It has been a while since I've written a post; I've been really busy. Busy in a good way...working! being a mom, wife, and simply trying to be the best person I can be. However, it's no secret that I spend a great deal of my free time with my little ones who aren't so little anymore. Balancing it all can be tricky, but my plan that has worked for many years is very simple: Just Do It! Not like a Nike commercial, but like a true mom.

I'm not one to put my business completely out there; especially if it involves another person or organization. Needless to say, when Haley turned up with a completely different cheer uniform on, many were shocked and surprised because she'd cheered for the same cheer organization sine she was about 5 years old. I made the decision to leave this team for "adult" reasons that sometimes children don't understand (professionalism, positive adult-child interactions, fairness, etc)

In venturing out to try another team, I have come to the conclusion that ANYONE can run an organization. There is no requirement for professionalism. I know this is a very broad statement, but I can only base my feelings off the two organizations we've belonged to. The manner in which you speak to a parent and address a parents' concerns should be of the utmost importance. I mean, you are, after all, doing "business" with parents and their children. Issues of safety, equal opportunities, teamwork, fairness across all teams, etc should be addressed professionally. we are again with no cheer team. The difference this time is this: I will stick to the original plan Haley and I came up with earlier this year which is to focus on tumbling (gymnastics) and perfecting that craft to assist her in reaching her lifelong goal. I mean, the last time I checked, cheer isn't a sport in the US Olympics.

It's All or Nothing.

                  I'm sure who came 
                  up with this, but it's 

Many times, in my head, I have the feeling that it has to be all or nothing. I have to get it all right, all the time. While I know that I'm being unreasonable in my thought process, my brain still feels the need to think this way.
Sometimes we learn simple truths the hard way. It's really okay if it's just a little instead of a lot. "I won't die! All will be well." I think I'll put that on repeat ( in my head ).

You're Talking? Are They Listening?

Last week, I was contacted by Webucator, an online learning company, "that's all about teaching essential skills and finding ways to help people improve themselves and become more successful."
I was asked to be a part of their recent  campaign, "Most Marketable Skill" and share what I think is essential for success. I'd like to commend the Class of 2014, and I hope you find this information helpful as you continue your journey in the next phase of your personal and professional lives.

When considering what is essential, what came to my mind immediately is Effective Communication. We speak, on a daily basis, to a number of individuals regarding a number of topics; there are times when we effectively get our message across and there are times we don't. What happens when we don't get our message across or it is not received? There is usually a breakdown in communication. Non-verbal cues, body language, tone and pitch, as well as belief in what you speak about determines how effective your ability is to communicate.

Personally, I have learned that non-verbal cues play a major role in what is being said and how it is received. Facial expressions, body language, hand gestures, etc can be the difference between "When you have a moment, may I speak to you, please?"( warm smile, hands folded in front of you) as opposed to, "We need to talk!" (hands on hip, or hands swaying).

As a former preschool teacher, I learned the importance of effective communication with young children. If you yell and scream at children, eventually they learn to tune out the yelling and screaming because they come to expect you to behave that way. However, when you speak to children in a tone that is assertive, yet warm, they listen to understand exactly what it is you expect of them at that particular moment.

The same is true of individuals in managerial and leader roles; how an individual speaks to their staff will determine the productivity of their organization. I remember working with an individual who would boast and say, "I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand!" This statement could not be farther from the truth. The majority of communication involves understanding; thinking before you speak may be the difference in your message being received or blocked!

Here are a few questions to consider regarding Effective Communication:
Are you being clear when making a statement? Have you given thought to what you want to say, before saying it? Do you have all the information needed? Are you sending positive or negative messages? Are you listening to what the other individual has to say? Do you feel passionate about what you are speaking of?

Whether you're speaking in front of your classmates, reprimanding your children, speaking with your boss, participating in an interview, filing a complaint about bad customer service, or facilitating a meeting/workshop, you should always be mindful that the results you want (which are usually positive) cannot be attained without Effective Communication.

When you are passionate about what you speak of, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are angry and looking for someone to direct your anger towards, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are approachable and knowledgeable, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are an excellent listener, you'll find yourself communicating with people from various backgrounds and walks of life. You will find yourself being patient and understanding with a goal of communicating instead of just "talking".

Take a moment now to reflect on an individual you recently heard speak in front of a crowd... what stood out most to you? Did you hear what they were saying? Were you intrigued? Were you engaged? Did they seem knowledgeable? Did they make you believe what they were saying? OR did they put you to sleep? Did they ramble? Was their body language slouchy? Did they seem passionate or just angry?

