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Spring Break and Magical Memories

Spring break has finally come and gone and my Chandler has been so excited! Last week we spent 4 magical days in sunny Destin, Florida on a beautiful resort. Destin is usually our go-to beach for a family getaway because it’s very close to home, (4 hours away) and it has the most beautiful crystal clear water and clean white sand, hence the reason it’s nickname is “The Emerald Coast.”  It also has a very family friendly environment with so much to do. She spent the first few days of her spring break resting and being anxious about going to the beach after an unusual colder winter here in Georgia. Ideally, I wish we could spend the full week there BUT I am still a single Mom and money has to be made so off to work I go… for at least some of the week! Add a Thursday and Friday with two days from the weekend and we spent a good little time there to do everything we liked. This was also a combined Birthday trip for my Boyfriend who we celebrated on Saturday, but as most Mom’s know the birthday got lost in the shuffle of doing everything that Chandler B. wanted. I haven’t had my own birthday to myself since 2010, the year before she way born. haha- That’s OK because birthdays are much more sweeter with her here!

Our accommodations were at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, and it was a perfect location. It is reasonably priced and a beautiful place to vacation. We were able to leave the car parked in the garage for the majority of the time because everything was conveniently located right outside our window. It’s an enormous community with condos, villa’s, studio rooms, and standard hotel rooms as well. There’s also shopping, dining, banks and even a Publix located right on the property. Literally everything you can possibly need within the gates! Being that it was the last week in March it was a little chilly especially in the morning and evenings, we only spent one day at the beach which was just across the street. That is the only time we had to get in our car, it was great! Chandler B. was a beach bum and never wanted to leave the water even though she was shivering while playing. It was a beautiful sight to see how excited all the kiddos were to be in the sun and on the beach enjoying God’s beautiful creation and work of art. The ocean never gets old, it still almost takes my breath away every time, I get lost in its breath taking view. There’s a calmness that overtakes me when I sit on the beach, life’s uncertainties suddenly doesn’t matter.

The first day we got there we checked in and of course wanted to get seafood. We ended up at the Crazy Lobster. It was located in the village we were staying at on the board walk. There was live music and so many people out enjoying the sunny day. After eating we walked the board walk and took some photos as the sun began to set. We planned to get in some pool time but it was a little to cool to take a dip in the pool and my daughter wasn’t too happy about that! Our second day was dedicated to the beach so we got up and set out to the ocean, but first we had breakfast at Another Broken Egg which is now our favorite breakfast spot! Have y’all every heard of city grits??? Maybe I’m late but this was my first time trying them and they are AMAZING!!! We ate breakfast there 3 days in a row and loved it each time. It was also located just steps from our room within the Village. After filling our bellies with brunch from the heavens we headed to the beach and stayed several hours before coming back and going to dinner. Saturday my daughter enjoyed all the fun playing at the Baytowne Adventure Zone! And yes, this also was located in the Village. Ziplining, ropes coarse, trampolines, carousal, rock climbing, a huge lagoon, and so much more. After enjoying that we went to a little theme park to meet some friends that was also in town. So if all those adventures wasn’t enough she got to ride bumper cars, carnival rides, and played in the arcade. Needless to say she was completely worn out before getting ready for the birthday dinner. This night we decided to enjoy fine dining at the Marlin Grill and it was delicious! My Parents were sweet enough to come down and join us for our last two days and we enjoyed hanging out with them as always! The food was perfection and the service was as if you were royalty. We enjoyed every minute!

To me the most beautiful thing about life is making memories with the people you love the most! These times can only be described as magical! There was a few bumps in the weekend but that doesn’t stop the enjoyment, you step right over it and concentrate on the reason you’re there. Kids will whine and complain a little when they are actually told “no” once or twice (how dare we?) but as we did, you gotta quickly put ’em back “in-check!” Nothing is perfect but after it’s all said and done and you get back home, you only remember those good memories you just made, not the hang ups! I can say we had an awesome Spring Break this year and I cannot wait for the next time we can do a little getaway again! Work hard and travel often, even its not too far, a change of scenery for a few days can make a world of difference for you and your family to unplug, reset, and rejuvenate! If you’re ever looking to go to the Sandestin/Destion area check out this resort, we loved it and will definitely be where we stay anytime we’re in the area! If you need more info or have any questions about this resort I’d be happy to help and/or point you in the right direction! Whatever you decided to do for your child’s spring break I pray it was Magical! Check out a little collage below from our weekend!

