Yes my Christmas Tree is STILL UP!

Yep… You read the title right… Our Christmas Tree is STILL Up! Judge your momma before you come over here talking about my house! Lol… I’m just kidding. 

So let me tell you the story about the tree. We put it up in November right after Thanksgiving while my sister and mother were visiting. This is our first year putting up the tree early but we figured it would be a nice tradition to start, especially with having family here. The kids were SUPER excited when we pulled the tree out of storage (we don’t have a real tree, we all have allergies, lol). They helped put the bulbs on and even put up the angel on top. It was a good time for all of us. 

Fast forward, and it is now February and the tree is still up! Lol. I can’t even give you a real explanation for why it’s up. I mean honestly, I just feel like we haven’t had the time, and when we have we either weren’t up to it or we wanted to do something with the kids, or clean another part of our house (we’re not perfect, kid toys add up real quick). Plus, the kids really like having the tree up. They know it’s not Christmas anymore but, they enjoy the lights. It’s become a habit for them to come into the house, take their shoes off and race to turn on the tree lights!… I’m sure it sounds crazy but, hey it makes them happy. 

The more I think about it, we just might keep it up all year long! Lol… We totally missed the opportunity for Valentine’s Day hearts but, I’m sure I can come up with some other decorations for the rest of the year! Lol… 

Ok so I’m sure you’re probably wondering why I wrote this post today? Well… I wanted you to understand that the things that go on in other people’s homes is their business. Just because someone doesn’t keep their home as clean as yours, put up the decorations you’d put up or paint the outside in a color you’d like doesn’t mean it isn’t a good home for them and their family…. And if I peel the onion a little bit more, I’d say beyond the decor in someone’s home how we each choose to live our lives is our business. None of us should be in glass houses throwing stones, you never know when things around you could start to crack on their own. 

So, what’s the lesson? We all have stuff, sometimes we’re less proud of than others, none of us are perfect… We’re all equal, all the same. I heard a speaker recently say we’re all 99.5% the same, let’s not let that 0.5% divide us regardless of what the difference may be…. 

Until next time…. Peace, Love & Light! 

It's POTTY Time!

We are currently in the trenches of potty training with Kelsey. We’ve always taken a slower approach than others but, it works for our kids and our household. Kelsey has been wearing pull ups probably since October and for the majority of the time she goes to the bathroom with no issues. We went through a long stretch where we wouldn’t have to change pull ups and all seemed to be going well……. 

And then, we got to about 2 weeks ago when Ms. Kelsey started to “ruin” her pull ups out of defiance! My husband and I both had our own little run ins with Kelsey where she (in our minds) intentionally pooped when we wouldn’t allow her to get her way… Oh joy. Now, baby poop is quite different than toddler poop! I won’t go down the toilet bowl on this one (insert comedic drum roll here).. Lol But, let’s just say once kids start eating what you eat, changing diapers or pull ups is NO LONGER fun.

We tried various disciplinary actions when she repeated this behavior until last Wednesday when she completely tipped the scale for my husband… Poor man. I came home from bible study to Kelsey in her room – stinky, crying and just a complete mess. Basically our kids from time to time still like to bathe together (it’s normal, don’t act like you never took a bath with one of your siblings or cousins close to your age).. Lol, but this night Josh really wanted to get them situated and in bed on time and he was doing it by himself. He told Kelsey no. Turned on the tv in her room and asked her to watch Minnie Mouse while he finished getting Caleb ready for bed… Well, the 2 year old Kelsey, turned into a toddler version of the Incredible Hulk and lost her mind. Screaming and crying and then doing a #2 to display her complete utter dissatisfaction for not having bathtime with her brother. When Josh returned to the room, she was still in a frenzy and once he realized what she had done, he told her that was no-no and that made her even worse! Jesus! By the time I got home Josh tagged me in and told me to order her underwear because she knows better… 

So, this weekend 21 pairs of toddler training pants came in the mail. I washed them all and then gave her the option to put her first pair on this past Monday. We made it exciting by getting characters she liked…. Minnie, Peppa Pig, etc…. It’s been 4 days and for the most part she’s not had any major accidents or intentionally used the bathroom on herself. She even slept through the night last night in her underwear with no issues. YAH!!! 