Now... ask yourself, "how do people walk away from a conversation or presentation from me?" Are they confused, perplexed, bewildered, put down, or are they informed, clear, knowledgeable, and respected?

I'd like to leave you with this thought:
"Speak when you are angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret"~Laurence Peters

Would you like to know more about Webucator? Click HERE
Webucator also offers FREE ongoing self-paced Microsoft training! Click HERE for more details

Trying to Maintain

I'm still working out and eating healthy, but if I decide I want some fries, I have fries. I don't weigh myself everyday, but I might jump on the scale on a Sunday morning just to see what the numbers say. This morning I hopped on the scale and it said I'd lost four more pounds last week! 
So far, I've dropped a pant size, dropped a dress size, and I feel great! I'm okay with my weight going up and sometimes, but I'm so pleased with my ability to get back on track even when I find myself having an order of fries!
Right now, my main focus is my mid-section. While I can visibly see results everywhere, the mid-section is my stubborn area. 
Do any of you know any great remedies for belly fat?
By the way, I ordered this amazing clutch ( my second one) from Cortnie! She has AMAZING clutches that she hand makes. Looking for a clutch? You can find her on Twitter @stylustpages 

A Better Me, A Better Blog

 I recently signed up for a Blog Challenge with a group of wonderful ladies I am associated with; the BLM Girls! The purpose of the challenge is to build a better blog and increase my audience. As I attempt to tackle this challenge, your support would be greatly appreciated! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I hope I can keep this up! Wis me luck.

On another note, I have been working on a better ME! I have been making healthier food choices and exercising more. This has not been easy for me because I LOVE food. I began this challenge on April 9th and to date I have lost about 12 pounds. I'm proud of my 12 pounds because I gained 6 of the 12 pounds back, then lost them again.

Expecting to lose a great deal of weight in a short amount of time is unrealistic, I mean I didn't gain it in 90 days, right?! This also difficult because I still have to cook for my family. I wrote a post about that HERE While I find it challenging, I am determined to stay committed. I'm not on a diet, I'm on a path to a healthier lifestyle and while the weight loss has been slow and steady, I can definitely see the change.

It's Been a Minute Since...

It's been a minute since I posted anything! Blogging is a tricky thing; it takes persistence, dedication, and good content.
While I'd like to think of myself as an individual who is persistent, there are some things which take a back seat to life. My truth is that I am a full time working mom who wears several hats. There are times when I want to stop and write my thoughts down but I find so many other more pressing "things" to do. I mean the laundry doesn't wash itself, right?! Lol
There's so much that has occurred in my life over the past few months. I have plenty to write about, I just need to make time to write about them. I am determined to get started; I hope you'll stick around to read all about it!

The Stuff in Between

Have you ever dreamed of the perfect getaway with your girls, the most romantic evening with your partner, or even the "dream job"? But once you get to that special place, you can't really enjoy it because of the stuff in between!

Now I have to be honest and say I've never been on a girls' trip; it's on my bucket list. I've had plenty romantic evenings with the Mr. and my dream job? Haven't found it yet.
However, I do know that no matter where you go, what you do, there is always the stuff in between that can make you feel like screaming!!! running!!! and retreating!!! I had one of those days today. 
Without me going into detail too much, I will just say, team work makes the dream work! There is no I in team but when "I" don't feel like I'm part of a team, the stuff in between begins to consume me and me wanna run for the hills! Woo-Saaaaa!!!!

Is Your Daughter Bossy?

Lately, I've seen many articles floating around the net about girls bring bossy, and whether or not calling them bossy is a good thing.
Of course, with my professional background, I'm usually pretty good at recognizing a young leader when I see one; male or female. However, with three daughters, I recognize leadership skills but want to make sure that they aren't bring too bossy. There's such a thin line between being a leader and being bossy. I try to teach my girls that being a leader does not always mean you're running everything; it also means you can follow as well.
What's your take on being bossy? As you ponder it, I'd like to share a couple articles I found on Twitter:

Give Me Five Laps!

Should we, as parents, discipline someone else's kid while on school grounds?
Shouting at kids on school grounds is the norm for some adults.

For me, this is an easy answer because of my views on discipline. Discipline is not just "laying" hands on a child, it is also guiding them and leading them in the right direction; giving them something to think about. I have a strong history with children in general, seeing as how I've raised and am still raising my own four. I have worked with kids of all ages, and I have helped raise nieces, nephews, friends, and god-children. I see it, in simple terms, as my duty to duty to be a part of the "village" it takes to raise children. But should I discipline someone else's kid while on school grounds?

