Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Little Tyke Tuesday} He Loves Her Anyway... - Role Reversal

This past weekend, I went to the Beauty Salon to get my hair done. I know, right? I don't seem the type. Well, I'm not... It is not and never has been my thing but I needed some professional advice! For the last, past six months or son; my hair has been falling out! I've lost no less than 15 locs and I couldn't figure out why! Turns out (just as I thought) it was stress that was causing the hair loss. 

I was elated to have an answer, and, surprisingly, elated to spend the Benjamin I spent on getting an answer whilst getting my hair done. 

While I was there; my daughter was with my Grandmother. It was cool; she's never spent more than a few minutes with her without me being present. I just KNEW she was going to flip out. 

She didn't. 

I was glad. 

Her Dad and I had just gotten through a tumultuous week and I was grateful for the reprieve. I didn't want to take her to the salon with me, even though she was bound to be the topic of conversation.

Once I got home and I was alone, I text my boo and told him what was the what. He wanted a pic of my freshly done do and an update on Shey. 

Yes... I love that man. One of the biggest reasons is because he loves my Boonchie.

My standards aren't super high or, overly complicated... I want a man who loves me (as I am), who's a Christian and who has something to offer.

Thank God my man has all of that and then some. 

He's met Shey  and they love, love LOVE each other!

She tells me (daily) how much she misses him, how much she loves him. 

I couldn't be more grateful. 

But! In truth; a part of me feels like I'm cheating him (and me) by giving him his (first) child by way of my second child. More so; I'm just grateful that he didn't discriminate and exclude me from the running because of my daughter. 

My Babe is the one who hipped me to Joe Budden. Because of that: I'm a fan through and through. But! I'm more appreciative that (I feel) he feels that way about my daughter deep down.


Joe Budden - Role Reversal 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{Little Tyke Tuesday} Isn't She Lovely...

Asheley (A-sha-lay)- Easter 2011

Because I've always been (and still am, to a point) such a tomboy, I always thought I'd have a son. But somehow, I ended up with the prissiest of all girly girls, ever! I'm talking feather boas, tiaras, scepters, high heeled shoes, pink everything, if-there-isn't-glitter-on-it-you-can-keep-it, girly girl. This is my Boonchie (as I call her). The subject of many rants and many more laughs. This kid is unbelievable! 

When she was born, the most frightening/empowering feeling came over me. When I pushed her out, they laid her on my stomach, and she looked up at me with her mouth open, not crying, it sounded like she was trying to clear her throat. I looked at her and smiled. "Hi baby." I knew then and there that I would willingly die or kill for her. Without hesitation or reservation, I would lay down my own life, or take the life of another to protect her. It is a feeling stronger than any other that I have felt before or since.  

Parenthood is many things. Among them; an emotional roller coaster, insightful, painful and full of learning experiences. My daughter has taught me a lot about myself. And unknowingly given me the courage to do things I never would have imagined possible.

Because of her; my life is harder, but, better. Those days where the world attacks and has me wanting to retreat, I remember that there's someone that I have to train up to be strong enough to fight for herself one day and it motivates me to push through.

Being a Mom is tough. It sucks a lot of the time because it's hard to know if you're even doing it right. But I rest assured in knowing that everything I do comes from a place of love. I do not wish to vindicate myself through her or to live vicariously. My only hope is to raise a Virtuous, God serving woman who will do the same with her descendants. 

Stevie Wonder - 'Isn't She Lovely'

Saturday, June 18, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} Xing out the Ex.

I'm not friends with any of the men I used to date and that is not by accident. I think it's bad business to maintain ties with people you used to crush on, lust for, or sleep with. I mean, what's the point? They're an ex for a reason. Once I've moved on from a man that I'm seeing, I make it a point to get rid of all evidence of them. (All pictures, trinkets and social media ties included) I go so far as to save their number in my phone but I delete the name and replace it with random symbols.

Now, this advice isn't really applicable if you were in a long term relationship with someone because maybe you memorized the number or because it would be the only number in your phone that has symbols instead of numbers but if you're just dating or talking to a guy; and you've had your number for a while; it works well.

The only legitimate reason, I feel, that you should maintain ties with an ex is if you have a child in common. Ironically, the people that we share children with tend to be the people with whom we have the most tumultuous relationships (at least, that has been my experience). I don't know what it is about divorce that causes such bitterness and disdain between two people who once promised "to love, honor and obey... for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part [I do]". Perhaps it's the intensity of that commitment and subsequent reneging on the vow that causes the strife. I would argue that because they are an ex (and as such, all ties should be severed) that maintaining contact (albeit for a worthy reason) is the source of the strain.

