Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Goals Review

Wow, I can't believe that we're days away for 2010.  I really do feel like this year has flown by.  So as I begin to work on my dream collage for the upcoming year, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on my 2009 goals.  Here are the results:

1.  Get closer to God (I think I should have been a bit more specific.  I mean, how can I really measure my closeness with God?  While I do feel closer in some ways, I also feel further away in others.)

2.  Help my little cousin graduate from high school

3.  Help my little cousin as she enters college

4.  Enroll my son in softball

5.  Save $3,000 (I didn't reach this goal.  However, I am happy that I was able to pay off about 3,000 in debt this year.  I guess technically that might count for something.)

6.  Maintain/sustain a loving relationship with manfriend (We're still together so kudos to me and my manfriend since we're still going strong.)

7.  No new debt (While I was paying stuff off, I feel off the wagon a few times and whipped out my credit card for a few purchases.)

8.  Create multiple streams of income (This one is huge.  I went from being unemployed to having to turn down jobs.  God is definitely soooooo good.)

9.  Eat Better (I think this one should have also been more specific.  Overall, I really can't say.  Some days are better than others but I don't think I accomplished my big goal in becoming a healthy eater.)

10.  Lose 15 lbs. (How about gain 15 lbs?  It's sad to say that I didn't even come close to this goal.)

5 out of 10...ummm, if this was a test, I would have no doubt failed.  However, since it's not a test. I can applaud myself for the goals accomplished and possibly revisit the missed goals in 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Early Christmas Present

Greetings from the wonderful world of contentment and never-ending smiles.  I come to you live and in full effect.  For the past year, I have been coveting a Kindle and most recently, the Barnes and Noble Nook.  Since I love to read and often wish I had a book while waiting in line or when I have a few extra minutes, an ereader would be the perfect solution.  However, as many of you know I am committed to getting out of debt ASAP and just can't rationalize spending over $200 bucks for an ereader.  I mean come on...think of how many books you could buy for $200.  I decided to do some research because surely there had to be a more "budget -friendly" ereader.  I'm happy to say that I found one.  It's called the Ebookwise -1150 and I LOVE it!   Now don't get me wrong it is not as sleek looking as the more expensive ereaders and you can't download books wirelessly.  However, I'm okay with having to download my books using a USB connection and a computer.  The biggest bonus is that the Ebookwise can read a variety of formats so now I can access FREE materials from my local library.  As Christmas quickly approaches, what present would add a never-ending smile to your face?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

On November 3rd, I turned 35 years old. I must admit that over the past few weeks, I've have a full wave of emotions surrounding this big milestone in my life. Since I'm a big birthday person, I knew I wanted it to be memorable. Three is my favorite number and I tend to do things in threes. So here are the 3 big things I did for my b-day:

1.) On my actual birthday, my son, manfriend, and I went to see MJ's This Is It movie. OMGoodness, I loved it. First, the music was awesome. It included all my favorites. Even though he didn't sing P.Y.T., I still enjoyed watching MJ do his thing. My son who is only 3 absolutely loves Michael Jackson and couldn't sit still. He just clapped and sang throughout the movie. Well, actually he did this for the first hour after that he fell asleep and missed his favorite MJ hit, Beat It. The movie taught me to give it your all, all the time because you never know it could be your last act.

2.) Cavalia, Cavalia, Cavalia (note I'm singing this in a high pitched, opera-like voice) For weeks, I'd been hinting well actually downright begging manfriend to take me to see this show for my birthday. After he watched the trailer showing some men in tights riding horses, he immediately responded as I expected. I think his exact words were HELL NO. However, I guess love got the best of him because not only did he get tickets he got the best tickets you could get. First, we attended a welcome session which consisted of wine, shrimp, and great desserts. We were the only Black people except for the people working the event. It only took a short time for the other attendees to realize that I couldn't direct them to the nearest restroom, that no manfriend did not play for the Atlanta Falcons and that actually we were just some plain ole' folks attending a live performance. The show was fabulous. It really was amazing seeing over 60 horses interact with humans and do some extraordinary things. Manfriend even enjoyed himself so it turned out to be a wonderful date night for us.

3.) Last but not least, I got to spend a few days with manfriend in one of my favorite places, LAS VEGAS. I like to gamble and wasn't quite sure if this trip would adversely affect my relationship with manfriend. It didn't. Instead, I think we were able to connect on a different level and get a clearer understanding of our long-term goals. We had so much fun!! There was a karaoke bar at our hotel, Imperial Palace and we even got a dvd of manfriend singing. I got an ice cream sundae pedicure at the Canyon Ranch Spa that was nothing less than perfect. It was a bit pricey but hey it was my birthday so I figured I would splurge. I did get to keep the polish I chose, I guess that's one of the perks you get when you pay 95 bucks for a pedicure. (Thankfully I had a gift card.) Finally, we gambled. We both did pretty good at the roulette table and even found some time to souvenir shop.

