend yesterday and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned about me on this mini-vacation of self-reflection. As many of you know, I’m doing a lot of soul searching during this time to try and find out what my needs are and what my wants are. Apparently, they’re not the same. LOL. So, I started from the minute I got to the airport and decided to jot down a few things that I learned or rediscovered about myself.

▪ I like flying. It’s only when I am taking off and my stomach does that flip and I think “Oh God, please don’t let us crash” that I truly realize what a blessing it is to be able to fly in an airplane. The best part about flying? When your airfare cost $2.10.
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▪ I can travel with one carry-on and not the whole world. I’m trying to downsize my wardrobe when traveling and only packing the essentials. This Tampa trip allowed me the opportunity to see if I could do it. You know what? I could and I did.
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▪ I like hotel living. Even after living in a hotel earlier this year for 4 1/2 weeks, there is something sweet about not having to make my bed or pick up my towels, wash clothes, cook or clean. Yep, I’m spoiled.

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▪ I can relax. I can actually sit back, relax and have a vacation without planning out every single aspect of the trip. I am letting go of my controlling tendencies and just going with the flow. Taking the road I think I should travel. No matter the length, I’m enjoying the ride.
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▪ I love sisterhood. My best friend and I have known each other since we were 13. This was the second time that we have traveled together and the first time for us traveling by ourselves. (not counting when she visited me almost every weekend when I lived in NYC) to sort of commemorate and renew our friendship. We had a very relaxing time.
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▪ I love the beach. I love water and I love sand. I love the feel of the sun kissing my skin so gently that my skin color turns a golden brown or as my friend described “a pretty orange color”.
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▪ I love trying new drinks that I’ve never tried. Especially when they’re cheap. I am a nerd with cool tendencies and I love it. Check out this cool drink I had called the purple nerd.
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▪ I’m simple. I like good food, family and friends. I also love a good book. Finished reading the entire Divergent Series. On to the next one. I think I’m going to read Black Women in White America by Gerda Lerner next.
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▪ I’m sharing. I’ve always been very private in my writing and sharing of information about myself, ideas and family and through encouragement from my bestie, I’ve learned to open up and let people in. This blogging and writing has become real and I love when people say that they can relate. It means you get me.

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This year has been one for the books. But, my faith has been strengthened and I am taking charge of my own destiny. I am looking into my future with courage instead of despair and believing, no knowing that I will be fine.

My First Article: Excited

So, I’m super excited to share with you my first article that has ever been published on a website outside of my own. For me, all I do is read in electronic format. I hate paper at home. I think it’s because I deal with a lot of paper at work. That being said, I’m trying to write my first book and I decided to take a break from writing to focus on getting some thoughts on “paper” and hopefully getting something published. Well, it happened. This past weekend, I receieved an email that my article was submitted for publication on one of my favorite websites. The website if “For Harriet” and I read it daily. Here is the published piece here.

It was edited and the title changed, but I’m published. The original is in my July posts. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to link it through embedding, but it’s located here: https://athomaspointofview.com/2014/07/09/femininity-and-all-that-jazz/