Life After Divorce

Divorce is something you will never forget, no matter how hard you try to, at first life is a whirlwind. There’s a lot of adjusting and a lot of worrying about what’s next for you and your child(ren). You are likely more concerned about what is the best way to try to keep your child’s life as “normal” and less effected as possible. You can easily forget about you and your emotional health. This trait is one of a great Mother, but potentially harmful to your mental health. I will always mention I am a huge advocate of self-care! If we don’t take care of ourselves we cannot be there for our family and offer them the very best of us. I am here to tell you that there is life after divorce, and a good life! Do not alienate yourself because you are not alone. So many of us go through this, and not enough of us talk about it. Unfortunately, it is sometimes apart of life. It happens! You don’t have to be embarrassed or feel humiliated, I say all of these things because everything I am describing, I experienced . It was such a waste of stress on myself because I now know that I didn’t deserve to feel this way. I am also thankful that I did experience these emotions because I can tell you not to slip into the trap of questioning yourself. When you’re living in it, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m here to tell you that there is! Like, so much light Sis. Brighter than you would’ve ever imagine. Hang tight…

Once you unapologetically realize what has taken place and the initial shock of it all has worn away, you will be able to put your big girl underwear on and roll with the punches. Now, this is your reality it is not punishment, although it may seem like it at first. Once you reach this point then you reach a point of freedom. It’s freeing to think to yourself “this has happened and I am going to be OK!” Because you will. You are in control of your mind, your thoughts, and what you choose to focus your energy on. Change your mentality to think on positive things, only speak encouragement truths out of your mouth, and focus on uplifting thoughts. Once a negative thought or worry creeps in your mind, combat it with words of affirmation. This won’t be easy sometimes especially when your Ex-husband is fighting you for child custody or behind on child support payments but remembering you are in control of how you react will change your mindset. I am the last person to tell you to react “maturely and nicely” because most times I did the opposite. Divorce is an ugly process and requires a lot of energy from you but once it’s all said and done….you are done! It’s over, finished, a wrap! Move on with your life and give yourself the happiness you deserve! It’s time to get back to you and the things you want to do! Focus on bettering yourself in some form whether that be going back to school, focusing on advancing at your job, starting your own business, writing a book or writing your thoughts each day. I’ve learned that being a Mother is a magnificent aspect of life but it isn’t the only thing in your life. You still have gifts and talents and as long as you’re still breathing you still have a purpose to live out. Life after divorce can be a great one if you create that! Being a single Mother can be special. Of course we don’t wish for these life changes but if they happen, make the most of it. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment, because no ones journey is the same. Soon you will figure out why yours is significant. Be patient with yourself, your healing, and your journey. This mess will soon turn out to be a masterpiece. It’ll work out for you and your children’s good as long as you keep that faith!