Months after leaving my now ex husband, I started seeing a guy that I thought I would marry. He was perfect! 

I met him at work, doing security. He was a great guy. He and I talked all the time about relationships and love. It was harmless because I was married (and committed) and he was in a committed relationship with a woman that he planned to marry. Even back then, I didn't believe that men and women can be just friends but that's really what he and I were; friends.

While working the security job; I discovered that I was pregnant. Word trickled down to my co-workers and I soon learned that chivalry is not dead. This guy; lets call him Harry, worked the midnight shift, 10-6. I worked 6-2. My duties began at 8:00; opening the dock doors that led into the building for shipping and receiving and a building tour to unlock the rest of the doors. Harry would carry my bags from the parking office where I relieved him to the dock office then sit and talk with me until 8:00 so that he could open the dock and other building doors. Once complete, Harry would usually stay for another hour or so chatting with me before heading home to change clothes for his day job.

I remember thinking back then how much I respected his hustle. He worked 40 hours a week at a job that paid the bills and worked a second job in the industry that he hoped to one day break into; real estate.
Meanwhile, on the way to work, I was leaving a house where my husband slept until I got home, calling himself a business owner in spite of knowing that his "businesses" had only cost us money.

Naturally, when things ended between Paul and I; Harry was in the forefront of my mind as a prospect for someone to date. He had long since left the security company and taken a job at the bank that I patronized. He and his girl were on the outs and before long, he and I were together everyday. Going on dates, meeting one another's family; the whole nine. We talked about our future together, about the company we would start, about moving to Chicago.I was falling for this dude. He respected my decision to be celibate so our relationship was completely PG. I was on cloud 9. I felt like I was getting my comeuppance. I had put so much into a doomed marriage that God was answering my prayers.

Then, reality hit.

We took a trip to Chicago for Valentines Day. I booked a room (double beds) and we mapped out a weekend of shopping, food tasting, relaxing, and, hanging out with my brother.

We got to the room late and didn't settle in until 4am EST. I had been up almost 24 hours and passed out on the comfy bed within minutes. I was awakened by him talking on the phone. To a woman. He was just calling to let her know that we made it there safe and apologizing for being 'out of it' the night before. I was incredulous. I got up, went to the bathroom and sobbed. I took a long shower, trying to give him time to finish up his conversation but after 20+ minutes; he still wasn't done.

I laid back down, anxious and heart racing, still crying into my pillow. He eventually got off the phone but ended up texting for the next hour or so. The next morning, I got up and conveyed my disdain as to what had happened the night before.

What came out was that he "didn't even like me like that". He tried to make me feel as if I was misconstruing what had been going on. I searched my mind, our conversations and everything that we had said to one another to see if that was possible.

I wasn't crazy. He had been leading me on. Saying just enough to give me hope, but not enough to tie himself down. I would later learn that he was dating a woman who lived about an hour from Detroit. He'd met her online and she knew who I was. He'd had her convinced that he and I were business partners; that I liked him but that there was no interest on his part because I was still, in fact, married (I was but had been separated coming up on a year).

To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. I felt like a fool. All the while I was thinking that we were establishing a foundation for a future together, and he had a long distance girlfriend right under my nose.

When we got back to Detroit, I ended things. I deleted his number from my phone, blocked his emails, changed my main email address and deleted my profiles from the social networking sites we were on together.

About four months went by before I heard from him again. In a strange twist of whatever, he showed up at my house unannounced just hours after the man I broke my celibacy vow with had gone about his day. He sat across from me with no reason as to his being there. He talked about everything except what still haunted me; why he behaved the way he did.

His phone rang and he scurried to leave, asking me for me number since he'd given his old phone to his little sister. (Meaning his girlfriend added him to her phone plan).

After months of games; him texting me from a number I didn't recognize, flirting incessantly with me, and showing up at my church I began to take him seriously when he said that he wanted to try again. So, I pulled his card; I gave him an ultimatum. Having walked away from the aforementioned 'relationship', I wasn't going to settle for anything less than what I was looking for; a committed, celibate relationship that would lead to marriage.