It's not what you do, but how you do it.

I say YES! Why? It's simple: if I see kids being disrespectful to one another or an adult, I pay careful attention to the situation and if there is "room" for me to step in and "politely" reason with this kid about their behavior, I do. I don't yell and scream at them, but I put the ball back in their court and ask, "Should you be doing that?" "Should you speak that way?" Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Bottom line is this, I do not speak to someone else's child in a disrespectful manner. But if I turn my back when I could possibly assist, what am I doing for that child? Nothing. If I stop and take few minutes with this child, I can only help. Regardless if the child is receptive, I have given them )I hope) something to think about.

Some children are looking for someone to care enough about what they are doing to say something. Not yell and scream, but say something. There may be some who could care less of your opinion, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve positive guidance. I guess I'm somewhat partial because I am a child advocate and I believe that children deserve the benefit of the doubt. They're not perfect, just as we are not perfect, but we, as adults know better whereas children are still learning. I don't care if they stand as tall as us or may be taller, they are still someone's baby and they need guidance. It literally takes a village to raise children. But when members of a village turn their backs on those who need us the most, our future, where does that leave us? Each one, teach one.

You can find more of my views on this subject HERE and HERE

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Talk That Talk, Walk That Walk

When making decisions, it seems so much easier to talk about it than be about it; especially when it comes to allowing our children to do "mature" things. At least for me it is!
At the start of this school year, hubby and I made a decision to change the girls' school. The school they attend now is wonderful and they like it a lot! It's much closer to our home than their previous schools; it's within walking distance. Walking distance... there it was: that scary thought (for me) of allowing the last two at home, to walk home from school. It's not like our eldest two didn't walk home from school, so why is it such a big deal now?

Times have changed a lot. Even when the two eldest walked, it was not by choice, it was because the work schedules of hubby and I were not consistent with their school hours. We had an older lady who would help us with them, making sure they got in the house safely and she kept an ear out until we got home. I have to be honest and say I begged and begged for them to get into the afterschool program at their school at the time; eventually they did, and I was able to pick them up myself after work.

Lately, our two youngest have been walking home more frequently. Especially on those days I work in Rialto. It's hard when I'm leaving a site at 2:30 68 miles away (which feels longer because of traffic) and my kids get out of school at 2:20; it's impossible to be in two places at one time. There are a lot of mornings I feel guilty too. Sometimes I'm out the door before they even wake up because traffic is not my friend; thankfully I have hubby who gets them up and out the door before 8 for school.

We had a talk with our girls and explained to them that they would be walking home some days; this was scary for me and hubs. We mapped out a route for them to get home, then we would drive and watch them to see if they knew where they were going (without them seeing us). It took a few times, but eventually, they got the hang of it.

Even though I talk to my girls about walking home and being safe, it's still hard to know that they're walking. I'd much rather be the type of mother who was home for my children; be there whenever they need me. It was difficult with the two eldest and it's still difficult now, but what's a mom to do when she has to work? I have to walk the talk, and bust my tail on days my schedule isn't so crazy to get to their school and be outside waiting for them when the bell rings.

*If only I could put them in school closer to my job like I did Preon and Prettie eventually* IMPOSSIBLE.

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Quality Over Quantity

My following for my Facebook page and my blog is not as huge as a lot of blogs I follow, but I love that I have a following period. I'm grateful for the individuals who stop by my page and my blog to read and support me. 
I do what I do because sometimes I just feel, if it's happening in my life, it's happening in someone else's life or someone may just be wondering.
I take quality over quantity any day. My joy comes from someone telling me that they were inspired or that they learned something. I am truly grateful!

I'm Watching, But They're Not!

When deciding to watch what you eat in terms of counting being more aware of calorie intake, it's a struggle. Why? That's a simple answer... I may be watching what I eat, but my kids are not. Seeing as how I've decided, on more than one occasion, to be more aware of my calorie intake, I've had to be mindful that my kids shouldn't suffer because of it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't allow my kids to just eat whatever they want, but I am a firm believer that kids are only kids once. While I prepare and encourage healthy foods, I also want them to enjoy and indulge in all things viewed by some as too sweet or fattening! Therefore, when I'm shopping and preparing meals, I keep in mind things that my 40+ body cannot handle anymore, does not mean my kids' bodies can't handle them. I still buy things they enjoy eating and we still frequent their favorite restaurants. I just choose things that are more healthy for me.

