Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Artist

The Artist

Lainey, my six year old is an artist. She loves drawing, painting, coloring and making crafts. And she’s always been that way. I could say she gets it  from Eric and me, who both like to draw, but she really seems to have a love of creating that we cannot touch.

About a year ago, if you would ask Lainey what she wants to be when she grows up, she’d say an artist and an illustrator. But now she just says, “an illustrator, I’m already an artist.” Go on girl! I love her confidence. She’s spunky, but quite right. She really is an artist just because she says so and Lainey won’t hear anyone trying to tell her different.  Believe me, we never tried.  Instead we do all we can to make sure she has ample supplies. Then we comment positively on her work and encourage her to keep learning.

Recently, we took it a step further and signed her up for an art class. She absolutely loves it! I get so much joy from her excitement about class. Nurturing this early identification of a passion is exactly what I’m trying to do. As soon as I can I’ll enroll my other two children in whatever makes them happy. But I’m not ever going to force them to do something like this; I want them to know I support them and I understand how it feels.

Seeing Lainey progress isn’t the only benefit. Sometimes, she invites me to join her. At first I tried to hold back, but Lainey said, “Aww, Mommy. You know folding those clothes is going to be bor-or-ring! Come paint with me and see how good it feels.” So I took her up on it one day and she was right! I love stroking the brushes on canvas and mixing colors! Very theraputic.  Now I’m clipping coupons and heading to the craft store to get more canvas, which is suprisingly cheap. 

  I’ll leave you with a piece that I painted at our last session. The kids told me what to draw. Our palette consists of black, red, yellow, white, royal blue, aqua and dark green. Lainey is great at combining colors and she instructed me on how to make brown and then, at my request, she mixed red and white to create the perfect pink. Lainey, Lauren and Orion all painted the background. It was awesome!



April Flowers Foreword

April Flowers Foreword

gardenThis is a story about forgiveness. Forgiving other people that hurt you is really hard but forgiving yourself is 100 million times harder. Does it make it easier to forgive someone if you don’t really know them or have a deep relationship with them? I think it does. Because you expect the people closest to you to understand, to know what’s okay and what’s not okay. And sometimes those people know and sometimes they don’t. At times they deliberately do things and they don’t care how it affects your life. Still letting go of how they hurt you is not always easy. It is true that you cannot erase your brain, so you may never forget what was done to you. But somehow you have to learn to say to the one that wronged you, “I will pardon you. I will let it go just because you deserve to be pardoned and I cannot grow with this heavy weight on my heart.” You must even say it while gazing in the mirror. And if you don’t appear as a child to your own self—if you don’t admit that you didn’t know what was right for yourself and that you are not perfect, that only God is perfect, then you will not enjoy a day of your life. And that would be a shame. I’m writing to help you release whatever is holding you down and find your way to God. Let Him heal you with a power so refreshing and amazing that you won’t believe the joy though you live it. This story is entitled April Flowers. April flowers after a harsh and dreadful winter. Beautiful, April flowers despite the snow covered ground and bone-chilling air. Spring returned and with flowers. Their colors…brilliant. What was once frosty and gray is lush and warm again. Rebirth and renewal are yours!




100_0997_2I’m not going to kid myself since I already know the truth. Most people don’t keep resolutions. Only, that has nothing to do with my ability to list mine here for whosoever wishes to check them. You can ask questions about them and hold me accountable as well.  It’s fine. I absolutely revel in each moment I have to consciously reevaluate my life.  Be it birthdays or new years, or any old time.  I do it when I’m in crisis too.  So with me constantly checking myself I should be better off, right? Well just like you, I’m striving.  Sometimes I can be a mess.  Just a jumble of emotional plans and promises to self that I don’t even know how to keep.  And everytime I say this is it!  This time I’m really doing X.  Then Y comes along and I use it for an excuse to get sidetracked.  But you know what? I don’t even care.  I’m human.  I’m not going to let myself off the hook for goals I let slide, but being too tough and unforgiving of myself is gone with 2009. So now that I’ve said my speech, here are my official resolutions for the year 2010:

1. Work daily on April Flowers. If not that, then I have a list of other stories or poetry to choose from. I would like to produce a draft of the book by December.

