Freedom Friday – 02.16.18

It’s been a minute since I did one of these, but I wanted to share some photos of things that I’ve been up to in life. Wanted to let you know that Munch just got his second quarter grades and got 10 A’s and 4 B’s. I’m over the moon. His award ceremony is this morning.

Munch had his flute concert last month. Here he is looking so handsome. He’s actually enjoying playing the flute and I will be doing private lessons for him.

My siblings and I at my brother’s wedding. I love this photo because I just colored my hair and it was popping. LOL.

Munch and I worked hard on his STEM fair project this year. Although he didn’t win he won an award because of his creativity and enthusiasm. He was ecstatic about it.

My sorority sister made me this beautiful plaque for my birthday last month. I love it.

Munch went to the dentist last month and had to get two silver caps on his teeth, but one fell out right at the dentist. That was two teeth lost in 8 days. Hilarious. But, I’m still flossing his back teeth. He can’t get those and I am tired of paying for these silver caps. This is the second one. But, what was best about this is that Munch and I actually went to the library first and he selected a book to read for fun and couldn’t put the book down.

Finally, I’m trying to devote more time to appreciate the beauty in life. I’m learning to bask in the glory of nature and release my mind from negative energy. I’m learning to redirect my thoughts and pray more. I’m fasting and trying to increase God’s presence in my life. I wanted some fresh flowers in my office and so I went to the grocery store and bought some tulips. The next morning they had all bent in different directions and I snapped a picture because it reminded me of life. Even though we’re in the same jar some of us are bending in different directions and it still looks magnificent.

Happy Friday folks!

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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Motivational Monday Moment – 10/24/16

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is to L-O-V-E. Yep, I just want you to love more. Love who? Love God, love you and others more.

I was inspired to write about love because I attended the wedding of my former supervisor’s daughter. It was in the mountains and 6 hours from my house. Munch and I got up early Saturday morning and I drove the 6 hours to the wedding. Thankfully, the hotel let us check-in a little early so I could get some rest.

We arrived to the wedding literally 5 minutes before the start because I got lost. It was at a beautiful estate and it was outside with nature serving as the backdrop. We took our seats and the wedding got underway. The bride looked amazing. The groom was debonair and love was definitely in the air.

As I sat there with my Galaxy S7 taking photos (in between the prayers of course) I began to reflect on love. God’s love for me, my love for Munch, my love for my family and my friends, my love of self and my love of Mr. C. I began to realize that none of it would have been possible had God not loved me.

Follow me with my Motivational Monday Moment okay? I promise I won’t keep you too long.

God’s love is what I want to talk about first.  You see, I spent my whole life believing that God didn’t love me. That because of my sexual abuse and my dad’s desertion that somehow I was unlovable. That if man couldn’t love me…how could God?

The devil was taking advantage of my mind when God started to protect it. He got a hold of my mind and started blocking the devil. He blocked my suicide, he blocked any unwanted pregnancies, he blocked any diseases. He blocked it. I just didn’t know it.

I was too into the world and going through hell that I couldn’t realize how God was holding me. That my sanity and soberness was because God was protecting me. But, when I started to realize that I serve a mighty God, things started happening.

I started to realize that God has not forgotten me. That even when the world around me seems as though it is falling apart, I serve a mighty God. I serve a God of second, third and many more chances. A God whose love is unconditional.

That realization changed who I was. I started to have a greater relationship with my heavenly father and myself. Love didn’t seem so foreign to me. Love was priceless and I was worthy of God’s love.

We all are.

I couldn’t experience anything greater if I tried than knowing God’s love. Sure, I make mistakes. I stumble on my Christian journey often. But, I’m thankful for grace and mercy and God’s continued love.

God was definitely in the mountains on that brisk evening this past Saturday. He was in the cold breeze that nipped at our nose, in the prayer that the Reverend said over the couple and in the twilight where the couple had their first dance. God was and is the foundation of all love.

 

 

Does Length Matter?

As in the length you date before you get married? Not the question about a man’s penis. Get your mind out of the gutters! LOL! Seriously though, does it matter how long you date before you get married?

The reason that I ask is that I’m so in love with #ForeverDuncan right now. Hadn’t heard about it? Alfred, the groom, proposed to his girlfriend, Sherrell, at 12 pm and arranged their entire wedding at 6 pm that same day. He did everything. She had no idea. She is absolutely surprised and it was captured on social media.

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It was a beautiful sight to see a beautiful bride overwhelmed with love for a man that she could barely come down the aisle. I was literally in tears. But, you know that with every good thing there are always trolls that will spoil a moment. Like this post:

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So, I ask these three questions…

  1. Does the length of a relationship matter?
  2. Is 9 years too long to wait to get married?
  3. Would you wait 9 years to get married?

