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Sunday, July 31, 2011

{Spirituality Sunday} Don't Go

Deitrick Haddon - "Don't Go"

This song is one of my favorites by Deitrick Haddon. The lyrics sound like he could be talking to his wife or the Lord. Depending on the day and my mood, it's applicable to Jesus or my ex-husband. 
I've come to terms with a few things about being divorced; like it or not, I will always feel some kind of way about my ex-husband. The fact that we have a kid together pretty much tethers us to each other until one of us -preferably him- dies or gets deported (him again). 

These same thoughts are what draw me to the other side of the song. Being a Christian is awesome but tough. I still cuss .A lot. And, I likes my alcohol. I have road rage like nobody's business, and I would off a certain someone if given the chance and a get out of jail free card. That may not seem like much to most, but for someone who tears up at every gospel song that I hear, it makes me feel less than worthy of the title. 

I've not only walked away from the Lord (more than once or twice), I've slammed the door in His face. During my college years, I was all the way to the edge of hell. Real talk. I. Was. Out there. doing everything and anything to get my jollies off. But for real, for real? I was miserable. I got high only to come down, back to reality. Back to hating myself, where I found myself in life, the things that I did and the people I did them with. 

I found myself coming back to the Lord only when things were tough, or when I needed a favor from him. I'd make empty promises to pray more, read my Bible more, start going to church, start paying my tithes. I might as well have had my fingers crossed behind my back because I never planned to do any of it. 

Then, I hit bottom. It took a while, but sure as shootin' it happened. When it did, there was nowhere for me to go and no one for me to look to. I HAD to go back to Him. And He was there. With open arms. 

When I became a Mom, I was better able to understand the relationship that God has with us. He is our heavenly father, the operative word being Father. 

As a Mom, when Shey messes up; yeah, I'm upset. I spank her, yell at her or put her on time out. But, if she were to scream out in pain while on time out; there is no way that just because I'm angry at her that I would ignore her. I would run to her to see what was wrong. 

God is the same way. He sees all that we're doing, and He just wants us to figure it out, to really see that He's good and to make that decision to stay with Him. I did, finally. June 12, 2003 and it was the best decision I've ever made.

God gave me the gift of writing. He gave me a beautiful, healthy daughter. But most importantly; he gave me eternal life. 


Jill Scott - "Blessed"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today is Tuesday.

Today is Twos day.

My route number is 02.

I got my bi-quarterly review twoday.

Can you guess what I got?

A two.

On a scale of 1-4; I got a 2.

4 is 'excellent'. 3 is 'good'. 2 is 'needs improvement'.

I don't have any words of wisdom or insight for this... It's my third 2 in a row.
I'm disappointed in myself. I work a lot and I work hard. But, admittedly, I'm not working smart. It's cliche, but it's true. But I will fix it. I have to. At this point; I don't have any other choice. I'm not a rookie anymore; I've been there 20 months. Many of the people there have been there less than half the time I've been there and they are running CIRCLES around me.

I feel bad for my boss. She's been explaining my shortcomings away for a long time. She told me today in short order that the up and down has to stop.

Truthfully; it's exhausting! Working everyday until 5 and later, not getting home until 7 and after... I can't keep up this pace. On top of all that; Shey starts school next month; I've got to get both she and I used to her being in school full time.

I'm feeling some kind of way about my [under]performance. Needs improvement.

'Nuff said.

Consider it done.

Isley Brothers - Work to Do

Sunday, July 17, 2011

{Spirituality Sunday} Putting God First. Really?

It's very easy to say that we put God first. But when you stop to think about what that actually entails; it is a lot harder than it sounds and, I know for certain that I am guilty of saying that, and not practicing it.

I pay my tithes, but, if things are tight one week, I'm ashamed to say that I have been known to 'borrow' my tithe money to pay something else.

Church meets three times a week; 8:00 and 11:00 Sunday morning and 6:45 on Wednesday. I am pretty good about being on time for church, but I'm not always faithful in my attendance.

I don't read my Bible everyday. I do however check my Twitter timeline and both of my facebook accounts several times a day. It's usually the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I read before I go to bed.