Hubby and I both are a bit more interested in being more aware of our calorie intake now, but that doesn't mean we're going to starve. After all, choosing to be healthy does not mean it happens in 90 days or less, it means we are aware that it took years to gain the extra pounds and it may take years to lose it. With consistency and dedication, a healthy lifestyle becomes just that... a lifestyle.

Eating the right foods, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and reducing stress are all positive steps toward a health lifestyle. I'm taking baby steps right now; I know me and I know what my pace should be in order to reach my personal goals. I don't want to feel as if I have to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain time because once that "time" arrives, will I become "comfortable" once again? I'd rather pace myself and let it become a way of living as opposed to meeting a deadline.

What about you? Do you find it challenging to prepare foods and shop for your family when you're making a conscious effort to be aware of calories?

Always and Forever

                ALWAYS AND FOREVER
That's the song we danced to on our wedding day 15 years ago. Last Thursday, we celebrated that day with a nice quiet, dinner for two. We spent the rest of the weekend doing what I'd call "reconnecting". 
As we researched things to do for celebrating 15 years of marriage, we noticed that the theme was doing things you "used" to do. For example, a restaurant you frequented in the early years, favorite places, etc., we did just that. Chose one of our favorite restaurants we hadn't visited in a while, and the same night we had dinner and a movie at  the AMC 6 ( more like appetizers and drinks). Over the course of the weekend, we did things with each other that allowed us to have down time and reconnect with one another. Reminiscing over the last 17 years of our relationship and being grateful to still have love, respect, trust, and honesty with one another after 15 years of marriage.
We went out with another married couple ( sister and brother in law) and enjoyed dinner, drinks, and conversation.
We ended the weekend with a spa day for two at Burke Williams, lunch, a nap, and dinner with our two youngest. The two eldest sent us a case if wine to enjoy.
Overall, our anniversary was so amazing. We chose that song to dance to at our reception because we said we'd be together Always and Forever... While forever is yet to come, we are well on our way there! 
I truly believe that God will put people in your life for a reason and a season. Only God himself knows how happy I am that he hand picked my soulmate and sent him to me to take care of me, love me, inspire me, support me, and treat me like a queen!
Here's to 15 years and a lifetime together!!!!


“People crave for more respect than love, because they expect love only from few people but they want respect from everyone.” 

RESPECT. This topic is debatable due to the fact that there are various perceptions of the word and what it means. I came across this definition while looking for the most simple, yet detailed definition of the word:
"esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or somethingconsidered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability" - Reference Here

WORTH and EXCELLENCE; two very powerful words.
In dealing with various individuals on a daily basis in our busy lives, we encounter people from all walks of life. I have stated before, and I stand behind the adage, "You reap what you sow".  How you treat people is usually how they will treat you; usually. However, what happens when you treat others with respect and you find that you do not receive the same in return? What then?

Throughout my professional and personal experiences, I have learned that sometimes, you just have to train  teach others how to respect YOU. It's kind of like, "if a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it fall, did it fall?" If I allow you to be disrespectful to me and not address it, does that mean it's okay? If I don't tell you how you made me feel, and that feeling was very unpleasant, will you not continue to treat me and make me feel some "kind of way"?
Without me getting too deep into why people treat others with little to no respect, I will just say, people carry their baggage with them wherever they may go and you just may have to deal with it on occasion. But at a certain point, you'll have to say, "Carry your own shit stuff!"

At the end of the day, knowing your own WORTH and EXCELLENCE will empower you to stand up for yourself and demand respect regardless to what capacity it is in; personal or professional. You will also learn that being disrespectful is how some people perceive their level of power. You minimize that power by exerting your own power by having a voice and a firm stance.

Can You Teach a Teacher?

Hmmmm... What a question! Of course you can teach a teacher. Educators know that the field of teaching is ever evolving and growing. However, some educators are a bit hesitant to tackle the task of learning to incorporate technology in their teaching strategies.

We live in an era of STEM. Education is not viewed as it once was; times, methods, and strategies have, and are changing. Incorporating technology in classrooms has both challenges and rewards; we should want out children to be on the reward end.

Smart Board, iPad, Google Docs, Class Dojo, Edmodo, Millie's Math House, Cameras, Video recorders, Laptops, Social Media, etc...

Many classrooms across the nation are using technology as an additional teaching tool. While some educators have gladly jumped on board, there are a great deal who are very hesitant to join their "teacher-friends". Why is this?