2.Always keep something in the mail. That means I will have submitted an article or query to some magazine and am awaiting their yea or nay on my work.

3. Cut down on internet time.  Other than blogging and checking email, I could do less goofing off on the computer.

4. Be active daily. Whether it’s a work out video or just a walk outside, I will find a way to move my body!

5. Plan meals ahead and cook with fresher ingredients. This helps control the grocery bill too.

6. Eat more organic foods. Although more expensive, I can cut some fatty snacks in exchange.

7. Take a bath a least once per week. A good soak is always in order.

8. Go on more dates with my honey. The two of us are having so much fun. It works wonders for our marriage.

9. Take more writing classes and hopefully, finally get a web design class.

10. Find more fun projects and outings for the kids.

11. Continue to declutter the house.  Already, there’s more space in the house from our December cleanup. I’m loving it.

12. Spend less.

13. Recognize, uplift, and glorify God everyday; for he is worthy.

Christmas Prep

Christmas Prep

Yummy Reindeer

I spent last night cleaning out the storage closet where we keep the kids’ gifts.  Eric had warned me a few weeks ago that he didn’t want to be up til 3am this Christmas Eve, trying to get things ready.  I totally agree with him. So I swung into action.  If anything, come December 24 I’m planning to relax around the tree —Kaluha mudslide in hand. I’ll hang out near the warm air vent and sip until the Christmas tree lights are just a blur.  Hope I don’t pass out down there. The kids will surely trample me the next morning as they race for their toys. 

It’s been a while since we had a nice drink on Christmas Eve.  I can’t wait until the children are nestled into their beds.  It’s going to be magical…just like I remember from my own childhood.  The difference of coures is that they’ve been told that Santa is only pretend and we receive gifts because we are blessed.  It has gotten so good that they can repeat things like, “Yes, God had blessed our home.”  Then the little one runs over to the Nativity scene and shouts, “Thank you, baby Jesus!”  “Yes! Thank you!” the girls chime in.  It’s surreal  and hysterically funny.  I can only pray they feel it in their hearts.  But for now I’ll take the recited words they speak around the breakfast table.  Top notch performers, they are.  Nothing’s to hard to do when they beleive it’ll make presents appear.

Now that everything is wrapped and I’ve, uh, verified that we have no duplicate purchases— see, I have to do that because of the generosity from family members who simply must send our little ones boxes upon boxes of Christmas goodies. So a couple things Eric and I bought will go back, but it’s cool.  I encouraged the kids to ask for only 3 things each and I stuck to the budget.  No matter how tight I am it seems there’s always too much stuff.  At any rate it’s all wrapped and the things that we are laying out are already separated.  We only have to put together one baby doll crib and remove all the twisties from the Bat Cave.  I’ve also packaged everything that anyone sent unwrapped and put on labels so the kids can search for their names.  It’s organized ahead of time and I can’t believe I did it!  Yay!

On the flip side, Eric didn’t help because he said I slept longer while he went to work.  For the first time in the 4 1/2 years since I’ve been at home with the kids, I sensed a little animosity in his voice as he kissed me and went off to bed. I mocked him, because he really has no clue what it feels like to get up at 5:45 in the morning and then get all the kids up at 6:30am, two of which you must physically drag out of bed.  Then cook, feed and clothe all three just in time for a chilly 7:30 am departure.  No, Eric hasn’t manuevered on a parking lot that was a complete sheet of ice, with other cars going to and fro while simultaneously explaining why it’s not a good time to try ice-skating; yet still manage to get children ages 3, 4, and 5 into the building without incident.  And he’s certainly never had to do that same task while safely transporting a set of 24 meticulously decorated reindeer cupcakes for the 5 year old’s  in school birthday party, only to reach the front office and while signing in have the 3- year- old unlatch the cupcake holder in midair and just barely miss dropping them all on the floor.  I rolled my eyes and shook my fist at Eric, cuz I work hard with our children and I deserve a little rest whenever I can get it. 