The next phase in potty training is potty training us as parents…. No, we already know how to use the bathroom. Lol. What I mean is, we have to get used to reminding her to go to the bathroom, have extra time in the morning to let her go before we leave the house or whenever we go out, period. You don’t realize how programmed you become as a parent when you’re so used to just changing the baby, putting clothes on and getting ready to go. When it comes to potty time, kids don’t like to be rushed so there’s a whole extra 15 minutes you have to add when they start using the potty… There goes my beauty sleep…. Lol.

So…. What’s the lesson today? Lol…. There isn’t one! I just wanted to share some of my humor with you… Just kidding, today’s lesson is we all grow up! And with growing up comes changes, you just have to be prepared….

Until next time…. Peace, Love and Light! 

Listen to your BODY!!!

My husband, Josh, woke me up a few weeks ago for work because I had overslept. I either forgot to set my alarm or turned it off. But either way, I woke up in a daze and a pool of sweat. I was disoriented and irritated but, I had to get up and get ready for work….. Josh noticed that I was clearly off and sweating so, he suggested I go and take a shower while he got the kids ready for the day. Generally I’m not a morning shower person because showers usually make me tired but, based on how I woke up I would have done practically anything to get out of the funk I was in….. 

I went on that day, but the emotional funk never really left me. For weeks I had been trying to figure out why I didn’t feel like myself. I just felt very blah… Or easily agitated. No happy medium. Just a hot mess. As usual I tried to push past these things, but I knew something was off. 

So, in November or early December I started a new medication, Cymbalta for my anxiety. Now initially I felt pretty good when I started the meds. Or maybe I was just in a better place mentally and I was living off the high of my happy endorphins and not necessarily having a positive reaction from the meds. Fast forward to literally yesterday and I realized that this medication isn’t for me. Yesterday, while having text convo with one of my besties I decided to look up the side effects for Cymbalta and ya’ll…… I practically have EVERY side effect. From random stomach pains, night sweats, constant agitation, impulsive behavior, practically no libido (my poor husband). Help me Jesus! 

Now, either I’m a complete idiot or I just really wanted to believe that this medication would work since I experienced a bit of a slump over the summer months. I guess I just wanted to believe that this would work and everything would be ok. I’d be able to have a normal life and get back to my old self…. But the reality is there’s no such thing as normal.

If I’m completely honest I haven’t been taking my meds regularly since we traveled north for the holiday season, but now I’m making a constant decision to NOT take this medication anymore. I have a doctor’s appointment this week to see what my options are, but it’s time to do something different…. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings and I’ll be sure to share what happens! 

What’s today’s lesson? Listen to your body. Take time for yourself. If something isn’t right, seek professional medical help. Don’t struggle and sit in silence. Believe me…. It’s totally NOT worth it! 

Until next time…. Peace, Love & Light! 

Friends… How many of us have them?!

Recently, I reconnected with some of my childhood friends on my last trip home for the Christmas holiday. We had lost touch for one reason or another. Life had gotten in the way but, things transpired in the last year that caused us to reach out to one another for one reason or another. We ended up being able to have a girls brunch together and it was just so refreshing to be back around people who knew me from childhood. Ladies that got all of my silly jokes from middle school and high school. It was nice to be a kid again… even for a moment. 

I also have a sisterhood group… women who I’ve bonded with in the last year that have really helped me to become unapologetically me. Who love me without judgement, regardless of the fact that they’ve known me for all of “five minutes” compared to my childhood friends. 

And then I have those friends who I’ve always kept in touch with. Who I consistently do life with everyday regardless of how close or far we are from each other. Friends who call every time there’s a hurricane in Florida. Or who I can call when I have a panic attack or just need someone to talk to when I’m driving and struggling with my anxiety. 

Why are any of these friendships or sisterhoods important to women, wives and mothers? Why am I sharing about friendship? Because we ALL need a person or even a group of people to hold our hand, wipe our tears, and let us cry on their shoulders when things get tough. 

Life happens and dynamics of your friendships may change but they’re all valuable. All necessary…. 

So what’s today’s lesson? Be obedient to your heart… call that friend that maybe you’ve lost touch with. Had a disagreement with. You never know what they might be going through or were going through when you stopped communicating. Let’s all just love each other a little bit more. Beyond our flaws. Beyond our hurt…. 

Until next time… Peace, Love & Light. 