In my experience of working with various different teachers, the top reason is lack of experience with computers. Shocked? Don't be. Technology can be a very scary thing if you are not at all technologically inclined. Second reason is, the lack of interest to learn anything new. You have teachers who have been teaching for some time and believe that their methods are just fine and are not interested in learning how to incorporate technology into their classrooms.

Whatever the reason, the students suffer when teachers are not willing to be taught or try something new. How can this be changed?  There needs to be discussion at a district- level as to whether or not teachers are required to incorporate technology in their classrooms. But in the meantime, we as parents can play a major role in this discussion as well. 
As a parent, do you inquire with the administration and staff whether or not technology is incorporated in the classrooms at the school of your child/ren? Do you make it a point to email the teacher? Do you visit your child's classroom and look for yourself to see if there is a presence of technology? Do you use Parent Conferences and Back-to-School night as opportunities to see what is occurring in the classroom? As a parent, are you using Edmodo, Google Docs, etc? Do you know what those names are?

As parents are we sending our children to school with knowledge of technology? As parents, are we aware of the world of technology? Do you have laptops, iPads, etc, in your home? If we are expecting teachers to be knowledgable in the area of technology, we also have to ensure that we are doing our part. It takes a village. Each one TEACH one.

I'd Do it All Over, Again and Again...

Many of my blog posts are about my children. It's not hard to tell how much I love and adore my children; my children know just how important they are to me as well! There's not a day that goes by I don't say, I love you. Amidst all the chaos that is "LIFE", as parents, we still find time to remind them to be good to one another, respect themselves, respect others, make wise choices, be happy, pursue their goals and dreams, and always look to one another for comfort and love.

You hear me say We and Us in my posts regarding Our children...

The We, Us, and Our is Me and Him
Mr. Evans is his name! My wonderful husband of... Let's just say we met 17 years ago, dated for a couple years, then we made it official  February 20,1999.
We will (in 6 days), celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary and I'D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. You hear so many stories about people finding their soulmate and you think... REALLY? Well, it's hard to understand until you find your soulmate.
God put us together and there is no other way to put it. Ed really does share part of my soul; I am him, and he is me. He meets my needs and the needs of this family like its nothing to it, when I know a great deal goes into providing for me and our kids. His selfless and unconditional love are what have sustained me over the years. He is my confidant, my ride or die, my partner in crime, my ace, my lover, and my friend. 
While today is Valentine's Day, I'm sure you can understand that it's really not a huge deal around here. Some years, I've given him a hard time about roses being delivered to my job but it's just another day around here. I make it a big deal with the kids, but I look forward to my anniversary more than anything.

So... On this day, I want to tell Mr. Evans that I am so excited we're celebrating 15 years in 6 days and I'd honestly, do it all over again!!!!!!

Step Your Head Game Up Girl!

This post was requested by a friend of mine this morning. She asked me about women and why they may possibly put other women down. While I could approach this from my Psychology background and say that many women suffer some sort of traumatic experience in their adolescent years and it forever scars them, so they behave in a manner which reflects a hurt individual... I'm not!

In my opinion, it has a great deal to do with environment. How so? As individuals, we are placed in various situations and environments daily and we find ourselves adapting, so to speak. Therefore, it depends upon the situation and environment you find yourself in with a woman who has a difficult time expressing her... hmm...what's the word?... Positivity?!

If you're in a work environment, she may be attempting to climb the career ladder and she sees any fellow woman as competition. If you're in a familial environment, she could be an in-law, cousin, sister, aunt, etc who may see your role with your family and or spouse as something she may want for herself but is unsure of how to attain it. If it's in your personal circle, it could be all of the above plus a little of, why is she skinnier than me? why does she drive a better car than me?, etc. It's not a bad thing to be a little jealous of the next person, in fact, it's healthy. It makes you strive a bit more to be successful i certain areas of your life. Besides, you want people around you who do not have the same as you; it makes for boring conversations and outings if you have every single thing in common, does it not?

There is no one cookie-cutter answer for why we as women sometimes have a difficult time expressing satisfaction for our fellow "sistahs" and their accomplishments. My answer is this: GET YOUR HEAD GAME RIGHT GIRL! That works both ways, on both sides.

At times, we care too much what the next person thinks about us. While opinions count, they do not define us as an individual. If "she" thinks that "you" have it going on and can't deal with it, that's her problem. She better get her head game right. If you care what she thinks so much that it haunts you and you worry about it often, you better get your head game right.