If I had to give my birthday celebration a grade it would be an A+++. What's your favorite birthday memory?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grey Skies in search of Rainbows

It's Friday night and I'm all alone. Well, not exactly. I'm actually home with my lil one and my cat but minus my manfriend. It's interesting that lately I've been feeling such a sense of melancholy about my life. I'm not exactly sad but I know that my happy moments don't seem as numerous lately. I can't quite figure out why I'm in such a grey area. I mean I absolutely love my job. The kids are great and the other teachers are becoming more friendly. My money situation is greatly improving. I feel like I'm getting closer to accomplishing my fitness goals (even though it's much slower than I anticipated.) Manfriend and I are cruising along and my son is well...wonderful. So as I sit here typing this post and listening to my son sing in the bathtub, I can't help wonder when will I be back in color. Right now, I feel like someone in a black and white movie. Things are just blah. I need some color in my life. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who has ever felt like this so please share. What are some things you do to get your color back?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All About Me

(I haven't read this book yet but I love the title so I have added it to my books to read list.)

First, I really appreciate everyone tuning in to the adventures of Ms. Lady last week. I hope you enjoyed meeting my alter-ego but now I would like to re-introduce myself as I feel like the Me 2.0 version now. Over the past few months, I have quit a job, got hit by an 18-wheeler, was unemployed for 3 months, gained about 15 pounds, and battled depression almost on a daily basis. I didn't realize that all of these events were helping shape the new me. Each event forced me to make a much needed change in my thinking thus positively affecting my actions. The first major change was embracing that God is really in control and worrying is absolutely pointless. I spent a lot of time just worrying myself about situations and circumstances that were completely out of my control. It took me months to see that worrying won't solve my problems any faster. So I decided to quit worrying or at least not worry as much and make the best of my situation. Here are 5 good things that have happened as a result of being in my "valley":

1.) I learned to really live on a budget and spend within my means.

2.) My son and I spend quality time together EVERYDAY. Even if it's only for 15 minutes,I stop and give him my undivided attention. (I must admit though Candy Land isn't as much fun when you're an adult.)

3.) I learned how to cook and I actually enjoy it.

4.) I get up at 4:30 a.m. to workout at least 4 days a week.

5.) I landed my dream job. I'm a technology teacher at an elementary school.

As I continue to reflect on the past few months in my life, I can't help but pause and just thank God for His Grace. As always, I must end with a question (that will hopefully move you to leave a comment), what bad has caused some good in your life?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lifestyles of Ms. Lady, Part 3

Well, it's official. My adventures with my new BFF are coming to an end tomorrow morning. I spoke with someone from GM who was calling to arrange the pick-up. I asked if there was any chance I would be able to keep the car longer and continue my blog adventures. He told me, "Nope, because the car was scheduled to go to another blogger Friday evening." Of course, I was extremely hurt. I won't even front I think I might have shed a tear. Then the GM man said something that made my heart skip a beat. He said,"Oh, I might be able to put in a good word for you so that you can keep it permamently." WHAT..COULD THIS REALLY BE HAPPENING!!! MY BFF AND I WILL BE A TEAM FOREVER (or however long Buick's last). But then I realized what he was REALLY saying. In the words of the Great Whitney Houston (sidebar-I love her new album) HELL TO DA NAH!!!!!! Of course, being the good Christian woman that I am, I didn't actually say this aloud but I was thinking it. Are you kidding me? A car note? What would Dave think? What would my son think when he went to bed hungry a few nights each week because mommy had to use the food money to pay for her new BFF? I politely told the gentleman that I wouldn't be interested in "keeping my BFF permanently" and quickly got off the phone. When I hung up, I really began to rethink this BFF thing. I mean, I'm a simple gal with simple taste(except for when it come to engagement rings..I want a big rock that you can see sparkling even when my hand's not moving). So this luxury car thing is so not for me. I won't lie I have no doubt enjoyed the ride but at the end of the day, I'm holding out for my true love, the Toyota Prius. I hope you have enjoyed reading about Ms. Lady's adventures. Tune in next week for the return of ...me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lifestyles of Ms. Lady, Part 2

First, I would like to congratulate all the people who blog on a daily basis. How in the world do you find the time?

Well, today, I would like to focus on the things I like or shall I say LOVE about my BFF.

1.) XM Radio - OMGoodness, for all you music lovers XM radio is a must. I have been jamming to old school rap and r&b. I mean I've heard songs that I haven't heard in like 20 years. (Wow, I can't believe I'm old enough to say that.) This morning, I heard Girlfriend by Bobby Brown.

2.) ONSTAR - Forget about needing a GPS, now you can call and speak with a live operator who has the directions sent to your dash. Gone are the days of turning too soon, now you hear a ding then the sound of Mr. Automated Voice saying, "Turn right on Luxury Way now." In addition, to the navigation system, there is also handsfree calling. It's so fabo! You call someone using a keypad displayed on your dash and then your car speakers turn into the ultimate speakerphone.

3.) Keyless Ignition- You just press a button while your foot is on the brake and BAM the car starts. Every time I do this I feel a little James Bond-ish.

4.) Parking Brake - No more feeling like you're doing calf exercises when it's time to put on your parking brake. All you have to do is press a button and on it goes. Press this same button to turn it off. It's great!

5.) Last, but certainly not least, Her Look - I guess I'm kinda shallow because I really love my BFF because she's so attractive. I mean she turns heads wherever we go.