One thing I can say is that I pray a lot, but it's sporadic. I'll do it when I'm driving mostly; I don't take the time daily to set aside time to talk to the Lord.

With all that said, I can't say with any level of confidence that I truly put God first.

Now that I know this; I'm now responsible for doing something about it. And that's what I plan to do. Instead of picking up my phone to check Tweets and Facebook updates, I'm going to access the underutilized Bible app that I downloaded way back when to start my day off with my mind on the only One who can guide me and give me the strength, courage and wisdom that I need to go about my day in a way that will honor and glorify Him.

My life is changing. I feel it and I am embracing it. It is both exciting and frightening but I believe it is what I have been preparing for my entire life. And because of that, I refuse to ignore it or squander it.

God Bless you.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} - Flashbacks

I had a flashback today that led to me having a ... moment, we'll call it.

I'm on a fast from secular music until the end of the month to sort of detox, if you will. As I was programming my Rhapsody with Christian music, (Detroit Gospel; Deitrick Haddon, Fred Hammond, BeBe & CeCe Winans) I saw the cover of a Fred Hammond CD that took me back to a bad place.

No one told me that years after being gone from my ex-husband, even while involved in an awesome, successful relationship, that I would still be bombarded with negative thoughts and memories that could have the power to transport me back to that awful place.

Seeing that CD cover reminded me of the day that he bought that and several other Fred Hammond CDs.

I can't remember if we were sharing a car at the time or not, but for whatever reason, Paul had to pick me up from a job interview. It was with a better security company than the one I was working for. I was offered a job working the day shift at the Ford Motor Company's World Headquarters. The money was better, they offered actual benefits and the location was closer to where we lived. All signs pointed to 'yes' take the job.

I didn't take the job.

At the time, I was taking classes full time and needed a set schedule in order to continue doing that. Although my shift wouldn't deviate; the days I would be scheduled to work would change bi-weekly.

My unemployed husband couldn't seem to understand my logic in rejecting the job and expressed his disdain by ordering me out of his car and peeling out.

My immediate reaction was to blow up his cell phone from mine. No answer. So, I used the desk phone in the lobby. He picked up. When I told him it was me, he hung up the phone.

There were people around so I tried my best not to cry or lose it. But after half an hour of his shenanigans, I really began to panic. I was ready to call someone to come and get me. But who? How would I explain away the fact that my darling husband left me to rot with no way home to anyone who would be fool enough to come and get me? I gave up on the idea and waited.

After 45 minutes, he came back. I was relieved but fuming. He told me that he had to let me cool off and give myself some time to think because obviously, I wasn't thinking correctly. I advised him that if he was so fond of the position that he should apply for it himself.

That spawned a whole new argument. Needless to say; it was a wonderful ride home.

God knows I have forgiven Paul for all of those things that he did to me. But for the life of me; I had no idea that those memories would haunt me the way they do.

I was told once that going through a divorce is like experiencing the death of a close relative. I disagree. It's like being maimed. You hear stories all the time about how people who have lost limbs can still feel the lost limb, pain and everything. THAT'S what divorce is like. Something that is long gone that still haunts you.

  All American Rejects - Gives you Hell


Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Throwing Down Thursday} Achsha's Enchiladas

Kid tested, boyfriend approved! 

This recipe is a spin on traditional enchiladas. It's more of a burrito/enchilada - A 'Burlada' perhaps? [I just made that word up! copyright pending] sans the enchilada sauce.  

1.5 lbs ground meat (I like ground turkey)
10 8" flour tortilla shells
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
Sea Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups; cooked white rice
4 cheese shredded Mexican cheese blend

It's SO easy and, FAST! Cook ground turkey until brown in garlic and sprinkle with listed spices in a large skillet. 

Add the two cups of white rice (I like to put chicken bouillon cubes in the water to flavor it).

Combine slightly drained stewed tomatoes (depending on how saucy you want the mixture).

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds on each side. 

Fill the tortillas with 4 cheese blend cheese, top with meat mixture. Fold to close. Top enchiladas with cheese and bake @ 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

(When there is filling left over, I like to put it on top, or cook more rice and add it to the rice for Mexican style 'dirty rice')


Thanks for reading!

Happy Eating!