Focus on the positive, not the negative. This is so cliche and so much more difficult to do, but with effort, it's possible. I mean, as women, we can spot a "hater" a mile away. But I don't like to refer to them as "haters". They're more like "fans in denial". They like me. They like what they see, they're just in denial that they too, can have what I have; they are in denial about their abilities. Sometimes, they just want to be a part of your world but are uncertain if they will be accepted by you.

What is the remedy? Step your head game up girl! Don't return negative for negative (easier said than done), instead, respond with kindness and be open to meeting new people. You never know how much you and your fans have in common unless you stop to sign an autograph for them!

STILL WINNING! (the fight against Alopecia)

The battle with Alopecia for our baby Haley continues. She's still winning! For those of you familiar with the post I wrote I wrote last year, you may recall she lost a great deal of hair to Alopecia before we even understood how and why it was happening. You can find the post HERE

Although the journey has proved to be challenging at times, we have fought the battle with everything we have, in a positive manner; never allowing Haley to feel anything but support and love. During her Cheer season this year, she decided she didn't want her hair to fully grow back; instead she opted to continue to sport a mohawk. She made this decision because she felt it would be easier and so much more cute than an afro! When you hear me speak of what Haley wants, please believe me that she is allowed to speak her mind and have a say in her hair styles... it is a form of empowerment and self-esteem. It has always been important to me that all my children have a voice, but even more so in this case with Haley.
She's H.E.R.E. - Haley with her mohawk

I agreed with her, and she rocked her Mohawk for the entire Cheer season. However, we made an agreement that when Cheer season was over, we would begin to allow all her hair to grow back in. While she wore this mohawk, her hair began to grow healthy and thick; you could tell by the length of the mohawk. We would get it trimmed at the top a bit with every haircut, but we could clearly see her hair restoring itself with the haircare regimen.

True to my word, I scheduled her an appointment to have her hair braided yesterday (it's been about 3 weeks since she attended Nationals in Vegas) because Cheer season is over (for now) and here is what she looks like today

Last night right after her hair appointment

The braids can be worn with versatility. Right now, they cover the sides which are much shorter than the top. Once the sides grow in more, they can be braided as well.

She has enough hair to braid and we will continue to get it braided and keep up the haircare regimen we have been maintaining. My oldest daughter, Prettie, researched a great deal as well when we discovered Haley had Alopecia and she has learned to make her own Shea Butter for the hair and she graciously brought some to Vegas for Haley so we will also add that product to our haircare regimen as well.

We're so happy for Haley! Not only has her hair grown, but she can feel "normal" again. Those were her exact words last night. She said, "I feel like a normal little girl again! It was fun wearing my mohawk and a lot of people knew me as the little girl with the mohawk who could flip really good. Now they're going to say, she has hair!!!"

I don't care what anyone says or thinks about my baby. As long as she is happy and healthy and knows she's H.E.R.E. for a reason, my heart will always be full. My children are thee most important people in my life. If they're happy, I'm happy. If they're winning, I'm winning. My baby is STILL WINNING!!!!

Love Is...

This week, everyone is buzzing about Valentine's Day and the word LOVE can be heard everywhere. While I absolutely adore Valentine's Day with it's indulgence of roses, flowers, candy, cards, gifts, and jewelry, I don't get too caught up in the whole idea. My favorite thing, is to do something special for my kids, like cook a full spread breakfast if it's the weekend.
Also, our Anniversary is six days after Valentine's Day and I look forward to that more than anything.

With that being said, I do not consider myself a religious fanatic, but I know God and I know he loves me and everyone else. With this week being about Love, I thought I'd take time out to dwell on the love that God has for us all.

I just want to share a couple scriptures about Love:
Psalm 63
I Corinthians 13:4

I always remember God's unselfish love for mankind and how he gave his ONLY son for us. It really let's you know how much he loves us. Regardless as to how you view Valentine's Day, remember that Love does not just occur on one given day, love is everywhere all the time!

Make-Up or Break-Up?

On my morning commute this morning, I saw a lady in the car in front of me putting  on make-up. She appeared to be doing damage to her face. I mean, the entire car was shaking and rocking as she applied her make-up, and in between lights, she would zoom off to try and make it to the next stop quickly so she could continue applying make-up. I thought it was safest to stay  behind her so she wouldn't crash into me and it was hilarious just watching her stab her face with a sponged wedge!