I'm sure gonna miss her when she leaves. I'm still hoping that maybe she'll get to stay a little longer. I hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my adventure. Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Lifestyles of Ms. Lady. As always, I would love to know what you think, so leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lifestyles of Ms. Lady Unleashed Part 1

I had a busy and interesting weekend cruising around town with my new BFF (i.e. the 2010 Buick LaCrosse). First of all, if you are trying to be inconspicuous then this is DEFINITELY not the car for you. While at my son’s first t-ball game (he’s such a little rock star but that’s a story for a later post), several of the coaches asked me about the car. Unfortunately my car knowledge is ummm let’s say below average so I wasn’t able to provide any intelligent answers for almost half the questions. I actually didn’t realize that the car hadn’t even been releashed yet. Later that same day, I was driving and this man motioned for me to roll down my window. Under normal circumstances (i.e. when I’m driving my 2000 Mazda 626), I would have completely ignored him. However, now that I’m driving a luxury car, I’ve decided to unleash my alter-ego named Ms. Lady. So, Ms. Lady rolled down the window or shall I say gently pressed the button to roll down the window to see what he wanted. He preceded to ask me where I got my car and what kind of car was it. Thankfully I was able to answer these questions and of course seized the opportunity to tell how I was test driving the car for the week and how much I absolutely LOVE it. I tell ya it was a long light because I actually got through the whole story. Then on Sunday, I was at the Daisy Festival handing out flyers inviting people to follow my blog this week and read about my adventures with my new BFF. I’ll admit I kinda felt a little superstar-ish telling people my story. Everyone was like, wow, how did you get picked to test drive this car. My reply was short and simple, “Jesus.” After the festival, I took my son to the park and lo and behold, my new bff was the topic of conversation AGAIN. This man talked my ear off for about 25 minutes. OMG…I wish I would have known that if I wanted men to notice me I just needed to get a really nice car. So single ladies, if you want to be a man-magnet, get a not-yet released luxury car and out they come. I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s edition of Lifestyles of Ms. Lady Unleashed. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode and don’t forget to leave me a comment letting me know what you think.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day One In the Lap of Luxury

So it all started with an email inviting me to participate in a local arts and crafts festival. Now, it's turned into me spending a week in the lap of luxury. This Sunday, I will have a booth courtesy of Buick LaCrosse, to promote my blog. How cool is that!!!! But that's not the best part, how about I get to test drive a new 2010 Buick LaCrosse for a week. It was delivered to my house today and I almost fainted. IT'S GORGEOUS!!! Now as a single mama of a toddler and a college student there is absolutely no way I could afford such a grand car so I will no doubt enjoy this adventure. Starting tomorrow, I will share one feature about the car. Sit back and come enjoy this ride with me.

If you're in the Atlanta Metro area, I would love for you to stop by my booth and see me. I will be at the Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain, GA this Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's been a few hours so I've had some time to gather my thoughts and figure out which direction I want to go with this post. I hope that by the end of this, I will have caused you to think harder and longer about your actions and more importantly how they may or may not reflect God's love. NACA an organization that helps people modify and refinance their home loans held a four-day event here in Atlanta. I originally found out about it Sunday after church and signed up. However, I didn't have all the necessary paperwork with me and I also had my 2-year son with me. Since the process can take several hours, I decided to leave, complete the paperwork online and return today (Tuesday) without my little one. So Sunday night, I went online, completed all the forms, and registered for a home save event scheduled in two weeks. But since I was off today, I decided to catch MARTA(our transit system) downtown to attend this event instead. In hopes of getting my ARM set to a reasonable fixed rate. The mortgage company had recently agreed to fixed it at the current rate of 10.99% (of course, I declined this offer. But that's a story for another post) Sorry, I do get a bit distracted at times. So when I arrive downtown the line to attend the event and receive housing counseling is unreal. It's like probably a thousand people in line. Keep in mind it's about 10 a.m. and it's already around 85 degrees. So I'm like okay I sure hope I see someone I know. Well don't you know I see someone from my church and I'm like omgoodness, I'm so glad to see you. To which she promptly replied, Oh no, you need to go to the back of the line. God must have put His hand over my mouth because my reply was just a polite, "oh, okay."
Of course on the inside I was like WTF(what the freak)...did I just see someone from Church, i.e. a fellow Christian and she said no.

Now please let me explain why I'm more saddened that angered at her actions. First, I am pretty sure that she knows I'm a single mother (since she's seen and spoken to me and my son at church numerous times.) Secondly, this wasn't a line for concert tickets but for people trying to save their homes. (Now, while my house isn't on the brink of foreclosure...she doesn't know that.) Thirdly, where's the Christian love? I know that it's wrong to cut in line BUT!!!!!!!! Honestly, I really can't imagine that if I saw Jesus in line, He would have told me to go to the back. I am saddened because:
what if my house was in foreclosure?
what if as a single mom, i had a limited amount of time and had to pick up my son?
what if i was feeling like crap and this was my last hope?
i could of course go on and on with the what ifs but i won't. Instead I will challenge all of us to pay it forward. We are here to be a blessing to each other. I feel blessed that I signed up online and will be attending the other event but I do hope that we remember we are not judges. Just think if the mortgage lenders had the same attitude as my fellow churchgoer, the event wouldn't even be happening. Instead the general consensus would be that you shouldn't need or expect someone to help you and that you should just deal with it. In closing, I have to ask, am I wrong for feeling some kinda way? If Jesus had been waiting in line for hours and saw someone from His church (who could potentially be losing their house), do you think He would have let me cut the line? I'm excited to see what other people think.
(p.s. i have no idea if the person i'm referring to reads my blog, but if so, i sincerely don't have any hard feelings against her. instead, this experience has helped me be more committed to sharing and showing God's love to others.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finding my purpose

