I was on Pinterest looking for a quote about life to express exactly how I'm feeling right now... this was perfect!

Yesterday, June 17, 2013, I received a call that I was being offered the job of my dreams. LITERALLY. If you regularly follow my blog you know how I've been on a journey to find true happiness in doing great work with and for children. There were times when I wanted to give up, times I did give up, times I questioned my own abilities. Nevertheless, God kept sending me signs that everything was going to be okay. I doubted if that was true but HE never forsook me; he always walked with me and carried me when I needed it.

I made one of the toughest decisions in my life, to walk away from my job in search of happiness in doing great work. I prayed on it and I walked away and I've been blessed for my efforts. Without the support of my loving family and friends and God putting them there for me, I could have easily given up altogether but I didn't. I didn't settle for mediocre, I wanted greatness.

In my heart, I knew this day would come, and now it has arrived and I feel so GREAT!!!!

Day 18: 30 Things

What do you think your spouse loves most about you?

I think that Ed loves everything about me!!!
If I had to choose one thing, it would be... My heart. I care a lot about EVERYONE. Sometimes he calls me Mother Teresa.

Day 17: 30 Things

What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

Being the best Mom I can be.

Day 16: 30 Things

What are your five greatest accomplishments?

1. Preon
2. Prettie
3. Jaedyn
4. Haley
5. Landing my dream job today!!!!

Day 15: 30 Things...

When I Knew He Was The One:


30 Things... I'm Playing Catchup!!

I wrote a post about a week or so ago entitled 30 Things... I am responsible for writing something different everyday. Needless to say, life happens sometimes! I've been busy trying to land my dream job; I've fallen behind in the process. Today, I am going to play catchup....

I left off on Day 7:

8. What are 5 passions you have?
My five passions are: Being a mother, being a wife, being an educator, being a mentor, and being a life-long learner
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
Wow... 10 People...
1. My husband. My life changed when I met him
2. The little people in my life. They made me want to be a better person; as their Mother, I try hard everyday.
3. My Mother. The life experiences learned through her have made me a better wife, mother, and confidant
4. Nakitta. My life changed when I met her; she's adventurous. Sometimes she makes me try new things.
5. Dannella Bonville. One of the BEST mentors I've ever had
6. Dr. Michael Haggood. My mentor, my friend, my family.
7. Co-workers. The lazy ones and the driven ones have influenced my hunger to give children we educate exactly what they need
8. My family. All of you have taught me valuable lessons
9. ME...I have learned a great deal about ME and I am my biggest influencer
#1.  I don't see this next one as a person... GOD, the most powerful, has TREMENDOUSLY influenced my life in a major way!!!!

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Hmmm... My hubby and I were staying at a Hotel... something happened that neither of us will EVER forget! He even named a song after me after that night. I'm too embarrassed to write what actually happened. He knows...LOL

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
1. Liars
2. Cheaters
3. Thieves
4. Dirty dishes
5. Dirty house
6. Musty little girls or ladies
7. Un-groomed toes and fingernails
8. Ashy feet, arms, legs...ashy anything!
9. Unfit parents
10. Children being disrespected

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
Currently: Look for jobs, blog, take care of kids, take kids to cheer and basketball related events, take naps, cook, clean, enjoy life to the fullest!

13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
Growing up!

14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
I care too much about Everybody!
I'm a workaholic when I'm employed
I try to be a perfect mother (they don't exist)
I try to be a perfect wife (they don't exist)
I love hard and I'm loyal

The five listed weaknesses above are my strengths. My weaknesses make me the person I am; always striving for better.

Until we chat again...

Alopecia. What? Why? How?.... The Journey of Haley

Our youngest daughter, Haley, the Cheerleader, the Gymnast, the American Girl Doll lover, an all around cool little DIVA, was diagnosed with Alopecia about eight months ago. Keep in mind, we never knew what happening when it started back in 2011 (December). I initially noticed a very small bald spot in Haley's head (near the top on the right side) but "assumed" I'd pulled her hair too tight in that one spot. That was not the case; my baby's hair continued to fall out. Bald spots began popping up up everywhere. I sought advice from her hairdresser who braided her hair for me, from my hairdresser, from my mom, mother-in-law, blogs, etc. You name it, I looked it up!