This commute entertainment sparked many questions in this head of mine:
1. Why isn't she doing this at home?
I think maybe an extra 20-30 minutes added to her alarm would help
2. Is this safe?
I don't think so. She swooped in front of me, raced to every light, and swereved a couple times into the next lane.
3. Why is putting on make-up so important that it NEEDS to be applied BEFORE you get where you're going?
4. When women wear make-up daily, does it cause them to look (insert word(s) here) when they don't wear it?
5. How rigourously should make-up be applied? If the entire car was shaking and rocking, that can't be healthy attention to her face. How much damage is being done to her face?

I guess I would be considered a plain Jane to some because I don't wear make-up everyday. I like wearing it sometimes and I own everything from brushes to glosses but the thought of clogging my pores on a daily basis is scary for me. I think it's okay to wear make-up sometimes, but not daily. It just doesn't seem healthy. Caring for the skin is tricky enough without adding extra issues to think about.
Besides, the lady in front of me clearly proved that you need to break-up with your make-up, at least during driving hours!

Have a wonderful Hump Day! It's almost Friday!

Make-Up or Break-Up?

On my morning commute this morning, I saw a lady in the car in front of me putting  on make-up. She appeared to be doing damage to her face. I mean, the entire car was shaking and rocking as she applied her make-up, and in between lights, she would zoom off to try and make it to the next stop quickly so she could continue applying make-up. I thought it was safest to stay  behind her so she wouldn't crash into me and it was hilarious just watching her stab her face with a sponged wedge!

This commute entertainment sparked many questions in this head of mine:
1. Why isn't she doing this at home?
I think maybe an extra 20-30 minutes added to her alarm would help
2. Is this safe?
I don't think so. She swooped in front of me, raced to every light, and swereved a couple times into the next lane.
3. Why is putting on make-up so important that it NEEDS to be applied BEFORE you get where you're going?
4. When women wear make-up daily, does it cause them to look (insert word(s) here) when they don't wear it?
5. How rigourously should make-up be applied? If the entire car was shaking and rocking, that can't be healthy attention to her face. How much damage is being done to her face?

I guess I would be considered a plain Jane to some because I don't wear make-up everyday. I like wearing it sometimes and I own everything from brushes to glosses but the thought of clogging my pores on a daily basis is scary for me. I think it's okay to wear make-up sometimes, but not daily. It just doesn't seem healthy. Caring for the skin is tricky enough without adding extra issues to think about.
Besides, the lady in front of me clearly proved that you need to break-up with your make-up, at least during driving hours!

Have a wonderful Hump Day! It's almost Friday!

Lego and LEGGO!

The other day, my son and I were discussing his college and life plans. He's changed his major a couple times so he will not be graduating in June as we initially thought and planned. Initially, I wanted him to be finished in the "usual" four years but I eventually had to stop and think for a minute...
This is my firstborn child; my man-child. I watched him as a kid, go through so many phases and explore so many things. At one point in his toddler life, he loved birds; was fascinated by birds of all sorts. Was it the fact that birds are so free-spirited? I don't know... This was also a child who adored the 101 Dalmatian movie, was obsessed with Batman and Jurrasic Park, and his ultimate love was LEGOS!!! He enjoyed building things, tearing them down and building them all over again.

As I pondered our many conversations, and the most recent, I smiled. Why? Because this kid has never been an "average" kid so why would I expect him to complete college like an average kid? While many adventures and interests came and went in his life, he was always fascinated with change. Preon always wanted to do things differently, and on his schedule. His love for Legos carried over beyond his toddler years. He was always buiding intricate designs; only to tear them down and start all over with a totally different idea, each being splendid works of art!

Why don't we, as individuals, look at life like a box or crate of Legos? There is no one cookie-cutter way of seeing things through. Parenting, life, school, work, etc... there is always more than one way to get something done, and there are definitely various roads to travel to get there. Preon's spirit is such a free spirit that it is really no surprise he's taking his time and deciding what it is he wants to do. As I look back, I would have benefitted greatly by doing this. Legos allow chidren to understand the mechanics of fitting things together to create something unique. If it doesn't turn out right, you can take it apart and start all over. Isn't that how life should be? What if we could have do-overs like a box of Legos?

I have always taught my kids to go after their dreams; do things their way, go against the grain, don't be normal. God gives us all different visions, which is why we have such a variety of inventors and inventions. I remember reading a quote somewhere which said: "Don't expect people to understand your grind when God didn't give them YOUR vision". It's true, I didn't understand why Preon couldn't make up his mind about his future in an "average" amount of time; it wasn't for me to understand, it was for me to continue to be supportive of his grind.