in the stillness of the night, i find myself wondering and reflecting about my purpose. why am i here? as a christian, i believe that i was created for a specific purpose that will be a blessing to the world. wow, it's scary to think that we are really here to make this place better. i was watching michael jackson's dangerous tour and it was amazing the effect he had on people. his mere presence was causing fans to scream, cry and some even fainted. i wonder at what point in his life he realized that he had found his purpose. he got it!!! i read somewhere that Michael Jackson is in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the most money to charities and other causes. How cool is that!!!!! this season in my life is filled with countless light bulb moments. while i still don't know why God created me, i am confident that i must be getting closer to discovering this mystery because i have an unexplainable peace in the midst of one of the biggest storms of my life. i am learning to use my powers for good and not evil. i'm being intentional about my actions. do you believe that everyone has a purpose and if so, have you found yours?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Money vs. Happiness

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to say that a comment I left on J. Money's blog was quoted in a MSN Smart Spending article. J. Money posed a great question: Would you rather be rich with a job you hate or poor with a job you love? Well, as I remain unemployed and unable to find a teaching job, I chose the second option. I really believe that at this point in my life my happiness is not tied to money. I also think the word poor is relative. My current goal is to find a job that will cover my monthly expenses while allowing me to save a bit too. This job however can't compromise my time with my family, my church, and myself. I'm just not willing to work 70 - 80 hours a week and then not be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor because I'm stressed and downright tired. In the past few months, I have had to make some major changes in my spending. I don't eat out as much, I don't rent movies or even go to the movies as frequently, and I don't spend as much on scrapbooking stuff. However, I have an unbelievable amount of peace because I really feel like I'm getting closer to God's purpose for my life. With each passing day, I'm learning that the acquisition of stuff and fancy titles isn't what life should be about. Instead it's about relationships. Since I've been unemployed, I have settled into a much slower pace that has truly benefited my relationship with my son. Of course, I know that all of us need a source of income. However, I think many of us are confused about WHO is really the source that sustains us. So I think it's only fitting that I ask you the same question: Which would you choose: money or happiness?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Facebook: Friend or Foe

I must admit that I really didn’t think anyone could invent something that would top caller id but then came FACEBOOK. I absolutely love it!!!!! At first, I loved the idea of chatting with ex-boyfriends seeing if they still remembered those little special things about me. Then it turned into the comparison game : Who was married?, Who has kids? Who’s changed the most? Who still lives in my hometown? However, now I have truly arrived at a space that makes Facebook great. It’s a place I can go on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis to recharge my battery. Someone always has something funny, witty or inspirational posted on their wall. I also enjoy seeing how people spend their time. I’ve gotten some vacation ideas by looking at my “friends” photos. I’ve also learned of some cool books and music. While I know that people either love or hate Facebook, in this age of busyness, it really is a wonderful tool to help people stay connected. I might go so far as to say it’s therapeutic. At any given time I can log on and at least one of my virtual friends is online. Overall, I think Facebook is an excellent way to keep in touch. You will find people that you haven’t spoken to in years. Just recently I found my bff from sixth grade. If you haven’t joined FB, I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon. However, be warned that it can be addictive. So, how do you feel about Facebook?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lowering My Limbo Bar

I just listened to a sermon by Pastor Paul Shepherd that was right on time. (Doesn’t that always happen…you listen to a sermon and feel like the pastor is speaking directly to you.) This sermon was talking about “staying low” and being humble. Don’t get all full of yourself and your accomplishments. Well, recently I let my limbo bar get a little high. I have been unemployed for several months and I finally got a call for an interview. But my good fortune didn’t stop there, one day later I got another call for an interview. So now as I was preparing for these two interviews, my head was getting bigger and bigger. Whhhhhaaaaaattttt!!!! You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was telling my mom and my manfriend and anyone who would listen that yeah, my track record for interviewing and getting the job is outstanding. I started recounting the ONLY time I went on an interview and didn’t get the job was 13 years ago and that’s when I was fresh out of college. I even started asking them what should I do if I get offered my second choice job before my first choice offers me the job. You couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t about to get a job. Well, God has a way of helping our heads get a little bit smaller when they get too big. So I go on the two interviews a little cocky, really feeling like I am the best thing since sliced bread and why wouldn’t they want me at their school. So at the end of each interview, I’m a little stunned, huh???? Where’s the job offer? Oh, I rationalized they don’t want to seem too eager so they will call me tonight. Well, as you probably guessed, I didn’t get a call that night. In the meantime, I’m all telling my folks that I don’t even want this one job but hey beggars can’t be choosy so if they offer me the job, I’ll just have to suck it up and take it. Well that place did call me the following morning and guess what??? They promptly let me know that they had chosen someone else and wished me luck on my job search. After I picked my jaw and pride off the floor, I thought that’s okay…I didn’t really want to work there anyway. Well, it’s been five days since my interview and I still haven’t heard from the other job. It’s safe to say that since the job would start in less than a week, I don’t think they chose me for the job. These past few days have had a sobering effect. I was actually feeling a bit down and depressed thinking what if I can’t get a job. But, Oh then God sent His angels by way of a sermon and I quickly realized why I didn’t get either job. I so wasn’t staying low and being humble. Instead I was acting like it was my doing and actions that would get me the job. I wouldn’t have given God the glory because I would have thought it was all because of me. Well, as I remain unemployed with no job prospects in sight, I realize that my source is not me, it’s God. So I’m letting go and letting God. I know that all things work according to His purpose and that the interviews were sent to teach me a lesson about humility. I pray that the next time I’m preparing for an interview, I will turn to God and ask for His Guidance and acknowledge His Presence in all things. So where in your life do you need to lower your limbo bar?