Their love story captured on social media is absolutely beautiful. As a woman that is now divorced I would say that the length of a relationship doesn’t matter. I’m older though. I’m in my 40’s and I don’t want anymore children biologically so there is no rush to the altar in order to have a chance at motherhood. However, when I was in my 20’s I had a two year rule…I would only date you for two years without an engagement ring and a promise for the future.

I know. I know. That’s ridiculous. But, I also know that a man knows within a year whether or not he can see himself married to you. The thing that we need to remember though…even if he sees himself married to you, does that mean you’re compatible for the long-term that marriage requires?

In my case, we definitely should have waited. We weren’t compatible and prepared for long-term. Maybe if we’d waited a couple of more years things may have been different. I doubt it, but you never know. That being said, I, at 41 am definitely okay with waiting a while longer.

Mr. C and I discussed marriage (I brought it up) after a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who wanted to know are we ready to take it to the next level. I said with certainty “No”. She looked shocked. I explained that I loved him, but I loved where we were more. We were taking our time to cultivate our relationship and create experiences with each other and our children. We don’t want anymore children so we have time.

She laughed. I then told him that I need at least two more years of dating (a total of 3) and then let’s see where we are at. No rush. No surprises. Love is great, but sustaining a healthy relationship is better. He agreed.

Now, will I wait nine years to get married? Probably not, but who knows. I think that it takes time to develop at a healthy pace. Whatever is healthy for your relationship is what you should do. Everyone’s journey is different and I guess in reality it doesn’t matter how long or how short the trip to the altar is as long as you’re doing it together.

Congrats to the Duncans!

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Check out their wedding video here:

 

 

Disclaimer: I own no rights to the pictures. I did  a Google search and found them.

 

But, Before You Say Yes

I was at the nail salon last month talking to other clients. You know how women do? We meet another client in a beauty salon or nail bar and it’s like we’re old friends. That’s what happened. We started laughing and talking about dating, marriage, relationships and children. One of the women that I met asked me after hearing that I was divorced “Did you like being married?” and “Would you ever do it again?”

I paused. I’ve heard this question asked before. It’s usually beautiful and younger women who’ve yet to meet the man of their dreams wanting to hear some romantic notion of princes and white horses. I smiled and said “Yes, I liked being married and Yes, I would do it again.” She smiled. You could tell that’s what she needed to hear as she navigated the dating jungle.

I laughed. I said, “But, before you say yes I need to tell you some things.” I began to tell her what I wished someone had told me in my 20’s. I began to tell her things that I felt that every woman should know and do before they say yes.

Here’s what I shared:

  • Know and love yourself first. You must really know who you are as woman. What you like and what you don’t like. Who you are and what you value. Those should never change. Relationships change. People change, but your perception of who you are and what you want shouldn’t change. Otherwise, you will become The Walking Dead making your partner feel unsure of who you are and what you want. He will be confused by your needs and this will create problems. He won’t know if he’s pleasing you or some other version of you. Hold on to who you are and love her with all your might.
  • Take time for self. It is so easy to get married and forget the world. Forget your friends and forget that you had a life prior to being a Mrs. But, you can’t forget the self-care required to maintain a healthy relationship. If you forget to take care of you and are so busy running around like a chicken with your head cut off it will put a strain on your relationship. Go for lunch with your girlfriends. Go get your nails done. Go out to dinner with your sorority sisters. These things are designed to keep you focused. Plus, it is a great way for you to appreciate the wonderful man you have at home waiting for you.
  • Know when to communicate. I know as women that sometimes we want to jump in and tell our spouse all about our day. Everything that happened from beginning to end. Jane is so jealous of me. She hates me. I can’t believe I got passed up for that promotion, etc. Give him time to unwind. Allow him the opportunity to come into the door, get a drink, put his bag down, put his feet up and watch ESPN for an hour. Letting him have that unwind time will give him the opportunity to listen to you and be focused on your needs because you’ve just met his needs.
  • Let go of your past. We like to hold on to men from past relationships that we know still want us even though we are married. We may not call him or talk to him regularly or consistently, but we know we would drop it like it’s hot should our relationship start to go south and our husband cheats on us. Trust me sis, let it go. Let go of your past and don’t allow people in your present that aren’t there to respect your union at all times. Even in the worst times. Temptation is a b*tch and trust me when I say you don’t need that distraction.
  • Stay connected. It’s easier said than done, but trust me when I tell you that you will go through life changes. You may lose your job. Your spouse may get sick. You may have children. You may get extremely busy at work. Any of these things may happen, but you need to remember to stay connected to your spouse. This can be accomplished through your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Examples:
    • Sight – See your spouse and compliment them immediately. Brighten their day by saying “Hey sexy. How did I get so lucky?”
    • Smell – Learn their favorite fragrance and make sure that they never run out. They don’t wear cologne? What about their favorite soap or body wash? Whatever the scent, make sure you know it.
    • Hear – When they tell you things that they need. Listen for their needs and don’t be quick to respond because you know your point is more important. Hear what they need/want and try to meet those needs.
    • Taste – Spend time in the kitchen together. You don’t like to cook? Neither do I but we can do fun things like chopping up fruit/veggies and having a date night blindfolded to make sure that we are in tune with each other. It’s something pretty hot about tasting pineapples and chocolate while blindfolded.
    • Touch – Often. That’s it. People need touch. Loving touches. Quick pinches on the butt. Rub their head. Embrace them from behind. Hold their hands. Give him a quick foot massage. Touch him. Let him know that you are present in the moment.