So with no malice in my heart, I finished it all by my lonesome. Now the task is to clean up in here so that it is spic and span before Christmas.  I also must go the the grocery store and then try to find a playground with less than a foot of snow so the kids can expend some energy.  They cried and screamed for help out in the nearly two feet of white stuff in the backyard. Plus the sled wouldn’t go.  Too much snow.  I guess they thought they were drowning or something.  Oh well.  I better make haste.  Is my cape on straight?  Up, up, and away!!!! If there was a Santa, he’d have nothing on me. 😛 !

Get On With It

Get On With It

I had a great time in church yesterday!  The children were well behaved thanks in part to the illustrated children’s bibles I purchased last week. I was able to take in a message from God instead of fighting to keep them quiet.  Besides the message, it was good to be in the house of the Lord and give him thanks for all his blessings.  My soul was happy and it showed.

The “get on with it” message followed a series the pastor has been on about spiritual gifts.  The message says basically, now that God has given you the gift, what are you waiting for? Use it to his glory and use it now!  Right now! I felt like Pastor was talking directly to me.  But I knew I wasn’t the only one.  So, I’ll say it just like I said it yesterday.  “Get on with that gift!”  There’s no reason to sit on your hiny twittling your thumbs and pining away for the opportunity to utilize your gift.  It’s burning inside you right now.  You are overjoyed when you are working within it’s realm and it seems you can never tire of doing this thing, whatever it is.  So God is giving you permission to go forth, immediately.  Create your own opportunity and reason to perform this talent that God has blessed you with.  Everyone of us has been blessed with something.  Take your gift and move forward!

I’m taking mine.  Next week school starts for Lainey and the two little ones start preschool the following week.  I’m beyond excited.  They can’t wait to experience all the fun and learning that comes with school and I neither can I. I’d be lying if I said 6 hours of quiet, uninterrupted writing time isn’t at the forefront of my mind.  I almost feel like buying some “work” clothes; I’m so siked.  Best believe I’ll be blogging to report my progress.  I invite you to share your story too.  I’d love to hear from you.

Abstract Manifestation

Abstract Manifestation

What I feel is real.  And there ain’t no mistaking it. 

I’ve tried to blink and get back to normal but I can’t fight the burning in my soul. 

I want to say EVERYTHING, yet leave the world never knowing the best of it. 

Some, I want to share.  Oh but how do I do it right? 

When he speaks to me I want to pour it out on paper —or blog with naked words. But I don’t. 

I swear it’s real, but how can I prove it without dying? 

I’m not waiting for that.  I go on faith. 

He gave the gift to me and I can’t tell nobody how. 

How does he do anything he wants to do?  Well, he just does. 

In some way he will amaze you and right now for me…  this is the thing. 

Well, the next thing, since it’s not my first time witnessing his power. 

I ask, “Lord…are you sure?”  He laughs at me. 

And then I remember the first day he whispered it in my ear, clear as day. 

I was 8 years old.  Before I had ever journaled or wrote my first story. 

I just knew when Mrs. Andrews asked me.  I could only know if he told me.

The paper was titled My Ambition.  And that dream never died.

Even though I traded it for money. Supressed it unnaturally.

It was unrelenting. 

And now it is free.  I am free. 

A part of me wants to know the plan.  Most of me is content to blindly go. 

He does this all so easily.  I am not afraid. 

It is real and I feel it down in my soul.