Friday, June 26, 2009

I just can't get enough of Michael Jackson

As I sit here glued to the television, I can't help but feel a weird aching. Even though I never met him, I feel such a connection to him. His music has touched my soul and often times lifted my spirits. As I watch the world mourn his death and celebrate his life, I am searching for peace. It's hard to not feel like this is a mistake and just can't possibly be true. How can he be gone? In the midst of my doubt, I know that it's true and he is gone to a better place. I pray that his family can find peace in the outpouring of love shown by the world. I pray that they know that Michael has touched us in an unexplainable way. He will be missed but in his passing, I pray that he has finally found peace because he sooooo deserves it. I plan to continue to celebrate his life by sharing his legacy with my two year old son. We have been listening to his music and watching his videos nonstop. He has so many great songs that it's hard for me to pick one favorite. But if I have to choose, it would be P.Y.T. So what's your favorite M.J. song?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Potty Training SUCKS!!!!

My wonderful son is 2 years old. So of course the pressure begins, other mothers begin to ask is he potty trained yet or how long has he been potty trained. What????How long?? Oh no, I’m a bad mother or worse a slacker mother because I didn’t get the memo that the moment my child turned 2 he should be or begin to be potty trained. I have finally decided to start and boy was I in for quite a surprise. Honestly, this ordeal is reminding me of breast-feeding. This just takes so much time. I decided that I just couldn’t do those little potty chairs. YUCK, I am so not cleaning that out. So I opted for the little toilet seats. I love them!!! I even bought a new toilet seat that has a little seat already on it. Perfect. I also bought a stool.
Like any good mother, I checked the internet for tips and tricks to potty-training a boy. I found some cool ideas like: create a m&m basket and every time he goes, give him a treat. ( This could have worked except my son doesn’t like chocolate. I learn something new about my child every day.)
Sit him on the toilet in specific intervals (i.e. every hour) ( This could have worked except by the time I sat him on the toilet he had already gone in his pull-up diapers.)
Just let him run around the house with no underwear. (UH! What the heck was I thinking???? This could have worked except he kept peeing on my rug.)
Buy him “big” boy underwear ( I was of course reluctant to do this because I felt like he wasn’t ready for underwear yet.) Well, I ‘m happy to say that it worked. He loves to wear his tighty whities. NO MORE DIAPERS!!!!
So, what sucks in your life? ( of course, as I make an effort to fill buckets, I really hope nothing sucks in your life. However, feel free to vent if you like.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happily Ever After

As a woman I must admit that I have fallen victim to the Happily Ever After theory. It seems like I have been brainwashed into thinking that all my woes will be healed when Prince Charming comes and rescues me by making me a Mrs. However, with each passing year of being single, I must admit that the Happily Ever After motto doesn’t quite seem as appealing. I mean really isn’t that a lot of pressure to put on a guy. Clearly, no one can make all things right and heal all the bruises of life. I do think that Happily Ever After should be expanded to a counsel type approach. At any given time in my life, I have a counsel of friends that collectively meet all of my needs. I have a friend who provides me with wisdom as I continue to develop my relationship with God. While I have friend who is uninhibited and encourages me to take risks and try new things. I also have my financially savvy friend who is always willing to share her latest money saving tips. Finally, I have my man-friend who continues to fill my bucket in new and creative ways. So what do you think, does happily ever after just occur in fairy tales?

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm back....well almost

hi all, i've had a few things going on and haven't felt much like blogging lately. I recently heard this song, Favor by Karen Clark - Sheard. So even though i'm still not up to writing yet, i hope this song will touch you as it has touched me. have a wonderful week.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What's your favorite emotion?

