Reasons Why I Work

Now that I’m actually on some kind of career path, I find that I no longer work just for a check. Now, there’s a myriad of reasons why I force my behind to get up and get to work. Let’s check some out.

I work to become debt free
This is probably the number 1 reason for me working these days. For whatever reason, I am extremely focused on this debt free plan. It’s become a sort of obsession to find ways to budget that’ll work for my family. I struggle because we have A LOT of debt and I have no idea of really where to start. Well, I think I know where to start, but my husband is real laid back about it that it sometimes frustrates me. I don’t think he even realizes just how much it frustrates me because I haven’t pestered him enough I guess. I don’t know for real, but it’s just not something that’s at the forefront for him to be proactive about I guess. Again, unknowns. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the day that I can say we’re completely debt free and only work to go on vacations.

I work to afford vacations
So this is what I want to be my top & only reason for working one of these days. See, I believe that vacations are MY drug of choice. I love researching them. I love daydreaming about them. I love going on them. I LOVE vacations. And I don’t need an expensive one; Free ones work just fine for me. I’d probably love being a travel agent if I were more people-friendly. Eh, I know them so I’ll just keep scheduling through them as usual.

I work to pay bills
This is just what we do. Bills have to be paid in order for us to have a roof over our head, heat in the winter, water for essentials, and the internet for everything else :) Also, we love to eat so we’re all about groceries, but I do coupon now so hopefully that helps here.

I work to gain experience
This is the lie I told myself when I took the job and what I continue to tell myself to motivate me to actually do my job (and sometimes more). However, this is not my forever and I have all kinds of entrepreneur ideas that I know will come to fruition one of these days. Hopefully that’s sooner than later so keep on us about our ideas if you know them. If you don’t, well ask … we love to share.

I work to …
what? You thought I had all of the answers? Nope. Those are reasons why I work. What about you? Why do you work?


An Inner Quickening

Some days I feel like I have ADD, ADHD, or something. Why? Because my mind is moving quicker than my body is willing or can. It’s so quick that most of the time, I lose thoughts before I can even get them out completely. Sometimes, thoughts don’t ever really make it out of my mind. It’s sad.

Now, while that bothers me, there’s something that bothers me even more. That’s when my inner quickening happens. What’s that? Yeah, I don’t know really. I THINK it may be the quickening of my spirit, BUT I don’t know what that means or feels like either. Anyway, this inner quickening doesn’t have a usual-ness to it. I can’t say it’s gonna happen in church, at home, at work, after I pray, after I eat, while I’m listening to music, etc. I just can’t say. I just know when it happens, I’m sort of paralyzed. It’s like my entire body is running at supersonic speed, but not really. I’m not physically moving that fast, but …
    … if I sit, my legs are bouncing (I used to call it a nervous switch)
    … if I’m walking, it’s a struggle to not speed up (I like to walk slow)
    … at the same time, my mind is spinning at the same speed if not faster
    … and my heart rate is also elevated
Hhmmm - maybe it’s like fire in my bones???

Seriously, can anybody let me know if they’ve experienced this and what it may be causing this? Most recently it happened after I had just asked for prayer from someone that I consider near & dear, and then again later that day after we had our family prayer.

Oh yeah, it also drains me of all of my energy when everything slows back down. Any takers on what is going on here?


Understanding the Ones You DON'T Love

Good day all,
Generally on Wednesday’s we try to talk about love in some aspect.  We (the members that belong to Second Baptist Church in Ann Arbor) have been taught that the Definition of Love is Understanding, Reaching & Securing.  I’ll go into a breakdown of each at another time, but for now, it is based off the scripture John 3:16; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

We are also taught, in general, to love our enemies.  This is not always the easiest of things to do, at least for me. Trust - I don’t have love for certain people for a reason.  They seem like they have a special way to work that very last nerve.  But I’ve also learned that in order to get to the spot where you can love anyone, you must start to understand them.  

I’m not saying that you must have a Psychological degree in advanced human behavior to have a better idea of where a person is coming from.  I have learned over time, finding something, as simple, as where a person is originally from can help the understanding process.  Now I don’t want to excuse the fact that some people are still handicapped by their own ignorance, but it helps me a ton to see that perhaps a person may have had a “skewed” perspective on things as they grew up.  I have a better idea of what they may have dealt with.

