America has spoken! President Barack Obama re-elected Wednesday, Nov 7 2012 

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Whether you voted for him or not, he is The President of the United States. Our job is to respect him, support him and pray for him and all leaders. Congratulations on your second term Mr. President!

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Our fabulous summer vacation and birthday celebration Friday, Jul 20 2012 

I must admit that this has got to be one of our best summer vacations. No, we did not fly to Vegas, The Bahamas or anything fancy…we went home to LOUISIANA! Now every time I go home it’s a good visit but this was one to go down in history for us. We had just gone home during our spring break but it was mostly a business trip with a little pleasure. Our reason for going home this time was to celebrate my baby sissy’s 30th birthday and to meet her new friend. She flew in from San Diego, he flew in from Detroit and we drove in from Georgia. She had our time planned pretty much to the second.

Before we went to my hometown of Baton Rouge, we spent a couple of days in Lafayette where my husband is from. We spent time with his mother and siblings and ate! One thing you must know is that when we go home we EAT A LOT! LOL We took the kids to Avery Island where Tabasco Sauce is made and distributed. It’s a pretty neat trip because you actually get to see them make it and bottle it up to be shipped out to thousands of different countries. They got a kick out of it because we keep Tabasco Sauce in the house so to see that it was actually made in Louisiana was definitely a plus. We were also able to sample different sauces and get this, spicy ice cream, jalapeño ice cream and spicy soda. Later that night my husband spent an evening with the boys and the kids and I chilled at home with his mother to recoop from the heat. Now on to Baton Rouge, let the birthday fun begin.

First on the agenda was supposed to be an evening with her favorite jazz band but that fell through so we chilled at our older sister’s apartment and that turned in to be a PARTY! Big sis cooked crawfish lasagna, salad and garlic bread. Lawd! Baby sis’ friend was a hit and everybody loved him instantly, which is a shocker because she’s the baby of the family so we tend to be pretty tough on “anyone” that tries to get close to her. LOL He really is a great guy, great personality…just cool! The next day we had a double date at breakfast for crawfish and shrimp omelets and then took her “friend” on a tour of Southern University (The largest HBCU in America) and then later that afternoon we had boudin and Good ole Louisiana Pecan Candy (Pralines)! Yummo. Btw, he is not used to eating all this stuff but it’s delicious so he can’t resist! We then separated and took much needed naps and on to our next destination…the firing range.

Now, the firing range was something else because I had never fired a gun ever! I was so nervous and anxious at the same time. Two or three weeks prior to my trip I told my older sis that baby sis wanted to go but I was really scared. Seeing that we were raised with guns allllll over the house because dad was a police officer, I should have been very comfortable with them. However, I was very afraid but could not figure out why. During our conversation, she reminded me that when we were younger she (older sis) pulled a gun on me playing around but it freaked me out so bad that I blocked it out but the fear was still there. Anyway, when I walked in I immediately started sweating and shaking, I thought I was going to pass out. We rented our weapons and it was time. Once inside the room I almost had a panic attack because the sound of all these guns going off. People were just firing away like it was nothing. I didn’t think I could go along with it but of course I did. My husband was there to guide me and he made me feel so comfortable and at ease and pop, pop, pop! There I was, shooting my first gun. The first two shots were really hard but once I got the hang of it, I was good. Thanks lil sis because if it wasn’t for you I probably would have died an old lady and never fired a gun! LOL

Now here is the kicker, the swamp tour! The final thing on her agenda for us to do to celebrate her birth week was this tour. I must admit, when she first mentioned it I was like huh, a swamp tour? But the more I thought about it the more I was ready to go. She sent me a link to view the tour and get more information and I was totally sold on the idea. The tour was an hour and 45 minutes long. We went up and down the bayous of Southeastern Louisiana. Seeing the excitement on the faces of my children was priceless. I actually think my husband and I were just as excited as they were if not more. We saw dozens of alligators, turtles and cranes. My youngest son was a little bummed because we did not come across any snakes; I’m actually cool with that! We had an awesome tour guide that comically guided us through and explained to us everything we saw along the way. Near the end of the tour, much to our surprise he pulled out a soon to be two year old alligator to pass around. I have never held one or even touched one for that matter. I was eager but nervous at the same time; my saving grace was that the little booger had tape around his mouth so he couldn’t bite anyone. Needless to say, we all held him and took pictures and it was such a great experience! The swamp tour was a great success and get’s two thumbs up in my opinion.