I explained to him that there was no way that I was going to invest the kind of energy and time into him as I had done before without commitment. He seemed oblivious to why it was such a big deal. He didn't understand why we couldn't be friends and "just see what would happen." He had such an inflated sense of self that he called himself "the King". In his eyes, other men were inferior to him in all respects and to turn down this opportunity would be MY loss.

I politely explained to Harry that I was looking for something permanent and that merely having him around meant that I was taking my energy away from that effort. When it was all said and done, he wanted to know if we were still going to do business together. (He was still trying to find an angle into the real estate business and my best friend's company has a direct line into cash properties. He knew that by severing ties with me that any prospects of that connect would leave with me.) "No chance." I told him. And I meant it. I unfriended him on facebook, symboled his number on my phone and activated a feature that allows me to shoot that caller directly to voice mail when they call.

It's over a year since all that went down. He's tried calling from other numbers. I know this because he'll always call asking for my business (I've long since gotten a dedicated number for the business) and, upon Sly Dialing him, it's his voice mail.

I'm glad that I ended things with the finality that I did with him for a number of reasons but the biggest one being that I had to be sure that I was completely available, not just in my relationship status, but emotionally when the man of my dreams found me. It hurt, it wasn't easy. And yes, I cried. But it was totally worth it.

"Best Thing I Never Had" - Beyonce 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Throwing Down Thursdays} Shrimp Alfredo - Quick and Amazing!

I make this dish a lot. It's quick, delicious and very easy to make. I prefer to make it with frozen, raw shrimp that I've thawed in the fridge overnight. Once the sauce is 95% done, I toss the shrimp in and cook it all together pouring it all over whole wheat, angel hair pasta.
It's a fan favorite; my daughter loves it and I could O.D. on the stuff. 
You can substitute sweet butter with regular butter just add two tsp of white sugar. Also, garlic powder can be used (1/4 tsp per clove) but it's much better with the actual cloves. I like the minced garlic because pressing garlic just leaves you with stinky fingers. 

Better Than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

This is the best Alfredo sauce ever. This is several recipes combined into one. You can also add your choice of meat (chicken, shrimp or even crab).

Yield: 6 , Total Time: 25 minutes

Cuisine: Italian   Main Ingredient: Cream


1/2 cupsweet butter
2 clovesgarlic; minced
2 cupsheavy cream
1/4 teaspoonwhite pepper
1 cupgrated parmesan cheese
3/4 cupmozzarella cheese

       1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium/low heat.

2. Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer.
3. Stir often.
4. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth.
5. When sauce has thickened add the Mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth. STIR FREQUENTLY.
6. Enjoy over pasta or with warm bread sticks.

Give it a try friends! I know you'll love it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{Working Out Wednesday} - I'm like a Marine with it...

Remember the old saying "We do more before 6am than most people do all day."?

I'm not sure if it was the Army or the Marines but I remember that slogan from back in the day. Every morning, when my alarm goes off at 3/4am that's easily the first thing that pops into my head. This morning, I had a ton of stuff to do before going into the office at 7. I got 85% of it done, even making breakfast before rushing out at 5:30 to begin my commute.

With a cup of coffee in hand, I felt grrrreat! I got in a full body weight workout, gathered and printed all of my receipts for my monthly expense report, ironed my clothes, showered and assembled my (fruit) snacks for the day. I told y'all, I'm going IN! I'm starting to notice a slight difference in the way that my uniforms are fitting and in the level of energy I'm feeling.

It's hard not to put a timeline on how much I'd like to weigh by when, what size I'd like to be and blah blah blah. But the truth is, and what I have to keep telling myself, is that I did not get this way overnight and I should not expect it to go away overnight. All that I have control over is maintaining my momentum and being cognizant of what, how and why I am eating.

For a long time, arguably most of my life, I was an emotional eater. I ate when I was happy, mad, sad, depressed, bored, awake, sleepy, had the munchies, was offered or smelled it. Now, I make it a point to remind myself that I do not eat out of boredom or comfort but for nutrition and energy. Because I am drawn to greasy food (not cakes, pies, candy, sweets or (soda) pop) driving for a living presents challenges by way of (just about any) fast food  restaurants.

In order to preempt any cravings I may have; I leave my debit card at home and make it a point to pack my lunch. But inevitably, there are those couple days a week where I neglect to pack my lunch in which case I tell myself that I'm allowed take out for lunch, but only something comparable to what I would have packed for myself. So Jimmy John's, Subway or Quiznos typically wins out.