I am still on the journey but if you read my very first blog post, “Divorce, Debt, and Doubt,” you will see that my introduction to Motherhood was one filled with a lot of uncertainties and a lot of pain. What I chose to focus on was the fact that I had a brand new daughter that I was responsible for and I had to pick up the pieces and make things better for us. I am not where I want to be yet but I am so much further than I was, and that is the purpose of life, making progress. The biggest change has been my outlook on life and my faith has been strengthened in many ways. What I would like for you to take away from this if you’re in the process of divorce, newly divorced or questioning whether to get divorced, is that life is not over. It’s the beginning of a different but new journey, and this journey can be fun and exciting. Fight for your marriage if you’re questioning divorce and give it 110% and do all that you can to make it work, but if there is no way of reconciliation and you find yourself at a dead-end, don’t let the reason you stay in an unhealthy marriage be because you don’t think you can make it because you can. Divorce is like a death, it’s an ending, grieve it and allow yourself to heal from it and continue to move along in life. You will find love again if you want it. But your emotional healing has to be priority to be able to accept someone else into your space after you’ve been hurt. Don’t punish a potentially good mate for someone else’s mistakes. If you aren’t ready then wait and take your time. Be proactive and get help when you need it. Never be afraid to ask for help, even the most successful people you see out here reached out for help at some point to get to where they are now. The load becomes so much lighter when you have someone to share it with. And if you feel you have no one, feel free to email me, I am not a therapist but I can offer some encouragement. Know that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for and life doesn’t stop after a failed marriage, it’s just the beginning of great things for you and your child(ren)!

Project Motherhood

I think one mood killer is when I open my daughters school folder in the evening to find the dreaded print out of another school project. I know I can’t be the only one with this feeling? I know what you’re thinking….yes, she’s only in 1st grade so I have many more years of this, I should get use to it. I can’t. I won’t. I hated to admit it at first but as a 31 year old woman, at this stage in my life, I’m very much in touch with reality and have no problem embracing my dislikes or more like disgusts in this case. Although I should be the one encouraging her to not procrastinate and making sure we work on these projects a little each day, we usually start doing it the night before. Or if I’m really in a good mood we’ll do it two nights before it’s due. I don’t know what kind of geniuses we’re raising these days but some of this work and these projects are a little more advanced than what I remember doing in school at that age and even older. Times have changed and I wasn’t prepared for it this soon, apparently.

I wish I was one of those crafty, creative, innovative Pinterest Mom’s, but that’s one trait I missed in this Motherhood thing. I would rather purchase it already made than make it ourselves. I usually put those feelings aside, “bite the bullet” and try to make/create something because my daughter is creative by nature. She can create something out of nothing. She gets that from her talented Grandmother. My Mom is that kind of Mother who loves projects and crafts. When my daughter goes over to my Parents house and I pick her up I will sometimes find her and my Mother doing little projects like making slime or pottery. I love to see this because 1. these are bonding moments that she will never forget and 2. because I don’t have to do it! (HA)  I do know that once I get into the project I coincidentally start enjoying it and making these memories are priceless! My daughter soaks it all up and I cherish those times as she creates something that blows my mind, and then I feel a sense of pride and realize again just how blessed I am to have her.

I believe the beauty of Motherhood isn’t just about the things you like to do or expect to do. It’s those unexpected moments of finding joy and fulfillment in things you thought you wouldn’t. Motherhood is adapting and appreciating even the seemingly small things. Our super power is turning the bad into good and good into great. Even the aspects of life I don’t think I’m good at, my daughter reminds me that I’m not so bad at it after all. Refocusing on the meaning of doing an unwanted project brings light and love out it. I get to spend these moments with my daughter even though I may not be the most creative Mom out there, she thinks I’m the best. And while I am not jumping for joy to get notification of a new school project, I take a deep breath and make the most out of it, after all that’s my job as a Mother and it’s worth it in every way! So if you’re like me don’t feel guilty of your lack of creativity, or artistic shortcomings. Most likely our kids aren’t judging us on that. We are assisting them and allowing them to tap into their own creativity. We’re building their confidence to imagine and create something they’ll be proud of while getting in some valuable quality time. Thinking of it that way changes my perspective and while school projects aren’t my favorite I’m slowly learning to appreciate them and making it a magical experience! 💫

After labor, what now?