(My Brother Juan and his roommates were taking pics of my while I made dinner for them during a visit to Chicago last Spring)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{Working Out Wednesday} - My Journey 31 lbs by my 31st B-Day

Well folks; so far, so good.

I've resisted myriad fast food temptations (though my Mom's fried chicken wings have tempted me two days in a row). I have done two good workout, two days in a row. As I write this; I am still in my workout clothes from my calisthenic workout and will be doing some miles on The Rebounder before bed. 

I've been eating well, and that is usually my biggest challenge. I'm easing myself back into the daily ins and outs but next week; I'm ramping. it. up.

As promised, I took a pictures of myself today for the (control) 'before' picture. I will post it side by side next week with next week's pictures.

I'm purposely leaving my weight out of the equation (for now) because I think that my scale is flattering me. My scale at home (bought at Ikea 3.5 years ago for $5) tells me one thing, other (digital) scales tell me that I'm 5-10 lbs more. So, for now, I'm going to go by my scale (just for the sake of measurement) and will adjust the numbers accordingly once I get the true number.

Sound good? Does to me.


So, with that said; I'm going back at it folks. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Make it Happen Monday} - 31 lbs by 31.

So, I have a couple of other blogs. Because of work and other time constraints, sadly, I've neglected them. But, because I put so much into this blog, and because much of the subject matter surrounding the other blogs is covered here; well you can see how that could happen. Right? Right. 

With that being said, I almost referenced my other blog, a workout blog, until I went and looked at it. I haven't done ANY of the things I was supposed to be doing. And that is really disappointing. Sure, I could say it's because I'm tired all the time, because I work so much, it's because of any number of things. But the truth is, I just haven't been getting it done. 

That's a common thread for me; I'm a procrastinator. It is one of the things that I dislike the most about myself. I tell myself that I work best under pressure. 

Yeah, right. 

The truth is I get anxiety up until it's time for me to produce whatever it is I was supposed to be doing. The bigger truth is, when I do what it is that I'm supposed to do or tell myself that I'm supposed to be doing; I feel good about it! There's no anxiety and all is well in the world. 

With all of that said; I am deading that mentality. It's hard for me to pinpoint when I lost my zeal for exercise. It would be easy to say that it was when I got pregnant... maybe it was. 

Before I had my daughter; working out was my way of having time to myself. Of clearing my head and handling my stress. Between Paul, work and school; I was on the verge of losing it daily. Some days I did;my fist met the mirror in the bathroom of my first apartment many times (though I was never able to break it). 

Having left Paul, much of my stress dissipated. And, having little to no stress left to manage, I sought only comfort, by way of beer (40 oz of Bud Light) and the good eatin' of Downtown Detroit. 

But now; working out is no longer about stress management, at least not at the root of it. I'm 30 now (the oldest I've ever been, mind you) and I can feel things going on in my body that (probably) shouldn't be happening. Weight aside, I don't feel as agile or as strong as I once was. The truth is; I want that feeling back. I want it ALL; the energy and all of the productivity that comes along with it. 

So I'm going for it. All in, balls to the wall. My initial goal is to lose 31 lbs by my 31st birthday (November 16th if you want to shout me out or send an ecard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm going all the way in. No turning back. Every true turning point begins with a decision. Mine has been made here and now. 

My way of being accountable is posting it here for everyone to see. I will post pictures as well as everything that I ate on {Working Out Wednesdays} beginning this Wednesday. 31 lbs by 11/16 is a reasonable and achievable goal. There's 18 weeks until my b-day. By losing an average of 2 lbs a week; that's 36 lbs; 5 lbs over my goal

Saturday, July 9, 2011

{Significant Other Saturday} - "I'm so Glad I took the Path that led to this..."

I was up late last night. My computer guy Ken was here for a while trying to de-frag my laptop (whatever that means) . Shey went to bed hours after I'd wanted her to, so I was forced to have my me time after Ken left.
Yesterday was a longer day than I'd wanted it to be and I really wasn't feeling inspired to blog about anything other than my gratitude for where I find myself right now.

It's amazing to me that once you find yourself in a loving, committed relationship; opportunities and prospects for other relationships abound. I mean, where were all these potentials when I was single and willing?