Once this “understanding” starts to take place, I begin to see why me and others interact the way we do, if at all.  The main point coming from that no 2 people are exactly alike.  I can start to formulate my opinions from there on how best to deal with others and show respect as opposed to my natural inclination of prejudging them and labeling them as a “dumbass”...


Jesus doesn't have road rage... does he?!

Good day all,
Today I just have to vent about "Road Rage". But really, I want to look at it in a different light. Now we have all been the victim of some idiot driver who carelessly cuts you off, fails to use a turn signal, or even turns right from the left lane. I'm also positive that more than a few of us have used "choice words" when referring to such bad drivers. It happens, it's understandable.

But what gets me is when Driver A, cuts off Driver B, and then Driver B takes it upon themselves to roll down their window & yell at Driver A. Or perhaps blow their horn, unmercifully, at Driver A, or even decides to follow Driver A so they can tell them off.

People are crazy these days. You don't know what they will do when backed into a corner. But ladies and gentlemen, let me point out the real tripped out thing. Allow me to introduce the one remaining fact that always, ALWAYS - blows my mind...
The drivers that have the worst rage while driving, are the same ones that have a representation of Jesus on their car. A Jesus Fish, a cross, a bumper sticker, whatever it may be. These people are vicious. Now, as most people know, I am a God-fearing man who goes to church most Sundays and praises the Lord EVERYDAY. But I do not have any proof on my car of that. Mainly because, Christian witness is difficult enough as is. Now, If I were to have a Jesus piece on my car, as I drive along the highways of life, cussing out every Tom, Dick, & Harry publicly without explaining to anyone - why I would do such a thing.
On top of all that - I really don't like bumper stickers or excess things on my car - they draw unwanted attention. I don't even want 20's anymore - Just give me factory!

So after further review, there are a few different suggestions I have for those such people with Road Rage:

1) Take down the license plate number, make and model of the car, and call a tow truck to their home at 3 in the morning.

2) Remove the Jesus symbols from your ride, then no one will judge you as a "Jesus Freak" they will only judge you as a Freak...

3) Calm your little tail down! We all are victims to bad drivers. GET OVER IT!

Jesus didn't have road rage, why should you?


Question For Ya

Hey Folks!

So this has been a pretty delightful week eh? No, not really. I had a lot of different thoughts on what to write about today, but this Boston stuff happened/is happening. So I thought about writing something about the it and all of the other news out there, but that’s not my deal. I barely even watch the news cause my heart can’t take all of that negativity coming from the screen. Too bad I’m always catching up on Twitter though. I still know what’s going on & sometimes sooner than folk waiting to see it on the news. My TL is full of hilarious commentators! I could give my take, but I don’t think y’all are ready for that. Wait ... yeah y’all are.

Change of plans! Let’s do talk about this Boston stuff. Now, I said I don’t watch the news and my news comes from well, Twitter. I read - I read news articles posted, opinions RT’ed, and TMZReports (heh heh heh - blame that on my husband), but I also listen to the radio to devise my own opinions. It’s what I do. So let me first say that my heart goes out to all those affected by all of these tragic events going on all around us. It’s an eye-opener when it happens so “close” to home. Yeah, I’m with you on all of that. However, a question was posed on the radio station that I’m going to share here & give my answer. The question was (and I’m paraphrasing): Was this a case of the chickens coming to roost?

Again, the question: Was this a case of the chickens coming to roost? Was this a case of our offenses towards others [countries, in particular] finally catching up to us [as a country, of course]? The host listed all kind of things we’ve done to other countries. Mess ups that we’ve tried to pay for with money or just simple apologies like that makes up for the massive killings.

My Answer: I’m not sure, but I lean towards yes. Why? Because in all honesty, I believe that as a country we’ve effed up some lives of other folk. And sometimes we even were just “Oh, sorry bout that. We were wrong, but oh well. You clean it up cause we’re bigger & badder.” After we done brought down our force upon some country that wasn’t even bothering us, killing hundreds & thousands of their innocent civilians. That ain’t right and I can’t really be mad that they’re retaliating on us. Well, let me take that back - I can be mad & I am, but I understand sort of. I can be mad because I didn’t do it nor did I agree with it (I’m not a fan of war unless we’re defending ourselves for real). I also sort of understand because, well, I’m black in America. No, wait. I’m a black female in America ... so yeah, I sort of understand the anger. But ya see - I don’t take my anger out on innocent folks or at least I try not to. I’m especially not going around being violent about it. I will handle you in all kinds of words if I think you believe as those before you who decided that I was a doggone 4th class citizen. I’m gonna stop there because that last sentence will take us elsewhere in my plight. Some of y’all get it, but those that don’t - hmph!