I was listening to a sermon and the pastor asked, “What’s your favorite emotion?” Ummm…I never really thought about it. However, isn’t it a good question? I mean we experience so many feelings throughout the day that it’s likely that we should have a favorite. So I began to think what is my favorite emotion? Well, I really like the feeling of happiness but it’s not my favorite. What about anticipation? I love this one, especially around my birthday and Christmas, I can’t wait to see what I’ll get. But it’s not my favorite. My favorite emotion by far is relief. You know that moment when you can exhale, breathe, and think, that wasn’t so bad after all. So, what’s your favorite emotion?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

I must admit that I have never been so excited about the arrival of Easter. I mean I have been counting down the days for the past two weeks. The sad thing is that it had nothing to do with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Even though, I attend church almost every week and am quite involved at my church,I totally lost sight of the meaning of Lent. This year, I decided to give up something BIG for Lent so I gave up eating at my favorite restaurant, McDonald's. I usually go to McDonald's at least once a day and it's sad to admit that the people know me and my order depending on the time of day: sausage Mcgriddle and a large sweet tea for breakfast, a hamburger happy meal with an orange drink for lunch, and a #2 with no cheese and a diet coke for dinner. So for the past 40 days, I have not eaten any food from McDonald's and have been counting the days until I could. Last night, I even tried to stay up until 12 so that I could get a #2 with no cheese and a diet coke but I feel asleep. When I awoke this morning the first thing on my mind was....you guessed it....McDonald's. In fact, as I'm typing this post, I'm also sipping on a large sweet tea from Mickey Dee's and I've already eaten my sausage Mcgriddle. After church, I plan on having my Easter lunch at my favorite restaurant. As I reflect on the past 40 days, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm so proud of myself for accomplishing my goal. However, when I think about the Lent season and Easter, I wonder how have I grown closer to God by giving up McDonald's? I realize that growing closer to God was never my goal. It was really all about exercising self-discipline. So I've decided to challenge myself for another 40 days but this time, I'm going to intentionally focus on my relationship with God. I'm giving up 30 minutes of t.v. and replacing it with reading the Bible.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shades of mii

Recently my man-friend and his squad (a.k.a his 3 children) were at my house. We decided to play wii and started by creating our mii profiles. I had already created mine. She was..well representative of me or at least how I wanted to be. My mii was the chocolate brown ,slim, mole having, hair fly,funky-fresh glasses wearing diva that I hope to be. Back to the original story, man friend’s baby girl got to go first and this is the conversation that ensued while she was creating her mii.

Baby girl: Oh, I like this one.

Me: Ummmm, are you going to make her a little darker and change her hair color? You’re not white and you don’t have yellow hair.

Baby girl: NO, I like her this way.

Me: But I thought our mii’s were supposed to look like us. She doesn’t look like you.

Baby girl: I don’t want to change her. Daddy, do I have to change her?

Man Friend: No, sweetie, you don’t have to change her. She’s fine.

Me: Oops, I’m sorry. I guess I just thought that mii’s should look like us.

So baby girl’s mii stayed peach with yellow hair. Now, as a black woman, I am very concerned about baby girl’s self image. She is surrounded by mostly black people however she absolutely adores Hannah Montana. Since she is only 6 years old, I’m concerned that she might not like her color and wishes she was white. Tell me what you think, am I overreacting or do I need to expose baby girl to more woman of color?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What's your wagon?

Over the past few months, we’ve all heard someone say, “ I’ve fallen off the wagon.” In fact, I find myself saying it much more lately. Oprah recently announced she had fallen off the wagon by gaining weight. While on the campaign trail, President Obama stated that he had fallen off the wagon by having a cigeratte. So I began to wonder, what’s the point of the wagon? I mean do we ever acknowledge that we’re still on the wagon or loudly sing our own praises about being wagon-riders. Of course, we don’t. But if we fall off we feel ashamed of ourselves. I think we should set goals for ourselves and try our best to reach them. I also think that we should realize that we aren’t perfect therefore we will always “fall off the wagon” at some point. So from this day forward, I am embracing the fact that I will occasionally fall off the wagon. I’m also happy that wagons are pretty low to the ground and tend to move pretty slowly so when I fall off I won’t get hurt too badly. What’s your wagon?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Lunch @ the Sun Dial Restaurant

Recently, I was attending a conference and had an opportunity to dine at the Sun Dial Restaurant. I truly had no idea what to expect but had heard some good things about the view. Well, the things I heard were definitely an understatement. I have never felt such perfect peace. The view was unbelievable. However, the fact that I was alone permitted me to be still in the moment. I could just gaze out the window and just be. As I sat there having my lunch, I began to wonder how can I capture this peace more often. While I still don’t have an answer, I feel so blessed to know it exists. If you are ever in Atlanta, I strongly recommend you eat at the Sun Dial. In the meantime, have you ever experienced perfect peace and if so, when?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Man-Friend

This past weekend, I helped my man-friend celebrate his birthday. I made this heart using 33 tealight candles. Each candle represents one year of his life. I'm happy to say that he LOVED the heart. What the most creative thing you've done for someone's birthday?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Innocence of Childhood

During one of the Inauguration events, I saw a brief clip of a concert in honor of the new first family. Malia Obama, 12, had a digital camera in hand and was taking pictures of the performers, in particular Usher. I chuckled to myself thinking sweetie don’t you know who you are? You don’t have to take a picture of Usher from a distance. You’re the President’s daughter and not just ANY president but the first Black one. That means you can meet anyone your little heart desires from Usher to Oprah to Hannah Montana to the Jonas Brothers. But then I remembered the innocence of childhood. Children are so innocent in their thinking and while the Obama girls are two of the most recognized people on the planet it hasn't gone to their heads. The Obamas have done a fabulous job of maintaining an unbelievable level of humility. Clearly, they (the children) have not gotten caught up in the hype. Kudos, to the Obamas for keeping it real and not letting the hype destroy their children's innocence. As we all grow older, we unfortunately lose our innocence and often times become quite sarcastic, ego-centric, and just downright mean. Let’s think back to our childhood, if you could reclaim your innocence and optimism what area would you apply it to in your adult life?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What does success mean to you?