How many of us can agree that the journey during your pregnancy was magical but postpartum is anything but that? I know many women have rough pregnancies unfortunately, but speaking from my own experience my pregnancy was beautiful, intriguing, and full of excitement and expectation! I thought that the labor experience would be the last of the “hard part” but what I didn’t know was on the other side of the whole thing was pure STRUGGLE! No one talks much about this and I see why, but first time Mother’s need to be aware. My friend and co-worker had her first baby about 7 months ago and recently her and I were conversing about the truths about the aftermath of having your baby and what you’re truly in for that no one warns you about. She had a similar experience as I did with having an episiotomy (a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues), and still ripped a great deal as the baby was being delivered. This caused a significant amount of stitches and a difficult healing process. You would’ve thought I had a cesarean delivery because of the pain and difficulty walking and standing. I never knew that a vaginal delivery would be as harsh on the body as it was, nor did I even know that this was a possibility until, it WAS! Everyone is very outspoken about the labor process but not as transparent about after the labor. I wonder why that is? I thought that many times but was reassured my feelings weren’t out-of-the norm when discussing it with her. The media-commercials, television and magazines portray a perfectly happy and healthy Mommy immediately after giving birth and weeks ahead. Everything somehow “snaps” back to normal all of sudden, this portrayal is so misleading. A naive new Mother like I was imagined my experience would be similar. But I was very wrong.

The feeling of bringing a child into the world is an indescribable feeling, and cannot be compared to anything else in life. It’s almost unreal, supernatural, simply magical! To feel excruciating pain one minute and pure joy and a burst of love the next minute when you physically see your baby on the other side of your womb! The days and weeks into your tiny little humans first days on earth will be a combination of emotions, ups and downs and all around. Love, frustration, joy, excitement, incompetence, unknown, confusion, worry, indecisiveness are just a few of the things I felt as a new Mom. Along with the puzzling questions as to why my body wasn’t healing as I imagined it would. The first time I looked in the mirror at myself I remember thinking I looked mutated and didn’t recognize myself. Sometimes I would have such horrible pains in my abdomen that I couldn’t get out of bed to get my crying newborn. I was given a “kit” to clean myself with after each time I used the restroom to prevent infection due to the extensive tear. As if you had time to tend to yourself with a newborn….(lol)

I know that every woman’s birthing experience is unique and memorable in their own way, I just wish the conversation would continue beyond the labor/birth. Transparent and raw dialogue. Why has this become a taboo conversation, it shouldn’t be. These are our bodies and nothing is wrong with sharing experiences with other new mothers who are probably scared to death of what’s to come. Who knew that visiting a Physical Therapist and doing pelvic floor exercises consistently would improve recovery after birth? I didn’t!  I don’t think that it’s on purpose but I do think that we can do better at bringing this part up. I’m sure there are books, articles, etc. but we all know the word-of-mouth is the best way to tell a story. Having a one-on-one personal conversation with someone that you know (or don’t know) who is expecting will be the difference of helping ease nerves and plant a seed of confidence and reassurance. Share your magical journey! Good or bad, be open and honest about you! You never know who will thank you later for being vulnerable and honest! Motherhood is Magical so sprinkle that little bit of magic whenever possible!

 

 

I’m listening

Just recently two different people, on two different days, at two different places commented on my Parenting style while observing my daughter and I dynamics. I felt it was something worth writing about so I would like to share with you my thoughts…

The first incident occurred when my 7-year-old daughter was sad and upset while waiting for a friend she was so eager to play with. Her little friend was at the hospital visiting a family member who was in a minor car accident. I saw the sadness in my baby’s face as she stared out the window waiting and waiting so I decided to ask her whats wrong although I knew exactly what was wrong, but that wasn’t the point. My baby was sad and I needed to console her and explain more to her. I wanted to hear how she felt, which is very important and I wanted her to know I cared how she felt. I also needed her to understand why her friend was late and added that she should show sympathy for this friend because she was with a family member that needed her more. Although it didn’t change the fact of her missing her friend’s company, she did begin to understand that sometimes things may not go how she wants it and she needed to be considerate and sympathetic. Little did I know someone was listening and observing everything I said and responded with “WOW!” I asked what did he mean and he just said it was really “awesome” how you are teaching your child sympathy and explaining and breaking it down for her to understand. He went on to say he witnesses many parents saying “quit crying” or “be quiet” when a child is crying about something they feel is unimportant. This is how my daughter and I communicate so I didn’t think anything of it but it did send me into deep thought about how we speak to our children and why our words are such a crucial part of parenting.