Innocence Stolen

Around the age of between 7 & 9 I had an experience that I believe changed my perspective on not only myself but sexuality as well…. I was molested by two of my cousins… There’s no sense in dragging out what happened so, let’s just rip off the band-aid. I honestly can’t remember which two of them it was…. I’m guessing my mind has intentionally blocked out details to help me cope with the experience. 

So, let’s just get to what I remember…. I was between 7 & 9 years old. It was either the summertime or a school break and I was at my grandmother’s house. My parents never really liked sending me over there but, once my great grandparents moved to North Carolina they didn’t have lots of options for places to send me during the summer or on my breaks if they weren’t off work. My grandmother didn’t keep a clean house. And if I’m totally honest, she didn’t really “watch” us when we were there. 

She always watched tv in the kitchen. Generally soap operas, The Price is Right, and In the Heat of the Night. She was always so wrapped up in the television…. Most days I’d sit out there with her and watch whatever she watched but, from time to time she’d let me go into her bedroom and watch age appropriate shows that I wanted to watch. 

On this specific day, I remember being in her room watching tv by myself…. I spent a lot of time there by myself because I was the only girl cousin my age. I remember my cousins coming into the house. My grandmother’s bedroom was by the front door. The kitchen where she watched tv was all the way at the end of the hall, opposite of the entrance to the house and her bedroom. Anyways, they came in the house… And in usual fashion came into the bedroom and attempted to take over the tv and change what I was watching. That of course started a fight. I was the only girl but, I wasn’t a punk. We would wrestle quite often because I wasn’t afraid of them… But, this day it was different. 

Initially it started with them wrestling me… And then the tide changed. I remember one of them pulling at my pants. It felt strange but, no one had ever really talked to me about not allowing others to touch me inappropriately. Next thing I know my panties are down and my cousins are telling me they want to see the difference between boys and girls. They’re using their fingers to explore my lower body…. And eventually began to perform oral sex on me. I remember this because it was a weird feeling… And because one of them said it tasted like urine initially…. 

I don’t remember how long this went on until my grandmother called for one of them…. which of course startled them and me out of this trance we were in…. They both got up and left me to dress myself as they ran down the hall to my grandmother. 

It was never spoke of. I never told anyone because I was scared. They never talked about it to me after it happened and…. it never happened again. 

But, that experience opened me up to other sexual experiences that I’m sure had I not had this initial encounter I wouldn’t have fallen into traps in others. Granted I didn’t actually lose my virginity until I was 16. I did have some other things that happened to me that shouldn’t have…. Not to mention, I did do some things to others that I shouldn’t have. One, because of my lack of self-esteem and two, because no one really sat down and talked to me about how precious my sexuality, body or innocence really was. That being touched or touching others was NOT okay. That I should tell and that it shouldn’t happen. 

Y’all this was a HARD post to write… I literally talked about this in therapy months ago. Wrote a draft, deleted it. Wrote it again… Edited it. And realized I still hadn’t told those closest to me that this happened. So then I was stuck again. Because I was afraid to tell them what happened so many years ago…. But I had to push past it. It’s a part of my healing…. 

So… what’s today’s lesson? Teach your children that touching others and being touched in ANY way that makes them feel uncomfortable is wrong. No one is allowed to touch another person in a sexual manner…. We need to teach our kids to know when to say no. When to speak up for themselves and when to tell us as their parents that something happened, good or bad. 

Well… that’s it for this one…. Until next time…. Peace, Love & Light!

Good Bye 2019… Hello 2020!

… As the door closes on 2019 and the decade I can truly say this year has been the most freeing and trying at the same time. I started this blog originally as a way for me to document my journey as a wife, mom and everything else that’s tossed in my lap. I never thought people would read my thoughts, share their experiences or even care to be quite honest. But, this blog has given me a freedom I never knew I could have. I’ve been able to share the deepest parts of my heart. To be vulnerable to the world (or 5 people who read… lol) to see. And I’m ok with being unapologetically ME. I’m good with those who hate me as well that those who love me. At the end of the day 2019 has been a year of discovery and I’m happy with the ME I found. 

Is life perfect? No… But when will it ever be??? Is it better? Yes! I have a husband who loves me for who I am today and pushes me to who I need to be tomorrow; a healthy family, home, a sisterhood who keeps me grounded, and friends (old/new) who appreciate me for who I am. 