Now, I had a lot more advice to share, but I didn’t want to overload the sister. I’m a work in progress and I learned more after my divorce than before. Great relationships take two people working selflessly to make their partner happy. Are you up for the challenge?

Sweat, Hair and Love

On Friday, July 3rd, I attended the nuptials of my good friend in Delaware. What a beautiful wedding! However, let me back it up and tell you how it started for me at the hair salon that morning. I was going in to get my hair done and feeling kind of melancholy because of the co-parenting issues and frustrations I’ve been feeling. I’m usually a strong person, but some days I just can’t seem to keep the dam of my emotions from bursting. That morning at the salon, it burst.

I was talking to some of the women in the salon about my issues and they were so encouraging and supportive that I instantly felt better. I’ve told you before that I love sisterhood right? It’s like the best feeling in the world when a woman who has walked in similar situations can encourage you to keep on and know that trouble don’t last all ways. That’s what I got. An extra dose of love and friendship at the hair salon.

That put me in a great mood to hop in the car and drive to Delaware and witness my girl’s marriage. I was actually concerned that I would be late because it was a holiday weekend and I thought beach traffic would delay me so I left a little earlier. I arrived at 4:15 for a 5 pm outdoor wedding. Woo hoo! I was on time.

I had never been to an outdoor wedding so I was super excited. My phone’s battery was less than 10% because the car charger didn’t charge at all and I needed to make sure I could navigate my happy tail home. So, I didn’t really take ceremony photos. However, some of my friends did which I will share later.

The ceremony was wonderful. Quick (thankfully) and beautiful. The bride was a vision in white being escorted by her dad. The groom had a smile that could melt butter as he looked at his fiance with such love. Aww, I was getting sentimental. I was holding out tears until the mother of the bride started to cry. Why? I looked away quickly.

Guests were asked to pick up our chairs and take them into the tent where the reception will be held. The cocktail hour started and the DJ got the party going. The win for me was a bourbon tasting on the other side of the mansion. It was so good. I found two new Bourbons that I like.

The reception was a full-on party and I was trying not to sweat out my hair. Because you know as a black woman who spent 4 hours in the hair salon that morning. But, the day had no humidity and the rain held out. It was an old school party and I took part in the photo booth, enjoyed the red velvet cup cakes and danced until my feet hurt.

I love love and I am ecstatic that I got to witness the nuptials of the Godettes. They are a couple that met years ago and developed a friendship. Life had different paths, challenges and adventures that they had to experience alone, but ultimately they ended up where they are supposed to be. Together.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. – Ann Landers

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Ah, wedded bliss!

 

In Memoriam of My Marriage

“I’ve examined my first marriage from every angle – dissecting every reason why it didn’t work.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that my marriage didn’t fail – it simply ended due to incompatibility and our difficulties resolving ongoing conflicts that were becoming increasingly damaging to our children.” – Terry Gaspard

 

Last weekend I attended the marriage of one of my friend’s daughters. It was a beautiful wedding and the first wedding event I had attended since my own marriage ended. I was sitting there reflecting/reminiscing about my own wedding day and how it was the happiest day of my life. It was like a dream. I was marrying a man who LOVED ME.

But, underneath it all, I was a scared wreck. How could someone love me with all my flaws? How could someone see past this facade and promise before God and my friends to love me? Would I be a good wife? I mean, I play one now because we live together in NYC, but what happens after we’re married? Will I change? Will he change? Those were some of the questions running through my mind on my day.

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Marriage does change people. It should change you. You should want to be better and live better for the person you promised yourself too. You should want to be a therapist, a best friend and a spouse. Different roles all combined in one person. You will need to be able to wear the appropriate hat at the appropriate time. How will you know when to wear the right hat? By talking to your spouse. Communication is key. Speak openly and respectfully about your needs and wishes.
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We didn’t. We loved hard, fought harder and in the end it was incompatibility and our inability to resolve those issues that wouldn’t go away. We were destroying each other. Not what I wanted and I’m sure he never wanted it. We dang sure didn’t want it for munch, so divorce was the only responsible thing to do. Let go of what you thought you could forcibly fix and walk away dropping the pieces on the floor.shattered-heart-520x325

Life didn’t turn out the way I imagined and I never thought I would be here, but I am. I have no regrets, scars and many lessons learned. However, I am stronger and more determined to not repeat the past. The thing about this wedding was that it reminded me of what love was. Beautiful.
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Until next time!