I have to be very honest and say that going through this with my baby was very challenging. I think my kids re the best things since sliced bread and I invest all of me into raising them and making sure they're "good". To know that my baby who is known for her energy and enthusiasm was feeling sad watching her hair fall out and not having answers was very difficult. Not to mention, my vanity was at stake as well. (I'm being honest) I was like..."what am I going do? my baby's pretty hair is falling out!"

Haley's hair has always been fine and thin (like Ed's hair) but their were never any issues with it, it was always healthy like her sisters' hair.
Haley has always had a head full of hair..

The following photos were taken around March/April 2011
 Haley's hair several months after finding the first bald spot
 I washed it...
Here, I had her hold it just so we could see the actual size of the spots
They grew bigger and bigger...

I began trying different products like Dr. Miracle, Shea Moisture, Olive Oil, Baby Don't be Bald.... the list went on and on. I even tried home remedies that were suggested like: warm olive oil in the microwave and use a cotton ball to apply it to the bald spots, Glover's Mane, etc...
Just a "few" of the products used...

Although her hair was falling out, it was only falling out in the middle so I could disguise it. Haley was really worried about being made fun of and I was worried about her self-esteem taking a dive. I had to do every and anything in my power to make sure my baby knew that she was still the same remarkable girl before these bald spots began to appear. Boy, did I have my work cut out for me and I didn't even know it yet!
 Cheering for several months out of the year, Haley's hair is REQUIRED to be in one ponytail.
 This made disguising the bald spots a breeze.
 She didn't let those bald spots stop her from doing what she loves: CHEER
I made sure she knew she was still as Glamourous as ever. I told her: "True divas can make any hairstyle work!"

Even on picture day of the 2012-2013 Season, we pulled off disguising those spots because Haley wanted her pictures to be Big Girl pictures since it was "officially" her first season cheering as a NON-MASCOT!!!!
I think we did pretty good! She looks just like a BIG GIRL :-)
After a FULL day of traveling to her own game, she came home, changed, and went out to support her Sister-Friend Boogie at her game! This little girl eats, sleeps, and breathes CHEER. It was important for me to make sure things stayed as normal as possible. Check out her leopard boots! Get it Haley!!!

Eventually, we could no longer disguise the bald spots. We had to start explaining; that was so difficult. Haley did not want me showing or telling anyone but I had to talk to her and explain why we needed to let her Coaches know, her teacher know, and even family who lived outside of our home. My baby was so worried what people would think about her. The HARDEST part ever was weekly washes became a horror. Every time I'd wash or comb my baby's hair, it fell out like pulling a cotton ball apart. She would cry and I would want to cry with her, but I couldn't. I had to remain strong and tell my baby that everything would be okay; that no matter what, she was still as gorgeous as ever and that we would find a way to fix this. My heart ached for my baby. The truth is, I didn't know why this happening. 

The Dermatologists she was regularly seeing, kept prescribing all sorts of medicine (topical). I took my baby to about four (4) different dermatologists and I demanded that she an endocrinologist to cover all bases and find out if it was something internally wrong with my baby. Ed and I both never said it out loud until one day he couldn't hold it in any longer. He said, "I'd hate for this to be something bad..." I finished his sentence with, "I don't want my baby to have cancer". We sat there in silence for about 2-3 minutes (literally) and immediately got up and reached for the laptops! He began doing extensive research and so did I.

My next email to Haley's primary care physician was VERY specific and I demanded tests which Ed found online. Also, during his research, he came across ALOPECIA. I'd heard of it, but never took an interest in it. Why? Because it wasn't knocking on my front door until NOW! He found this wonderful site about Alopecia Areata . When I clicked on the link he sent me... I could not believe my eyes! There were so many babies like my baby who were suffering from this disease. 