Is anxiety, depression and PTSD still a challenge? Absolutely, everyday. But, everyday I’m growing stronger, I’m fighting harder and I will OVERCOME. Will it be in 2020? I don’t know…. But, I know God destined me for greatness. Does that sound cliche? Probably…. Do I care? Lol NOPE!

I learned this year that I have to be me. I have to walk in my truth, regardless of how embarrassing, shameful and unorthodox it may be. There is NO story no one can tell about me that I haven’t told already or won’t tell in the future…. I’m not afraid of what someone might know about who I used to be because I know who I am today. I’m a woman…. who has evolved. 

I’m grateful for the pruning I’ve had to experience because I know the flower that’s growing will be beautiful. Sometimes we stumble so, we can learn to walk differently than we did before… This year I had some stumbles, falls, scratched knees (lol).. But, I’m still here. And I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring! 

So… what’s today’s lesson? We’re all constantly growing and changing. We all have lessons we’ve learned, mistakes we’ve made but, we are not defined by incidents. We are NOT happenstances. We are MORE…. And we should not be judged or criticized by a moment in time… 

Until next time…. and next year! Peace, Love & Light!

The Dirty Secret

If you recall last week I posted Part 2 of Daddies Matter. Well since I brought my biological father up in that blog, I figured I’d go ahead and give you the scoop on this dude… And if you know me, you’re very much aware of the fact that I don’t sugarcoat anything… I’m candid. So, let’s get to it! 

My father and mother are step siblings… Yep, you read that right. They’re related by marriage. Their parents married each other when they were teenagers… And to make matters worse, my mother lost her virginity to this man and 9 months later, I was born… Yes a whole mess… I know…. Lol

The story I’ve been told is that it happened once… My mom got pregnant and when her stepmother, my grandmother, found out she was pregnant she was upset…. And then when she found out that my mother was pregnant by her son, she lost it! She proceeded to get into an altercation with her teenage, pregnant, stepdaughter and then threw her out…. 

My mother was sent to live with her grandparents and called a liar, because in her stepmother’s eyes there’s NO WAY her son would have had sex with her AND created a life, my life…. 

I was born during my mother’s senior year of high school and there when she walked across the stage at graduation…. Unfortunately, all of this was too much for my mother to handle so, she turned to a lifestyle that I believe helped to soothe her pain and rejection… My father was sent off to the military and forbidden to have any dealings with me at all. 

For 10 years, I walked through my childhood not even knowing who my father was. Everyone in the family kinda tiptoed around me, like I was a fragile item. There was absolutely no mention of who my father was or why he wasn’t around. Meanwhile, my actual father was painted to be my “uncle”… But, I never felt right around him…. Something just always felt off. 

It wasn’t until my great grandparents moved to North Carolina and I went to visit that I found out the truth. On our train ride back from NC, my great grandmother finally told me that the man I thought was my uncle, was actually my father. You’re talking about wrecked!!! I was in complete disbelief. I just couldn’t understand what I did that was so horrible that he didn’t want to have any kind of relationship with me. That he allowed me to go and live with another family rather than taking care of me himself….. 

I spent years trying to understand why I wasn’t worthy enough that my own father didn’t want to be in relationship with me. I still don’t completely understand it, but the older I become, the more I realize that he was a kid too. Probably 18 or 19 when my mom got pregnant. And his mother scared the CRAP outta him by telling him he couldn’t have a relationship with me and if he did, she’d never speak to him again… And while I can even understand my grandmother’s feelings of embarrassment or shame, I was an innocent child. Tossed into a situation that I never asked to be a part of. 

You see, no family is perfect. We all have our “dirty secrets”. And in my case I was the product of a dirty secret and then made to live like I was the black sheep. Like I had done something wrong, when all I actually did was be born…. Created by two kids, who probably didn’t understand the consequences of unprotected sex. But, yet here I am. 

So, what’s today’s lesson. Well, it’s two-fold. 

  1. Stop pretending like there aren’t any skeletons in your closet, we all have things that have happened in our families that we’re not proud of. 
  2. Children are innocent… And shouldn’t be used to punish the parents or punished for the transgressions of their parents. Regardless of how they got here, they deserve YOUR love, support and guidance.

And on that note, I think this one is done….

Until next time. Peace, Love & Light!