Who knows? Who cares?

Not me!

My boyfriend is perfect (if you ask me) and I couldn't want anyone else.

Looking back though; I've traveled one heck of a path to get to him.

I broke up with Paul in May '07. Immediately; two of my coworkers tried to get on. I wasn't having it (you don't poo where you eat).

Working in Downtown Detroit; there was no shortage of qualified men. Still; I was uninterested. I was stuck on other boys.

When it was all said and done; I got back with Shey's dad for a time until I felt I had done all I could do and bounced for good.

Dating was tough. I met men abroad. At the time; I was a Process Server so I met men ALL the time but the prospects were less than flattering.

So, I turned to the internet. I'd had a lot of success in the past with internet dating and figured, "what's the harm? From E Harmony to Match; I struck out. I even resorted to Craigslist. I met a TON of dudes but it ended up being the good ole stand-by plenty of fish that garnered my boo.

True story; when people ask me how I met my man; I tell them 'Mutual friends'. But for real, for real; I met him on POF.

During our first 'real' phone convo' he said to me  "Listen; I'm not dating because I like it or because I like being surrounded by women. I'm dating because it's necessary to find a woman who wants to get married and have children with me. If that's not something you're looking for; I suggest that we part ways now."


Talk about straight forward.

I told him then that that was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

We've been together ever since.

Honesty REALLY is the best policy.

#True Story

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Acute Case of the Mondays... (Wait...Isn't it Tuesday?}

It's Tuesday, right? After the long weekend it feels like a Monday. After yesterday's lack of activity I was ready for work today . There's something about resting; really doing nothing that can be very refreshing.
For a nice change of pace; Shey and I went and saw my babe after work today (She's is always very excited to see her Baba.) I took him some food I made "Ramlettes", Chicken Salad and Enchiladas (recipes to follow in future blogs) as well as leftovers from my mom's cookout yesterday. Seeing him always helps to put my day into perspective; reminds me that we're working toward a common goal.

Something that helped to stave off 'The Mondays' was my Pinnace Club Summit Award Recognition. The trophy is sa-weet! And, heavy kinda looks like that scene from one of the Superman movies where Zorg (or whatever his name is) gets the crystal (was it kryptonite?).

It was tough; riding around all over Michigan's awesome roads, hoping I'd make it home safe to put it on the mini-mantle I've already put up in my office on my work wall. But, Shey and I made it home safe with the trophy in hand just shy of 8:00. After going to see my babe, I took her to the Play Place to burn off some steam since she was knocked out sleeping when I picked her up. 
It's late! I've been up since 3:17 this morning and have to be back up by 4! But; what's great about having a case of the Mondays when it's actually a Tuesday is that tomorrow; the week is already half over. #HowULuvDat!

"Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays" - Office Space

Monday, July 4, 2011

Much Needed Rest! {Summertime}

It's a new month. "Ju-ly" as my GM would say. I'm excited for a new month because last month was more than tumultuous. Aside from being behind on my route, things with Shey's dad are un-awesome. (What else is new?)
Aside from it being a new month; the month started out with a three day weekend. I've spent today doing NOTHING. 

I woke up around my usual 4am then went back to sleep until 8 or so.

I ate kinke (pronounced Keen-kay) and shito with tuna and hard boiled eggs. After about an hour and three episodes of Cash & Cari I was in a carb induced coma.

I woke up at one o'clock and laid in bed until after 2. After getting up, I ate again; Shrimp Alfredo that I made yesterday. Since then; I've sat on my couch watching Law & Order reruns. I left out for some fresh air; it's actually cooler outside than inside.

Usually; I would try to pack a day like this full of activities and errands. With Shey at my parents' it's a great time to get things done; work stuff, chores. But, I've decided that I've earned a true day off. I worked on Saturday in an attempt to eliminate some of my customers that were left behind in June.

To make SOME use out of today; I am scheduling my week out day by day to ensure that July will be nothing like June was.

I'm writing today off as a guilt free day. Resting, relaxing, and vegging out in order to prepare for the ramp up; the new month ahead. Look out folks! It's gonna be a-mazing!

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The (artist formerly known as the) Fresh Prince - Summertime