Recently, I was reading PINK, a magazine for professional women that focuses on tips and tricks for balancing the demands of a career, family, and self. This was my first time reading this magazine but I think I would probably read it again. As some of you regular magazine readers know, there is often a question posed of the staff and their responses are printed next to their names. The question in this issue was, What does success mean to you? As I read through the staff’s answers, I was pleasantly surprised to see a variety of answers ranging from material things to spiritual awakenings. Of course, I then began to think what DOES SUCCESS mean to me? I will attempt to answer this question relative to specific areas in my life in opposed to one broad answer. So here is what success means to me:

Spiritual: To lead a life that reflects God’s grace (i.e. my actions and interactions clearly show my desire to encourage and love others.)

Mental/Emotional: To spend the majority of my moments being content regardless of my circumstances

As a Mother: To have the children in my life shine brighter as a result of my parenting

Relational: To be in a committed relationship with a man that inspires me, encourages me and loves me in an especially different way (all you Jill Scott fans know what I’m talking about)

Financial: To be debt-free!!!!!!

Of course, the cool thing about success is that it can be measured on many levels and in many different ways. As I review my success criteria, I’m so happy to see that it encompasses my vision of life being a journey not a destination. I am aware that some days I will feel more “successful” than others and that’s okay. So what does success mean to you?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I WON!!!!!!

OMGoodness, a few weeks ago I entered a contest at singlemommyhood to win a book called, The Successful Single Mom and I found out today that I won. How cool is that? Of course, it's just great!!! Now I have one more book to get me closer to my 52 books for the year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Love of My Life

Since this is the last Sunday in February and thus my last post focusing on love and relationships, I decided to write about the love of my life.

Have you ever loved someone so much that…

You secretly wish that he would never leave your presence and that you could
spend every single minute together?

You watch him sleep because you just can’t take your eyes off of him?

You literally hang on to his every word, just waiting to see what he’ll say next,in fact sometimes you ask stupid questions just to hear his voice?

You would rather spend a lifetime in hell with him, than be in heaven without

You know in your mind, body, and soul that you all are absolutely perfect for
each other?

You can’t remember what life was like before you met him?

You smile so big when you see him that sometimes your face hurts?

You talk about him every chance you get to anyone who will listen?

You spend way too much money buying him stuff he probably doesn’t even

You thank God for him so much that God must be sick of hearing you say his

At this point, I know you all are wondering who is this person?
The love of my life is …my son!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Heart Song

I tell ya my church is sooooo creative and I love it. Yesterday instead of a sermon , each pastor shared his/her heart song. The song was then performed by the choir or the original version was played. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, here is my heart song.

What's your heart song?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

80/20 Rule

Tyler Perry’s movie, Why did I get married? brings up an interesting concept. Basically, the theory is that we need to find someone with 80% of the qualities we like and not think that a person who is only bringing 20% is the answer.

I absolutely love this theory because for at least 5 years, I’ve been trying to decide on what are my deal breakers in a relationship. But now I like this approach of applying the 80/20 rule. If I have a list of 10 things and I find someone who is 80% of those things most of the time then I have found myself a WINNER. So now, you might be wondering what’s on my top 10 list. After much thought and consideration, I have finally settled on the following 10 things (please note: this list is subject to change without notice.):

Disclaimer: This list is not necessarily in order of importance.

1. Constantly improving
2. Generous
3. Funny
4. Financially Stable
5. Has an active relationship with God
6. Loves kids (and preferably has some of his own, like maybe 3:)
7. Likes to travel
8. Physically Attractive
9. Romantic
10. Likes doing “manly” stuff (ex. Washing a car, cutting grass, etc.)

So, now that I’m armed with my list I feel like I can actually assess whether someone is what I’m looking for and not get distracted by physical attributes since that’s only 10 % of my list. What’s on your top 10 list?

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Life Pie

Since the most romantic holiday is found in February, I've decided to spend this month focusing on love and relationships.

Recently, I met an amazing man who is constantly on my mind. So much so that it takes a deliberate effort to not write blog post solely about him and how he makes me feel. He and I have debated about this topic because he feels like love and relationship posts are more interesting. My argument is that while I am sooooo enjoying this season with him, he is not my entire existence. I still have myself , my children, my friends, my church, work and a whole host of other things that bring me enjoyment. I am hesitant to have my post focus primarily on my relationship with him because in the big picture it should not consume me. It should really only constitute a slice of my Life Pie, not be the entire pie. What do you think, how much of your Life Pie do you devote to romantic relationships?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letter to My Man-Friend

Hi Sweetie,

I’m sad to say that things aren’t all peaches and cream. Instead they seem to be a lil …ummm, sweet and sour. To be honest, I just don’t feel like a priority. It almost seems like I’m an afterthought. Lately, your schedule has been quite busy with man time activities (i.e. hanging out with your boyz). Now don’t get me wrong, I would never want to discourage male-bonding time but dag can a sister get a little quality time. I mean every time I try to do something with you, you’re like “Sorry, I had told Craig and ‘em that I would chill with dem. Sorry, see ya when I see ya.” I do hope that this is just a bump and not a pot-hole on our journey. I really am confident that you will become better at balancing Craig and ‘em , and me. Have a wonderful day and I guess I’ll see ya when I see ya.