The second incident occurred the very next day at my eye exam and my daughter tagged along with me and as usual she was well-behaved and sat with me as I got my eyes checked. The nurse stopped and asked me if I am always this “calm and kind” to my daughter. She had apparently been watching us as we moved from the front desk, to the waiting room, and then to the exam room and she asked me how “do I do it.” I felt like I had done nothing! She began to tell her story about how she was a single Mom of two boys and her patience is very short with them because she is stressed and over worked. I sympathized with her as a single Mom and carrying the load of daily activities. We chatted for a while before the Doctor came in and I was thankful to be able to offer her some encouragement. I thought it was very peculiar how on two consecutive days this subject came up.

As a Mom it is so easy to get so busy, and become so tired and drained and your patience is thin. However, even in the midst of a busy days work effective and loving communication with our child(ren) is something so important. Talk to them how you would want to be talked to. Offer them the same patience and leniency you would want if you made an honest mistake. Use you manners and say “please” and “thank you” to them because you would want them to do that to you as well as to others.   It should be do as I do not do as I say, be the example. They are precious, impressionable, delicate, magical beings and they deserve our very best. We must not get too wrapped up into life that we forget to take the time to completely stop and communicate with them and allow them to fully express their emotions. I am by no means a counselor or therapist but I am an advocate for healthy, loving, conversations with the little people we love the most! They deserve our best. One day they’ll grow up and their communication skills and how they handle situations will be based on what we taught them and how we raised them. They will remember the words we said and what we took the time to do with them. Would you want them to appreciate it or regret it? I am a firm believer of children expressing themselves. Let them speak, and you listen, this is the only way we know what is going on in their heads and if you’re like me I want to know everything that’s going on with my kid! I’m so thankful for those two individuals for taking the time to not only acknowledge that but also pointing out something so important that we sometimes forget. If nothing else this taught me people are always watching and listening! I’m going to end with the quote I used on my last post because it is yet again so relevant….

“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe is what they become.” -Unknown

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Reflection

Recently I watched a video on Facebook where children around the ages of 5 to maybe 10  years old were asked questions pertaining to what they like to do after school, and what they like to play with as their Parents watched and listened from behind the scenes. They went on to ask them about play-time with their Parents and their responses were a bit heart wrenching and made their Parents get emotional. The small children talked about how they would ask their Parents to play with them but they were “too busy” or they responded by saying “we’ll play later” but that time never came. One child described how Mom was too busy with her phone “taking selfies.” The video struck something in me because I know that if my daughter were one of the kids being interviewed her responses would be no different and it immediately broke my heart. Click here to watch video. The video ended very well with the Parents eventually surprising and greeting their babies and they were given several games to play with their Parents and they played right then and there. You could see the excitement and happiness in the children’s faces by the simple act of taking time to sit and play with no distractions. It was an eye-opening video for me, it was targeting younger Parents because we often times move through life so fast that we forget to take time for the things that matter the most. It doesn’t mean we love our children any less or do it intentionally, but we do need to be more conscious of our children and remember that quality time is the greatest gift we can give them.

As you probably have figured out by now the dreaded “Mommy guilt” set in as I reflected on this video after watching it. I thought about the video even days after watching because it meant so much to me. It’s not easy balancing being a single Mom, working full-time, school part-time, your child’s activities, and other obligations, on top of attempting to making time for yourself. So I understand and identify with my fellow parents of young children, it is a daily effort! I can only speak for myself and I have got to do better! I don’t want my daughter to ever EVER feel as though I am too busy for her. I don’t want to get too wrapped up into making a living for us that I forget to actual live and enjoy our lives together, these days are already passing by so quickly. This tender age is so magical and meaningful. I don’t want her to ever think that anyone or anything is more important than her, and misinterpret that with me being “too busy,” so I should display this through my actions. It’s OK to get “checked” as I like to call it, because that shows that we’re aware that improvements need to be made. Life is all about learning from mistakes and actually exchanging those habits for better ones. So with that I have made some changes to make sure I am more present in our time together and carve out time in our day to do things she chooses without phones or tablets present. If you are like me feel free to join me and making sure we give our children the best and most of us that we possibly can! Here are 4 habits I have began to implement:

  1. Eating dinner together (without our phone or ipads) spending this time talking about our day.
  2. Making sure I take time to play with her during the week. (Board game, playing with her dolls, drawing/painting, etc.)
  3. Designate a day on the weekend to plan something fun for her to do.
  4. Read her choice of books together each day.

These are a starting point for me and I’m sure this list will grow as I notice more changes that need to be made. I know that these little changes will make a big difference!

“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe is what they become.” -Unknown

What’s your inspo?

Another year is upon us and I love this time of year because everyone is upbeat and optimistic about a fresh start! It serves as a good opportunity to reset and put in place new or existing goals for the year as well as re-evaluate long term goals. I’ve never been much of a planner unfortunately, but as I’ve gotten older I see that if you do not plan out your intentions throughout the year you are planning to fail. Accomplishing at least one item off of your ‘to do” list will inspire you to work even harder. That sense of accomplishment is energizing! So what is your inspo? What inspires you to reach your goals and tackle that task that you never thought you could? Who inspires you? Is it a family member or friend? A Public figure? Your child(ren)? A hard working co-worker you admire? Is it your past that forces you to strive to do better? Whatever it is think on that each day to ignite the fire that we all know is inside of you!

I will be the first to admit that I can sometimes slip into complacency and start to feel stagnant. I think that is normal for some of us, But as a Mother I look at my beautiful daughter who is so full of life and I see in her multiple gifts and talents and I know that she can do and accomplish anything she wants to. I have to be that motivator in her life, not just with my words but more importantly with my actions. I have to show her how to work diligently, how to manage life’s ups and downs, and how to not allow rejection or failure to define you and your future. Mother’s are powerful beings! Never take your roll for granted. My first inspiration is her. I look at my Father who has gone back to school to complete his Bachelors degree at the age of 56, and is continuing towards his MBA. He is inspires me in so many ways because I know that there is nothing he cannot do. I have multiple people close to me who are pushing themselves further and further to accomplish goals they’ve set years ago and it’s so inspiring-no one can stop you but you. Even if it’s baby steps, you’re still moving forward! Whatever point you find yourself in life it’s never too late to get back to the things you are passionate about in life. Use a brand new year to start that thing you’ve placed to the side but can’t stop thinking “what if I did this?” Do it Sis!!! We are all waiting! Go for it!!! Create your own magic!

‘Tis the Season

It’s been about a month since I’ve made a post however, MM is constantly in my daily thought process and I write in my notebook as I’m always thinking about new ideas and additions. Blame the delay on the hustle and bustle of the season and the end of the year struggle…

There has been so much going on; juggling work, kid, activities and outings, church events, social life, relationship, and working with my little dancers at church. It’s a lot of fun but also very hectic at the same time! The biggest thing I struggle with is time management and wildly enough I’m always adding new things to my plate that’s pretty much already full. I feel that life is about going for realistic opportunities and living each day to the fullest! I think I thrive off of spontaneity which can be good and bad. My planning skills have come a LONG way but they could still be better. I plan to implement better planning habits in this new year. So while time management is a challenge for me I find that when I am up and going I tend to force myself to make a plan of action. So it somehow works in my favor. When I have more time on my hands I tend to procrastinate because I have more time to play with-kind of crazy, right? Well, we all have strange, quirky things that only we understand about ourselves. HA! So time management isn’t the purpose of this post, because I would be the last one to give advice on that, but what I’ve been doing with my time is more of the aim for it.