We read and researched, and read and researched. I became very proactive for my baby in regards to doctors. I specifically asked for a Black dermatologist because I had doctors telling me that "WE" put too much fake hair in "our" kids' hair and "we" comb it too tight. Haley would get hair braided on occasion but not always with synthetic hair; even when I used synthetic hair, it never caused balding. I wanted someone who understood Black hair to talk to us about our Black hair. If you know me, you know that I will travel to the ends of the earth for my Precious Cargo, all four of them. So, asking for I wanted was no problem at all.
There was no more hiding it...
 We needed to share with those closest to us and...
 We needed answers. IMMEDIATELY

Haley visited an endocrinologist to ensure that everything on the "Inside" was working and functioning properly.
 No matter what, I made sure my baby was always in good spirits.
I reminded her to be thankful for life and everything else she was blessed to have. This journey with my baby also taught me something about myself as well...

The hardest part about the doctor visits came when she visited the Dermatologist and we learned that she needed injections in her head. OUCH! The first time Ed took her because I was working and he phoned me to tell me she had received these injections in her head. My stomach turned flips at the thought and I vowed to never miss another appointment with her no matter what.

This is what Haley's head looked like after receiving injections in her head

When I say holding my baby down (which was very necessary) and watching her get these injections and begging me to make the Dr. stop made me cry... I shed a few tears. Not where she could see me but I held my baby and I prayed over her right in my arms. I felt dizzy and lightheaded as if it were happening to me. However, when I looked at my baby's hair and saw this....

I knew we had NO OTHER CHOICE.

Haley endured about three different injection sessions. Each visit was more difficult because she knew what was coming. To make it somewhat better, I promised American Girl Doll clothes and accessories. No wonder her collection is so huge!
Haley underwent various treatments such as steroid prescription, topical prescriptions, and Ultra UV Ray treatments four days a week. Whatever it took, we did it. In the meantime, Haley had to wear hats. Ed went online and ordered her all sorts of hats; shiny ones, plain ones, fancy ones. Prettie purchased several fedoras for her and shipped them here from AZ. My sis in law Mia purchased hats for her as well. Picking outfits for her was no longer complete without a hat! The Dr. gave us a note for school so Haley could wear hats to school as well.

The Mindless Behavior Concert...and a hat!
 Cheer 2012-2013 Christmas Party...and a hat!
 Cheer Competition in Vegas...and a hat!
 My Baby still performed her heart out...with a hat on!
 Just let me say that our Cheer Director, Charnetta, her Coaches Rickeita and Kenyatta, and the parents of her teammates were so, so supportive of Haley. I asked if she could wear a hat to competition and they said, "If SHE wears a hat WE wear a hat. The entire team wore hats to competition to perform in, in support of Haley. Ed ordered the hats for the Cheer performance and I had them blinged with the word JETS on front. For the Hip Hop performance, the coaches ordered hats as part of their routine costume so it all worked out perfectly. For that, we will be forever grateful.

Haley is learning to adjust to her new look. There was a time when she refused to leave the house without a hat on her head. Look at her now...

Her hair has began growing back. For one week, I experimented by styling her hair in a DIVA MOHAWK. She left the house five days with no hat on!!!
 The following Monday, we headed to the Barber Shop and made it official!
I LOVE my BABY and I LOVE her Mohawk!!!!!

Also, Prettie researched and found this shampoo on Amazon. I've only been shampooing her hair with this. It's amazing!!!
 What I have learned through this journey with Haley is that there is no ONE specific way to deal with Alopecia Areata. You have to keep trying and never give up. You have to pray. You have to have excellent support in and out of the home. You have to know that no matter what, true Divas shine! My baby is one Glamourous Diva and she refuses to let anything (including Alopecia) stop her SHINE!!!!

Thanks for taking time out to read this. I asked Haley if she approved before I wrote this and shared it publicly. I explained to her that some people, like we were, have no clue what this disease is and this may help them. She agreed, and so it is...

Until we chat again...

Don't forget I'm on FB as well at NickiesNiche

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Day Seven: 30 Things...

Day Seven:
What is Your Dream Job and Why?

My dream job is a career! I've had several jobs in my life; jobs are what you get up, get ready, and show up to everyday because you have to. I want a CAREER that is fulfilling. There is a huge difference between the two; I recently learned that (within the last few years).

A career which allows me to do something amazing every single day; something different, exciting, challenging, and brings me joy and fulfillment. If I am able to find and make the career move I have dreaming about, I will find happiness and satisfaction in that section of my life. I am a work in progress and I am searching for my dream career.