Until Later…

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I want to be THAT ONE!!!

OMG….can you believe that the day has come!!!!! We are days away from watching the First Black President being sworn into office. For many of us, we never thought we would see the day or we thought we would be much older. Isn’t it great to be a part of history? Now, we can tell our kids and grandkids that we voted in one of the most historic elections of our nation’s time. I waited in line over 4 hours to cast my vote and while I was waiting I realized that the crowds were all there because of one man. Everyone was there to either vote for Barack Obama or against him. It made me think of how one person really can make a difference. It also made me think what can I do to make this world better. We all know that there are countless social ills plaguing our world and we don’t have the time or resources to effectively address/solve all of them. But what if we each made a pact and pledged to focus our energies on just one. Wow, think of how much positive change could occur. I challenge you to be THAT ONE…who makes a positive difference this year in the world, in your neighborhood, in your home, in your life. What positive difference would you like to make in 2009?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Dreams/Goals Collage

After seeing Single Mom Seeking’s collage, I was inspired to finally create a dreams/goals collage of my own. A girl at my church shared her dream poster a few months ago and I absolutely LOVED it. I, of course, vowed to make one and never got around to it. So what better time than the new year to get caught up on projects. This past weekend, I got out all my old magazines (this consisted of 2 magazines because since I’m always decluttering I don’t keep magazines after I’m finished reading them.)

Armed with cardstock, scissors, and glue I was ready to get to work and 2 hours later I had my wonderful masterpiece completed.

2009 Dream / Goals

1. Become closer to God
2. Eat better
3. Save $3,000
4. No new debt
5. Maintain/sustain a loving a relationship with my man-friend
6. Enroll my son in baseball
7. Create multiple streams of income
8. See/help lil' cousin graduate from high school
9. Assist lil'cousin as she enters college
10. Lose 15 lbs.

Do you write down your goals and if so, do you really think it helps you accomplish them?

I Love a Full Plate

As if I don't already have enough things on my plate, I just couldn't help add one more thing. So my latest endeavor is contributing to a blog titled 52 books in 52 weeks. As a contributor, I have agreed to read a book each week and then post a review. Now, I absolutely LOVE to read but what was I thinking when I signed up for this? To be honest, I didn't really think I would get picked to be a contributor. But since I'm a woman of my word, I am committed to completing my obligation. What have you committed to completing in 2009?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't Force It

Ouch…is all I can say about a recent encounter at work. I absolutely love to read. So as I was walking past someone’s office I noticed a book I had heard great reviews about. I peeped my head into this person’s office and asked,"Have you read that book pointing to the book?”, I should I have known that things were quickly going downhill when the person didn’t turn around upon hearing my question. But hey…I kept going and asked if possible could I borrow the book? I could immediately since the tension my question created and quickly said, “Oh is it special to you. No problem, I check out books from the library all the time. Don’t worry about it. I can definitely find it at the library.”

Office Mate: Oh, it’s just that whenever I’ve loaned out my books, I don’t get them back.

Me: Oh, I totally understand (even though, I really don’t. I just wanted this whole awkward situation to end as soon as possible.)

Office Mate: You can borrow it if you can find me another book to serve as a bookend.

Me: No, that’s okay. I can definitely find it at the library. Have a good day.

What I’ve Learned from this encounter……
This situation could have totally been avoided if I had kept my mouth shut.

Keep it short and sweet at work and don’t force interactions.

Has this ever happened to you…you’ve tried to be too friendly to someone at work?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 New Year's Spirit Award

Thanks to KGW at Joan of all trades, I have been tagged as a recipient of the 2009 New Year's Spirit Award! At first, I was a little hesitant in accepting this award because I knew it would require me to post on a day other than a Sunday but hey it's a new year so I'm working on being a tad bit more flexible.

Here are the rules for accepting the award:
1. You must be a true lover of the New Year to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with the New Year.

2. List 5 things that you love about the New Year. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space.

3. Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you! But keep the New Year cheer going.

4. Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving a comment on their site. Also, link back to the person who gave you the award.

5 Things that I love about 2009:
(1) It's the start of something new so it gives me 12 months
to improve.
(2) I will turn 35 this year. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(3) I am blessed to have a wonderful son, a great man, and
fantastic friends.
(4) I am one year closer to working part-time.
(5) I am officially a blogger.

Now that I have officially accepted the award, it's time to pass it on to the next victim, oops, I meant honoree.

My 2009 New Year's Spirit Award goes to........R.J.

and KGW

Friday, January 2, 2009

Being a Team Player

okay...i have been tagged and now i have to post a picture of what i look like right now. since, the eyes are the windows to the soul, i thought it only fitting to post a pic of my eyes.

sorry, christie, i didn't follow directions completely. hopefully, i'll get some cool points anyway.