Although a somewhat stressful time of year, I love this time! Making memories with my daughter is priceless! Being that it’s just her and I, we are so fortunate to be able to have a lot of quality time together to do things that we want to do whenever we want to do it. That’s a great perk with being a single mother of one! Girl days, nail days, shopping days, cooking, decorating, and dancing around the house are simple things we enjoy. We are both probably the most girly girls you’ll ever meet so our interest are very similar.

Some of my favorite memories of my childhood, is dance. I danced and competed at Gayle Humphries dance studio from kindergarten to middle school, danced in High school and college. I wish I would’ve continued professionally as an adult but I birthed a daughter who also shares my same passion for dance and I love it! Seeing her sparkle on stage and with striking stage presence gives me an indescribable feeling. It’s like me all over again and I gleam with pride! I’m happy to imagine her saying some of her best memories will be of dance [with her Mom.]

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this season. So much to do, shopping and trying to make sure everything is perfect. I know it sounds cliché, but my advice to mother’s is to remember that the holiday season isn’t so much about purchasing 20 toys for Christmas day that will sit in a play room in one short month, but to create traditions and make memories that will last forever. The gifts will lose its value but your family value has no price. Keep that in mind and never lose the magic you possess as a Mother in this season.💫

Thankful

Each year I find a new aspect of life to be thankful for. Motherhood presents itself with new moments each day and each milestone in my daughters life I find myself thankful to be there to experience it with her. I take nothing for granted. In a world where your life or the life of your loved one could be taken in an instance, it’s important to never loose the attitude of gratitude. It is so easy to get swept away in busy schedules, work deadlines, and projects you need to complete that the days are short and time passes us by so swiftly. At this time of year I love that family congregates and takes some important time away from our daily usual’s to love on each other and see those you don’t get to see regularly. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving is a bit more laid back and not filled with as much expectation (unless you’re the one doing all the cooking lol). So you’re able to just enjoy the company of your family and friends without all the stress of shopping and gift giving. Thanksgiving is a special holiday filled with just as much magic as our favorite December day. The magic is focused on each other and not gifts and toys or the best tree or decor. But the importance of family and making memories that will last a lifetime. Continuing traditions and making new ones and asking your child what they are thankful for and it making your heart melt when they answer.

While I am thankful for many things, I am most thankful for the love from my daughter and my family. Motherhood has given me a new perspective on life and has allowed me to learn about myself and be more open minded. As my daughter continues to develop and learn, so do I. I’m thankful for our magical relationship. I am blessed to have her love me the way she does although I sometimes feel undeserving of this love. I wish that I could be better, greater, and richer for her so that I can give her the world. But in her own sweet words, she says, “Mommy, I love you just the way you are.” As you can imagine my heart swells with love and appreciation.

At this stage in life there is no end to my thankfulness because I have everything that I could ever need, and that is truly important. Yes, I would love a newer house, nicer car and maybe other materialistic things that’ll bring me temporary pleasure, but none of that would matter without my family. Those things are irrelevant compared to the value of them and their love. I am thankful for my past experiences because they have built a stronger Me. Without it I may not have had my greatest blessing, My Chandler B. Please remember to keep a grateful heart and a humble spirit. Never take your family and friends for granted. It can be easy to because you may think they will always be there, but one day you could look up and they might not.

Today, I challenge you to take the rest of this year and follow these simple steps to create an attitude of gratitude:

  • Live in the moment. Put down your phone. Listen more and focus your attention on whoever is with you.
  • Be thankful for the small victories each day. Did you have a day without something going wrong?-Be thankful. Did you remember you already prepared dinner after a busy work day?-Be thankful. Show thankfulness for even the small things.
  • Pray! It doesn’t take much to give God a small ounce of your day to talk to him and thank him for your blessings. Having quiet time with God will transform your day.
  • Give without expectation. Giving is a great way to show love and gratitude and quickly becomes addictive. Big or small giving changes our hearts.