The biggest challenge for me is just to maintain my workout regimen. What's amazing to me is that some days, especially during those early morning workouts, I'm reluctant to get up and go for it, but I always feel better while I'm doing it and especially after. A good workout first thing in the morning is better than a cup of coffee. (But I'll take the coffee too, thanks!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

{Celibacy Sunday} 18 months! (...and counting)

"This here celibacy thing.... LAWD it's got something over me. Like an addict, I could really use a thing....
You know what I'm talking about."

 - Jill Scott 'Celibacy Thing'

When I left my ex husband, I decided to be celibate until I remarried. Having been married and having experienced sex in the way that I believe God intended us to experience it; having it any other way, to me, lacked value. And, it always left me feeling dirty and guilty afterward. 

Less than a year after making that vow, I grew weary of my commitment and made a conscious decision to enter a sexual relationship with someone who I wasn't even that fond of. I told myself that because I didn't like him like him, that he could be my jump-off and that would be all there was to it. Needless to say, that was not the case. 

After our first encounter, I was sprung. I tried telling myself that it was because of the way he made me feel, not about how I felt about him, but it didn't work. I was torn and my vision was clouded. This man was not husband material, not even boyfriend material. Yet here I was, giving him the best of me; the part of me that God had intended for me to share only with my husband. 

It was like I was in college all over again. Being with him (he was five years my junior) reminded me of the carefree times I had before being married, becoming a mommy and having responsibilities that wouldn't go away. 

The entire time that this was going on; I was tormented. Literally tormented. I found myself crying out to God to help me to get away from the situation. My mind and heart were working against my flesh, to get me away from him. 

I had a talk with myself and I asked myself some very tough questions. What was I looking for? Companionship or a relationship? What if I were to get pregnant by this guy? What would it look like to go from having been married and having a legitimate child to now having an illegitimate child (and subsequent 'baby daddy') with someone that I was not even willing to claim as someone I was dating?

What I wanted was a relationship that would lead to marriage with a man who loved and served the Lord. What I wanted was someone who I could be proud to be seen with and introduce as my man. Not someone that I made excuses about when having to explain what we were to one another. 

So, I ended things between he and I. I repented and I promised the Lord that I would not give myself to anyone else until I was married again. And by His Grace; I have maintained my commitment. It hasn't been easy, but, it's easier when you're single.

Fast forward to August 2010. I meet a wonderful man with whom I am immediately enamored. Now, between the former gentleman and this wonderful man were several men. I had to have the same conversation with all of them. That I am celibate and not willing to so much as entertain the idea of sex outside of marriage. 

That conversation is bound to illicit one of two reactions; a) (A challenge)  "Really? We'll see about that." or b) (A turn-off) "I'm straight. It was nice knowing you."

I had come to dread having this talk with my potential suitors but with the wonderful man I met in August; it was a totally different story. 

He asked: "How do you feel about sex outside of marriage?"
I replied: "I'm not going to say that I haven't done it, but I will say that I don't believe in it. I've been celibate for 8 months now and I plan to remain celibate until I'm married."

As it turned out; he too had been on a celibate path for quite some time. In a matter of days, we were a couple and have been ever since.

I love this man. More than I have ever loved any other. It's wonderful to be able to say that and know that one's vision is not deluded by sex. All things being equal; we've never even been to second base. Early on, we established that we couldn't do "other things" if we were going to maintain our commitment. We kiss with our mouths closed (just the peck hello and goodbye) and we keep our hands to ourselves. 

It's not easy, and we have talked about reneging on our celibacy vow but fortunately, both of us realize the value in building a God-centered relationship. 

In the meantime; we focus on bettering ourselves and getting to know each other so that when we get married, it will be for keeps. 

                                                               Jill Scott - Celibacy Blues


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{Working Out Wednesday} “It's never too late to become what you may have been.”

We hit record highs in Detroit today, something like 97 degrees with 105% heat index... To say it was hot is the understatement of the century. It feels like Satan's kitchen. Yes, it really is THAT hot. All I could think about all day was coming home and getting under a fan with a lot of water and vegging out with Shey until her bedtime. Then, the power went out. All of a sudden; I'm lost! With no TV and no home phone my first thought is to shut off my cell phone to conserve its' energy in case power isn't restored soon. My second thought is to hurry up and sneak in my workout so I wouldn't have to work out in the dark later.