Day Four, Five, and Six: 30 Things... (Playing Catch-up)

Day 4: List 10 things you would tell your 16 year old self if you could

1. Don't take life so seriously
2. Go to the Prom
3. Plan for college; ask someone for help
4. Pay closer attention in History
5. Take more pictures of stupid stuff in High School
6. Ask certain friends more questions about themselves
7. Pay closer attention to the quiet students
8. Practice walking in heels more (til this day, I prefer flats)
9. Stick to one particular sport (I played a little of everything)
10. Be proud of the young lady you are

Day 5: What are the five things that make you most happy now?

1. Being a mother to four wonderful, unique, and inquisitive children
2. Being His wife
3. Being strong enough to realize my weaknesses and make the necessary adjustments
4. My determination
5. Sunflowers
6. Rocky Road Ice Cream

Day 6: If I could have three wishes, what would I wish for?

1. For my children to have all that they desire and more as successful individuals in life
2. For a sense of fulfillment and contentment in a career that brings out the best in me
3. For children everywhere to have the same advantages, respect, and dedication from adults they come in contact with

Day Three: 30 Things

Describe Your Relationship With Your Partner:

Met: January 1997
Married: February 20, 1999

Astrological Signs:
Mr. Evans: Cancer
Mrs. Evans: Cancer

My relationship with Mr. Evans is AMAZING!
It's also:
Astounding, extraordinary, breathtaking, wonderful spectacular, stupendous, impressive, striking, stunning, wonderful, and WONDROUS!!!!!

This blog post could go on and on about how great my husband is. Perfect? Not at all, but he is such a wonderful, dedicated, and loving Husband and Father to his family. He puts our needs before his own and he makes many sacrifices for us. There are women who long to have a best friend who loves them unconditionally, someone to spend the rest of their lives with under God's blessings with a life partner, someone to come home to everyday and share your joys, pains, ups, and downs with. Someone to laugh with you, and console you when you cry. Someone who makes you smile before you go to sleep, and who you look for in your sleep for comfort and protection. I have all that and more in Mr. Evans.

We work hard at our marriage to make it work and our relationship is proof that hard work pays off. He's not a partner who is only here in good times, he has helped me and continues to help me through one of the most trying times in my life (the past 9 months) without judgment. He's rare, but he's MINE and I love him with every beat of my heart.
It is definitely not all work and no play. That's what keeps us alive...we know how to have a great time in the company of one another. May God continue to bless this union. He's my SOULMATE.

The Cinnamon Challenge

As parents, we attempt to stay current with what's going on in the world of "Kids". There has been a craze occurring nationwide called the "Cinnamon Challenge". Kids from Middle school through college are trying this very dangerous challenge. It is said to be dangerous and hazardous to your health.

If you're the parent of middle/high school and college students, you want to take a look at THIS

Day Two: 30 Things...

Three Legitimate Fears:

1. Failure. I have a fear of failure on any level; hard work deters failure.
2. My efforts as a mother are unsuccessful. Being a mother is top priority to me because my children only get ONE chance to have an amazing childhood experience. God trusted me with this task and it has to be done.
3. That I will never own the dog I've been wanting for some time... LOL

Day One: 30 Things...

20 Random Facts About Me:

3. I'm very judgmental of myself
4. I'm harder on myself than my worst enemy
5. I love weather that's gloomy looking; it makes me feel so cozy
6. I love jewelry (especially costume jewelry)
7. I'm random
8. I love to laugh
9. I love cooking/baking sweets (especially at XMas time)
10. I love shoes
11. I LOVE purses
12. I love shopping
13. Blogging is something I'm new at and its a bit intimidating
14. I love foot massages
15. I love Football
16. I love to read
17. I love being a Cheer/Basketball Mom
18. I don't like driving in the rain (but I do it anyway)
19. I have an addiction to Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Chips. It's bad! LOL
20. I'm a social butterfly

30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me

I follow many Bloggers... BabyTeems is one of them. She posted this great idea from another Bloggers' site and I have decided to join in. For the next 30 days, I will attempt to keep up with this:

30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me
1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.