All of these are things that I need to practice more and develop a habit to do. They are challenges for me indeed. But what better time of year to incorporate healthy practices to enhance our life and become better versions of ourselves as a person and as a Mother. What are you thankful for today? Will you join me and develop an attitude of gratitude? I hope so! Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy this magical day with your family and friends!

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Your Purpose is Magical

I’ve been on a journey to finding my purpose. Sure, it sounds like something so simple and obvious but it isn’t. It’s actually a life changer. I think it would be a shame to be blessed with life on God’s beautiful Earth and never fully understand and live out the purpose that you were born to fulfill. It literally saddens me to dwell on that empty thought. As a young adult learning about life in my early 20’s I enjoyed spontaneity, and often lived by the idea that “everything will fall into place.” NEWS FLASH!!! It doesn’t! You have to create your own magic! You have to unlock your gifts and talents, set realistic goals and work towards them. If you aspire to obtain a degree you have to enroll into an institution of higher learning, study, work hard and retain the knowledge to graduate with your degree. If you want to dive into the workforce, you have to search for a job, apply, await the interview process, work and gain experience in your trade to move up the ladder. What I’m saying is that whatever it takes you must dream it, believe it, and work! Your purpose isn’t always apparent, especially if you’re just out here living “recklessly” as I like to call it. Meaning, living an “in the moment type of life.”-Which is the type of attitude I had for a while. If you stay stuck in this mindset you will watch life pass you by. Time is so valuable and shouldn’t be wasted, we all have the same 24 hours in a day and what you choose to do with it is the difference between success and complacency.

I believe you grasp small chunks of your purpose as you grow through life. If we were given everything all at once, I think we would get overwhelmed and potentially ruin it. After I matured a little I started thinking about what I wanted to get out of life and I began to ask myself these questions… what am I here for? What am I suppose to be working towards? I suddenly wanted it all to make sense. I kept wondering and getting disappointed because this was the one thing out of my control. After awhile, I started to pray a specific prayer. A more focused and intentional prayer because I needed answers! Slowly, I have began to see and walk in my purpose. I’m still figuring it out day by day and gathering those small chunks and piecing the purpose puzzle together. I’m more in-tune with myself and have set both short and long-term goals. Your purpose isn’t going to magically appear and force itself. I believe you have to work for it, and take the journey and lessons through finding your purpose. I’ve noticed that I plan things out a lot more. I am intentional with how I move and things I get involved with, and I think plans through before making decisions.

I owe a lot of these changes of course to age and maturity, but most of all becoming a Mother. When I became a Mother I knew that there was another human being counting on me everyday. That’ll make you mature quick! With this great love comes more responsibility and growth. When you love your baby more than anything, you make better decisions, sacrifices, and re-evaluate your life to ensure their safety and well-being. She became my purpose and it allowed me to want to seek out my individual purpose more too. You see, she is a reflection of me, the best part of me. I see all of her greatness and one day realized she is an extension of me, and the same way I see her I should see in myself. Sometimes we recognize the greatness in others, whether children, friends, family and even public figures/celebrities but ignore the greatness that lies within ourselves. It’s there, we just need to tap into it. I know that I was put on this Earth for a purpose, and so were you. So the fact that we are still breathing there is more of your purpose that you still need to live out and accomplish. As a Mom one huge part of our purpose is to be the guiding light for our child(ren), and I think that we recognize that from day one with maternal instincts. Often times we forget the part of our purpose that allows us to start or continue to make our personal dreams become reality. It goes hand-in-hand. I’m learning that whatever I work towards my daughter will benefit from it, and to not feel guilty to invest in myself. She will see that she should do the same and never hesitate to chase her dreams and fulfill her individual calling. She won’t see a set back as failure but as a stepping stone and a lesson learned. She will be unstoppable because she saw that her Mother didn’t let unfavorable circumstances stop her. The beauty of Motherhood is pushing forward, loving harder, giving willingly, and never thinking twice! There’s many levels to this Motherhood thing, and there’s magic in every layer. Your purpose is magical, so don’t forget to walk with some sparkle and shine!