After the swamp tour we took a loooong stroll down Canal and then Bourbon St! You can’t go to NOLA without hitting the streets. Now mind you this is the weekend of the Essence Festival so there were people galore. We managed to find a parking spot about 5 blocks from Bourbon St so a marching we went! There is no experience like New Orleans. They were partying and drinking and dancing up and down the streets. Well we finally made it to Bourbon St and Lord have mercy. We took for granted that it was the middle of the day and forgot that we were on BOURBON STREET…if you know what I mean. LOL my kids eyes were stretched beyond stretched! LOL It wasn’t that bad but it was cutting it close. We stopped at a lil spot and had alligator balls and rice, thanks to lil sis and her friend and then caught in a horrible thunder storm. New Orleans rocks!

Last but certainly not least on our last night together we all met up as big sis apartment one last time for a barbecue! All four sisters and one out of four brothers were present along with my niece and all our children were there. We had chicken; pork chops (them), hamburgers, sausages, baked spaghetti and cheese, dirty rice and baked beans! Whoa Nelly everything was delicious. We ate, drank, played spades, laughed, played spades, drank and ate again. Big sis brought out a beautiful birthday cake for the birthday girl and we all sang Happy Birthday to her! I really think she was happy with our singing….NOT!! We took dozens of pictures because we knew it would be another year or more before we would all be together under the same roof like that. As the time drew near, it was time to say good bye. Her flight was leaving early in the morning and we were heading to Florida for round two of our summer vacation. I worked very hard to hold back my tears because out of all my sisters, I’m the most sensitive. I hate saying goodbyes/see you laters! We genuinely love each other. We all hugged and kissed and disbursed to our destinations for the night and headed out first thing in the morning.

Really quick…while in Florida we went to the beach, kayaking, YOLO boarding, swimming and visiting with friends. Whew, we are all exhausted. Two weeks of family, food, fun and sun! So again, no, we didn’t go on a fancy trip to an island or another country but we went home to Louisiana where we were born and our roots are and where the ones we love and hold near and dear are. You can’t put a price tag on the experience we had this summer. Our children spent quality time with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We spent quality time with our siblings and parents, nieces and nephews. Priceless!

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From creamy crack to naturally black! Wednesday, Jul 18 2012 

For some time now I have been frustrated with my hair. I grew more and more tired of trying to decide when should I relax it, 6 weeks, 8 weeks… With my busy schedule it’s been really hard to keep a schedule that included a hair appointment. Once I cut my hair in a shorter style I noticed that I needed a relaxer more often than usual in order to keep it tight and that became a big problem for me. January was the last time I relaxed my hair, aggravated because I had to do it myself because I wanted to look really nice for our anniversary and didn’t have time for an appointment. Four weeks passed, six weeks passed, eight weeks passed and with my hectic schedule I just could not find the time to fit it in. Soooo, out of frustration, I decided to go natural.

I have always admired my beautiful black sistah’s who were getting back to their beautiful natural selves. The most intriguing thing was that no two are alike. Your natural is not my natural. A lot of us shy away from it, as I did in the past because we are so addicted to the creamy crack. Some actually don’t think there is true beauty in natural hair (thanks to society)! My daughter is 11 years old and has hair down her back as I did at her age and it’s all natural. I’ve seen and heard of so many young girls getting relaxers and their hair breaking and falling out. So I’ve opted not to relax her hair. Most of her friends have relaxed hair and that poses a small issue for me. Only because she started asking quite often for a relaxer. I explained to her that once I relaxed her hair she wouldn’t be able to wear it curly like she often requests. That sort of calmed her down but not totally. This is kinda my second reason for going natural.