Hey Mama

Hey Mama

I talked to your children today. And I did just what you told me to do. I never realized just how hard you had it, especially as a young, single mother. But now I know your trials. I’m sorry for any time that we didn’t listen or obey. (I bet you’re smiling). You see your son called me this morning because he was thinking about you today. And so was I.  Your birthday was always a sweet day for me, especially as a child.  I adored you and was intrigued by everything you did and everything you loved.  I just wanted to know how you came to be my mother.   But anyhow, I was doing okay today and I didn’t want to call Meek and cause her to be upset, if she wasn’t. So I worked instead. Your little one said he would try to stay out of trouble today and I told him you’d like that very much. I know you would because I’ve been in your shoes for a long time now. I really miss seeing you and talking to you. Can’t believe you’re not here with us. Have I been doing a good job with your children? I try to make sure I tend to them as best I can.  I know you said this was my job. One day I knew you would say it and that it would be my duty not to let you down.  And even though it’s not in the capacity that I thought it’d be, I mean you aren’t physically here to check on me.  I am mothering them in my heart because you would have wanted me to.

I don’t have all the spunk you possessed as a mother…as a woman. (Probably no one in the world will ever have that much spunk!) Still there are times when I chastise my little ones and I hear your voice come out of my mouth. Plain as day. Amazing! I understand some of what you felt then.

Overall, right now… I’m not sad. You suffered so much pain, that had nothing to do with breast cancer. A part of me wanted revenge on each and everyone that ever wronged you. But in the end, you would not have allowed me to do that. And I know it ain’t right. So I let it go, but still I laugh out loud at the ones you paid back before leaving. That’s probably wrong too, I know. So, I guess I just wanted to say… that I think of you often and I love when you come visit me during my dreams. I know it’s really real, but that can be our secret. God is so good. I like when you stop by with just a passing word too. BTW, what do you think of Lauren? She’s just too much like you! Anyway, I’m serious about this art of writing. Thank you so much for all the meaningful works you penned which gave me the passion that I now have.   I know you took me to college that day thinking I would come out an engineer.  How tickled you must be to see that I’m a writer too.

I hope you will enjoy wherever the words take me. Just know that I am also taking you wherever I go. Mama, I love, love, love you. (As my babies would say). Now I am totally in tune with what they feel when they say it. And yes, I make them hot with sometimes. (Smile). But all the good mamas do. And I know we gave you flack for not always stepping up when you should have. You let Nana do the really hard parts. Well I’m not gon’ say it was always okay. But I can understand.  There was never any love lost between us. Ever for any reason.  You left this earth with us totally instep and seeing far beyond the pettiness of human emotion.  Thanks for that last lesson, Mama.  I promise to share it with everyone. 

Until next time,


Daydreaming and I’m Thinking of You

Daydreaming and I’m Thinking of You

Strong overtones of incense fill the air, as I climb the stairs leading to our bedroom.  I inhale and simultaneously close my eyes while fresh images of the two of us unfold.  Remnants of a jazz melody plays loudly as I pass through our room; the iridescent comforter lays crumpled atop cotton sheets.  My mind switches to the bath tub.  Candles are put out now and there are no more bubbles floating softly on water.  Something catches my eye, so I lean closer to focus on glittery gold stars on the bottom of the tub. A clue left behind for young minds to ponder.

We locked our bedroom door last night and for a spell, I completely forgot we even had the three of them who were soundly asleep in their beds.  We both laughed at the thought of that.  Yet upon remembering our children — our family— a deeper connection was made.

Spontaneity has been our friend in this marriage. Our rendevous was romantic and totally unplanned.   There are no places or times that are off limits to us and this we’ve learned more so since having the kids.  So in a way they help us.  If not simply by supplying enough stress and tension that only the two of us can understand and then have cause to passionately coax away. 

It had totally been a tough week.  But not a rotten one.  We’d both logged too many work hours without all the work getting done.  Nobody cuts you any slack, especially not our three tenants.  We have to work around all the craziness of the world to find each other and reconnect in our own sanctuary.  It is very necessary.  Totally inevitable.  Completely satisfying.  Angelical bliss. 