I've raised, and am raising, well-rounded individuals who know what they want out of life. Sometimes, as mothers we want to hold on and still run things even after we've taught them to be independent. Preon is working, going to school, enjoying life, and making me proud. Maybe it''s time I just LEGGO and watch his greatness unveil in his due time. He's approaching life right now as a box of Legos... and what better time to tear things (ideas) down and start all over than when you're in college?! Besides, I'm grateful that his focus is on school and work at 22 years of age than on a baby. Afterall, you can't rebuild a kid. Once it's made, there's no do-overs!

Love Yourself

Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Do You, DO YOU?

When we say, " I'm doing me (meh)!" What exactly does that mean? I've said it before but in reality I know that doing me and me only is impossible because I'm a wife and mother. However, you can do you by loving  the skin you're in. I find myself reading so many of my social media sites and finding women who do not embrace their inner beauty as much as they embrace their outer beauty.
I'm not saying it's wrong to be fit and health conscious but there are more important things going on in life. Or are there?
I was having a conversation the other day with a friend and this subject came up. She shared her perspective with me regarding people who live (so to speak) in gyms and are always worried about their looks... "They have no life"
What's your take? Should being fit and cute take precedence over everything? Is it true that people who dedicate their life to fitness have nothing going for them but their appearance? Is being health conscious important to a certain degree?
I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Vegas Bound

Being a Mom is not my title, it's my #LIFE. Raising productive, well-rounded individuals is something I take great pride in. There are times when being a Mom is difficult; teaching your children life lessons and teaching them how do identify when a situation is a life lesson is sometimes heart-breaking. My baby girl, Haley is one of THEE most dedicated CHEERLEADERS I know. I have watched her grow as my kid and I have watched her perfect her craft that she loves so much. I have also watched my baby lose all her hair and keep her spirit and tenacity. She never gave up, she will never give up. Why? Because she has the best support team EVER! So when my baby arrives in VEGAS on Thursday with her support team in tow, they'll know she's there. My baby is H.E.R.E. for a purpose, for a reason. I had to teach my kid a difficult life lesson this week... It's all good because once she hits that stage, she'll do what she does FIVE days a week- BRING IT! She wakes up a WINNER everyday. Period. #Vegas #Bound #Nationals #GlamourGirlz #Nickies #Kid #Winning

Tick, Tock... Tick, Tock!!!!!

Time waits for no one. If I had a penny for each time I heard that!There are moments when I feel like I'm watching the clock (not literally, of course) and it's passing time much faster than my body can carry me. There are few dull moments in my life and I like to believe that I am good at seizing moments and opportunities.

Feeling like everything had to be done right away and a certain way is what I suffered from in the past as a perfectionist. While I still hold high standards for myself, I have learned, with age, that some things are just not as important as I may "believe" they are and some things can "wait". Yet, the clock keeps ticking... Tick, tock...tick, tock.

With the new year only being 6 days in, I think about promises I have made to myself. Not resolutions, but promises; things I really "want" to do, but not necessarily "need" to do. I believe that's where some make a mistake with resolutions. We have to remember what is important in life and focus on those things; the things that truly bring us joy. The little, BIG things like family, fun, food, life, growth, and well-being. While these encompass a great deal, they are the simple, yet finer things in life.

I'm sitting at a desk in my Hotel Suite reminding myself of the promise to take each day as it comes without the added stress of perfectionism. My workflow will progress as it is supposed to and if it is meant for me to hold a position higher than that of my current situation, I'm going embrace it if it happens, and not be sad if it doesn't.

I promised myself to take more time to put my thoughts in writing. I have so many ideas and thoughts flowing that I should take advantage of sharing them. There are several other promises that I made but those are from me to me.

They are promises I have made, and promises I have every intent to keep. As always, I see myself as a work in progress. Some will love you (me), some will misunderstand you (me). What remains true is that you are you, I am me, and there is no one truer than you and ME! (I love Dr. Seuss)

The bad news is that time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot!

The clock is ticking. What will you do with your time?

What Now?

Its 2014, a new year. I haven't set any resolutions because I don't really see the point. I could say I'm going to do certain things by a certain time but if it's not realistic, what's the point?
So... What's next? Life is next! Life goes on with each changing of the seasons and years; what counts is what YOU choose to do with that time.
I'm always looking for ways to improve myself on both a professional and personal level. Therefore, what I have in store for myself and my family are amazing things and greatness!
There's no time limit on growth!
What's next for you?
By the way... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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