My natural journey was not as long one as most are. My last relaxer was the first week of January. Around the end of March I became aggrivated becasue as I started to have more new growth, it was hard for me to manage on my own. I decieded to get kinky twist after researching transitioning from relaxed hair to natural. That was an option I was willing to try at the time. Did that and loved them for a while…until it got really hot! I couldn’t handle the heat so they had to go. I kept them in for almot 3 months and noticed I had quite a bit more of new growth. During this time I saw a few articles and YouTube videos on “THE BIG CHOP!” My first words were “I would never do that!” I felt the ladies who did cut all their hair off were really brave and beautiful but I just didn’t think I had the courag to do it. One Sunday evening in late June, I sat in my bed with a Walmart bag and rat tailed comb and began to take them out. I called my girlfriend who is a beautician and told her to bring her shears. By 1 am I looked in the mirror and there I stood with about an inch or more of hair on my head. The beautiful hair that God gave me. I instantly felt liberated and free! I am no longer bound by my hair or appointments or what the media telling me what I should look like. I’m free of the creamy crack and back to being naturally black!

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You’re still the one! Sunday, Jan 15 2012 

Nineteen years ago I met the love of my life, the man God designed just for me and I him. We started out as good friends and it blossomed into a beautiful relationship. Over some time we began the dating and then courting process which quickly led to our engagement and then I married my BEST friend two years later. We have been married for seventeen years and in the words of Mr. and Mrs. Brooks on In Living Color…We stiiiillllll together!!! I must admit it hasn’t always been a cake walk. He often tells me “girl I could bite you on the ankle sometimes” and I would in turn tell him “you aint no day at the beach either!” We have made our mistakes but there is one thing we have always stood on, other than the Word of God, and that is DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION!

Over the years we have lived in our hometown of Baton Rouge, La., Greenville, NC., Fort Campbell, Ky., Clarksville, TN., and now Augusta, Ga. With four kids and a dog our family is complete. While living in Kentucky and Tennessee I acquired a slight taste for country music. I never rocked cowboy boots or even a cowboy hat but I learned a few songs and one I absolutely fell in love with. It truly sums it all up for me and gives a true picture of our relationship. My honey is and will always be THE ONE! Enjoy! 🙂

You’re still the one

Behold, all things are become new! Sunday, Jan 1 2012 

Happy New Year! 2011 had its share of ups and downs and truth be told, the first 6 months of it can kick rocks as far as I’m concerned. The second half was like training for the big game, extremely painful at times but you know in the end you win! I learned a lot about myself (the good, the bad and the ugly) and did a whole lot of growing. I also learned a lot about the power of love, the power of forgiveness and the power of redemption. We sometimes go through things in life and we don’t understand why but, it will stretch us beyond our capacity and cause us to grow and change us for the better. I am grateful for my life and the love of my life…my husband. With all that being said, I truly believe that 2012 has great things in store for me and my family. I can’t wait to see the manifestation of what’s to come!

We brought the New Year in home, just the 5 of us. Watched Dick Clark (bless his heart), popped a bottle of Welch’s Sparkling non-alcoholic white grape juice cocktail with the kids and watched the ball drop! We made a toast to the New Year, hugged and kissed and I even shed a few tears for my dad and the excitement of another year. After church later that morning we came home to a huge put of gumbo, had some friends over and watched tons of football…WHO DAT! I haven’t finished my goal list for this year yet. I want to make sure that the things I write are realistic and ones that I truly plan on sticking to. I’m so looking forward to this year: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Merry Christmas Sunday, Dec 25 2011 

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my fellow bloggers!  I pray your day is filled with lots of love and family.  Have a beautiful and blessed day.  🙂

What, no parties? Friday, Dec 16 2011 

I must admit that I’m a little upset that my job is not having a Christmas party!  I was so looking forward to dressing up and having some fun.  I work with some amazing people and we get along really well so I don’t know what happened.  Maybe I could have taken the bull by the horns and planned something but being that this is my first year there I’m still not sure how it all works.  We did receive an email stating that we will be having breakfast 6:30 tomorrow morning and are asked to bring a gift but after speaking to several co-workers, I think the attendance is going to be rather low.  My thought was that I can barely get to work at 7 am so I know I’m pushing it to be in 30 minutes earlier.  LOL

I tried talking to the ladies in my office to see if we could do something on a smaller scale but 2 out of the 5 of us have plans already!  Can anyone say “bah humbug” in here?   Maybe I’ll get an invite some time during my 2 weeks off…I hope anyway!  I thought maybe I would be able to join my husband at his company Christmas party but on Tuesday they had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and brought gifts after pulling names!  *blank stare*  I don’t know what’s going on.  Maybe we are all just too busy, I know I am, but I would have loved to participate in a lil sumthin sumthin!  Oh well, we’ll see what the next few days will hold for me.  Come on people, send me an invite!! 🙂