The helter-skelter, the chaos…the mayhem, if you will, that is our life is not brought to an end by a fiery Friday night.  For he is gone.  Studying.  And I should be cleaning the house and washing the kids hair today.  And of course I will. Outside time is mandatory on a day so beautiful, no question about it.  Though I still have pending business to handle and an article to write.  But as I go about all I’m to do, I secretly long for him.  One night is not and could never be enough time to spend with my soul mate.  I’m speaking of the one God sent to me, stuck me with and made it so I couldn’t leave although I may have tried to once or twice ;).  And well, if you haven’t found yours yet.  Wait.  God is kind. 

Now I see us under a gazebo in Hawaii.  Aqua green ocean in the background; the scent of seawater in our noses.  Cool, gritty sand oozes between our toes as some unknown minster presides. The wind gently blows the flowers in my hair.  He’s as handsome as ever in an all white tux, with a smooth matching hat cocked to the side.  We say I do and smile. I pull his tie as he dips me in a heavenly kiss…renewing our vows.

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty
Enjoy you!

Enjoy you!

Last August I cut my hair and went natural –again.  But this time there’s no going back.  I’m experimenting with it and trying to find a few styles I like.  And of course something that’s also versatile.  Going natural doesn’t mean you get to do nothing, you know.  Hair needs love and attention.  It needs be cleasned, moisturized and adorned.  Click the link below to see what I mean.  Many props to Leshia for these beautiful pictures and her site’s wonderful allure.  Which style do you like best?

Work it!

Work it!

Ahh, a return to fitness.  Here I go, on a serious mission —again.  Wait, it’s not how it sounds.  There has been some success.  With the help of my wonderful support team and partners in the same boat (sup Kim and Meek!), I have been able to make remarkable changes to my diet that have actually stuck.   I call these “life changes” cuz I’m not going back. I’ll give you an example:  I used to eat the six Oreo cookies at once for a little treat.  Now I’m down to two and maybe three if I’m splurging.  I’ve been eating no more than this amount for 2 years.  One way is by not buying the Oreos in the first place.  Cause let’s be truthful, I can’t really say no when they’re looking at me everyday.  “Eat me, Polly. (They never say, Onjeinika)  “Eat me. You don’t want me to go stale,” they sob.  So I fessed up and quit bringing them home.  But Eric, well that’s a different story. He brings them in as a challenge for me, I guess.  I pass the test everytime, but it’s not easy.  I always say, “What is he doing?” when I see the cookies on the counter.  I shake my head in near defeat as I search the nutrition facts for something new.  No luck.

I also cut down the number of Saturday morning pancakes I was consuming and on top of that I switched to 33% less fat bacon.  The switch happened accidentally after E brought home the wrong bacon, but it has worked in our favor ever since.  Nowadays, I’m full off of less food and healthier choices.  Another change to my diet was switching to whole wheat breads and finally getting rid of the sugary cereals I grew up eating.  I actually tried a small bowl of my beloved Cinnamon Toast Crunch just for kicks. I couldn’t eat more than two bites.  It was just too sweet.  Isn’t this wonderful? Life changes really work.

I’m just reviewing the changes I’ve made so far in order to convince myself that I can do a similar thing with exercise.  I need to get back to working out 5 days per week and I’d really benefit from 6 days.  Right now I’m stuck on 3 days and that’s only enough to maintain the cushy body I have now.  I want lean.  Yes, that’s right.  Lean.  So I’m saying I- DE-CLARE- WAR! I’ve gotta do this for me or deal with the reprecussions, of which I am well aware.   Heart disease, higher risk of breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, hpertension, fatigue, depression…the list goes on and on.  I look at myself and I really would like a change. I see room for improvement. So here I go again.  Trying to add to what I started just over 2 years ago.  My mantra? God says it’s mine in ’09. 

See you at the weigh in.  Any health aspects you’d like to evaluate? Holla at a sista.