I. Have. Been. Going. IN! For real. I heard my favorite radio personality Ramona Prater of The F Club Radio Show say that "It's never too late to become what you may have been." How true! A few days ago; I totaled up how much weight I've lost since having my daughter (I put on 70 lbs during the pregnancy).
Are you ready for this?

Brace yourself...

 90 lbs! I have lost 90 lbs in the last 4 and a half years. So why am I still working out you ask?

Well. the problem is; I'll lose 20, put on 15. Lose 10, gain 15 and so on and so on. I've decided that it's time to stop the round and round.

Ten summers ago, I made a very similar decision while living in Huntsville. It had less to do with weight loss than it did just to be stronger. I bought a weight bench from a guy who was moving away and used it every day. Sounds simple right? It really was. All I did was hit the weights everyday for 15-20 minutes before work then walk the 13 blocks to get to work. (That piece was done out of pure necessity since I didn't have a car).

Before I knew it; everyone was telling me how much weight I was losing; I didn't have a scale to track it, but it didn't matter. I wasn't doing it for the scale; I was doing it for the way it made me feel. And, by doing it that way; the results in lbs came naturally. 

I was on the weight loss path big time at the beginning of the year. Then, I sprained my ankle. I was afraid at worst, tentative at best  about doing anything to anger my sensitive ankle.

Now, four months later, the ankle is as close to 100% that it'll probably ever be so I'm going in. Wish me luck... I'll keep y'all posted!

'Slowly Surely' - Jill Scott

         I've always loved this song but I have adopted it as my workout theme. Too often; we get on the path to fitness and let it go because we don't see the results we want in the time that we deem fit. I tell myself that I will have to do it slowly, but it will come off surely. (And there's the added emotional benefit of knowing that much of the weight that I've gained back in years past was due to heartbreak. By getting rid of the weight, I am letting the evidence of those heartbreaks go.) 

Monday, June 6, 2011


I haven't blogged all month! (It's only the 6th so I'm being dramatic). But I've been uber busy at work; I'm still trying to find the balance. Last month was not only the last month of our fiscal, but it was also THE best month I have had so far at work. I surpassed my normal route volume by 60% and, I hit Pinnacle Club.
Pinnacle Club is a big deal, but the 'peak' so to speak, of Pinnacle Club is called Summit.
Essentially, Summit means that out of the things that are expected from me; I have met all of them. It is perfection and it has been a long time coming. I've been with the company for 19 months; on route for a year and a half. Pinnacle Club is a bonus program and by hitting Summit, I guarantee myself the largest bonus possible so I'm doubly excited.
Working for this company has shown me a lot of things that I didn't know about life, and more importantly, myself. Because I've always had issues with my self esteem, I never would have considered myself to be confident but, I am. More so in my abilities than in myself I think (if that makes sense). But, as I get older and I grow in the things of God and the things that I learn, I find myself being more grateful for the things that I may have taken for granted as a younger person. Like my time. I can remember a time when I would waste entire days doing nothing. Watching TV mostly, talking on the phone about nothing.
Looking back on my security guard days; I thought I made good use of my time by reading and doing school work. Now that my time is not my own and I'm forced to maximize every minute I have in the field, I long for time to do simple things; read a book (even a few chapters), having the energy to exercise more often, time to cook an elaborate meal in the middle of the week.
The key to being able to do any of this lies in me mastering my job. I'm getting the concepts of it; more selling, less chatting. I find myself carrying on conversations with customers that have nothing to do with selling. It's important to do every so often but not all the time. I did the math; on average, I see 8 customers a day. BY spending 15 minutes talking to them after the invoice has been signed, I add (at minimum) two hours onto my day. By weeks' end; that's 10 hours, or, an entire work day. At the end of one 4 week cycle; that's 4 days. And on average; that's about how far behind I am at the end of any given month.
There was talk of cutting my route and/or transferring some of my customers to another route. Now that I pretty much figured out the issue; I'm good. I hope they don't touch my route.
With the new fiscal year came some adjustments to Pinnacle Club. They've made adjustments to make it more challenging to get there but I'm determined to ride the same wave that I rode into the last one. Who doesn't like getting bonuses? I know I do. I've got my eye on a new (to me) car, an Evo phone and a PS3.
With the kind of money I've been bringing home these last six weeks; it's totally possible and I couldn't be more stoked about it.