Deck the halls Saturday, Dec 10 2011 

I’m so excited that our Christmas tree is finally up. Yes, I’m aware that I am a tad bit late but hey, it’s up. My kids have been asking since Thanksgiving when were we going to decorate the house. My husband and I were both ill during that time so that was the last thing on our minds. Hubby was home from work on Friday so by the time we all made it home the tree was up and waiting to be decorated. My 10 year old daughter was a little more excited than her two older brothers but once we started putting the lights and ornaments on the tree they came alive and so did I. With the Christmas music playing in the background it was certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our home. Now if I can just get some gifts under there….

No, I have not even started shopping yet. We really don’t go all out in that department. We have chosen to keep it at a 3 gift maximum in this house and it seems to work out really well. I try to get two things they really, really want and then something we want them to have and then something big for them to share. It’s usually a new game system or something like that. I normally do most of my shopping online because I hate long lines and crowded department stores. The only person I know that hates this as much as I do is my husband. That brother HATES going to any store during the month of December. It’s so not his thing. I can tolerate it a little bit more than he can but I’m in and out or I’ll try to go as soon as the store opens. It’s so funny to watch him; I know when he’s reached his limit because he is usually standing like a tin man with this stone look on his face with his eyebrows damn near touching his hairline! LOL The other reason is because of how folks act when this should be a time of peace and good will toward men. However, this seems to be the time they are the rudest and most hateful. The true reason for the season is lost. With all the pushing and shoving just to save a buck, it just leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

Once again, we have decided not to go home for the holidays. What’s really going on? Well, it’s very expensive to travel this time of year and we are so tired of lugging all the gifts back and forth. In the 17 years we’ve been married this is probably the 4th or 5th time we didn’t go home. We were hoping to have someone from home come but it looks like it’s going to be the five of us and that’s ok with me. My prayer is that we will all be together really soon. I miss them much!

 

Is this the end? Monday, Nov 28 2011 

Unfortunately so! The end of a very well rested, well deserved week off for Thanksgiving break has arrived. I did absolutely nothing the whole week. Except for a little shopping for the meal and taking hubby to the doctor (bronchitis was the verdict). I spent it with my family at home every day. However, on Thanksgiving Day we did go over to some friend’s house to share a wonderful meal and plenty of laughter. We ate, watched football, ate some more and watched more football. By midnight we decided it was time to call it quits and head home. I feel that was a great alternative to going home and having a ten-hour drive both ways. We spent the day with some good people so we survived. Sleeping in on Friday morning and what do you know, I wake up coughing and throat hurting. I roll over and give my husband the evil eye and he says I got it because I wouldn’t stay from under him. Really?! This coming from the one who’s such a big baby when he gets sick (which is not often) has to be right under me at night. Well however I got it, I got it. I had to spend the last three days of my time off coughing, sneezing, aching, nose running…you name it I had it. I do plan on going to work to show my face and give my doctor a call for an appt. Hopefully this doesn’t last long because I have plenty on my plate with all the ripping and running I have to do during the school week. So tell me how your Thanksgiving was and am I the only one sick around here?

Preparation time Thursday, Nov 24 2011 

So, I’m in the kitchen preparing a feast for tomorrow and suddenly I hear this sweet little voice, “can I help?” My initial reaction was to say “not right now sweetie” but I couldn’t resist that cute lil grin on her face….”sure honey, you can help.” At that moment I was chopping up my garlic, onions and bell peppers and getting the skillet all nice and warm for sautéing and browning the meat for the rice dressing (dirty rice). I gave her an assignment and that was to sauté’ the seasoning and then add the meat and stir, stir, stir. I look over my shoulder and she’s doing a fine job, smiling at me for approval of course. In that moment I thought to myself, how I could have missed this moment, this teaching moment, this bonding moment all in the name of RUSHING. I’m so glad I slowed down and allowed my little angel to join in with me because I realize that she’ll be leaving me in just a few short years for college and then she will be getting married and have a family of her own. Life is precious and time is something we don’t have a lot of so use wisdom with both!

NO REGRETS!

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