So what y’all think about the question? I won’t even ask for your own answer cause I know some of y’all ain’t ready for that realness yet, but at least let me know your thoughts on the question. Is it even a fair one to ask? Is it insensitive to ask it so soon? What say y’all?


National High 5 Day

I was going to write a post about different exercises and things that you can do at home for today. But then I was informed that it’s National High 5 Day.  If you guys know me, then you know I like to do random, fun things.  So this Fitness post isn’t about strengthening your core, or proper running techniques.  It’s a list of some of the benefits of giving someone a High 5:
The Rotator cuff. The more you high 5, the more your arm will raise and lower, helping to increase your overall flexibility.
Your Latissimus Dorsi - The lats, when you are raising your arm you stretch the muscles in your back too.
The Chest - Especially the lower chest muscles. As you High 5 others, you face slight resistance, leading to an increased (key word: slight) tension in the chest area.
Your heart. This muscle actually gets multiple methods of exercise.
As you start to high five people, your stress levels begin to decrease.  As this happens, you have less “wear & tear” on your heart, forgetting the pains of the world, even if it may be for a split second.
I’m short, so sometimes high 5’ing can be a challenge when it comes to some of my taller friends/associates/strangers (YES! I High 5 strangers!).  It becomes a cardio workout to get to the point of reaching some of these peoples hand.
Your spirit. Come on - it feels good to just give a person (any person) a High 5! The only thing you expect in return... A High 5. That’s just great!
Your Face Muscle - It just puts a smile on your face (which consequently works the cheek bones) to High 5 people.
So as I wrap this up - remember  “...Ask not what you can do for your city, but how many people in your city can you High 5!” - Author Unknown


Single (Or Not) & Loving It

Hey folks! What’s going on out there? It’s been lovely finding out y’all are actually reading and paying us any kind of attention. It means a lot to us! Now about this post ...

No, I'm not single, but when I was - I LOVED it! So did my husband. We enjoyed our lives before we were together. And, I believe, as a result, we love our lives together.

Now, you may be asking where I'm going with this? I don't know; we’ll see. You may be asking why I'm writing it. Well, that I have an answer for. Today is our Relationship Day. Confused? Well, keep reading.

From time to time, I’ve experienced this whole grass is greener or browner on the other side when it comes to relationships. We all know the “greener” scenarios where the married folks are thinking single folks have more fun & the single folks are thinking about the stability of a mate within a marriage. However, I think so often we hide or dismiss the “browner” scenarios.We let married folk bash single-hood like it was the worse time of their lives. Or on the flip side just letting single folk bash marriage (or relationships period) for whatever reason as though that would be a slow death. Well, let me just say - you’re all wrong!

Married Folk: Take a chill pill & enjoy your spouse. No, you can’t just up & always hangout with ya girls or ya boys, but you have someone by your side always. Hangout with them - have your own party at home. And quit trying to marry everybody off to who knows who. That ish is annoying and wrong because everybody ain’t supposed to be married. That’s not always apart of the plan and I need y’all to stop acting like it is. Also, don’t neglect your single friends (we’re guilty of it for sure) just because now you’re married & you got some new married friends. Make time for them because you’re going to miss them when they’re not around and you realize sometimes other married folk are boring. Heh heh heh ...

Single Folk: Take a chill pill & enjoy yourself. Yes, you can just up & go hangout with ya peeps, but when you can’t - it’s okay to just hangout with yourself. Have you ever taken yourself on a date? I have. It was one of the most relaxing dates I ever had. No nerves involved (unless you don’t like to be alone). And quit bashing married folk and assuming we’re all miserable. That’s untrue on so many levels in my household. We party hearty because it’s what we liked to do before; we incorporated it into our lives. Ya never know when a Moore Dance Party is going down. Also, just because a married friend can’t just up & come to your side when you want, don’t think they don’t care. Learn how to share. {If I can do it, everybody can. I hate sharing.} And most importantly, learn yourself inside and out so that IF you ever “boo’d  up”, you can present an honest self to them. Oh ... about booing up, don’t let other folk (ahem - married folk) talk you into booing up if you don’t want a boo; Do you! Stay single all your life if you so choose & be doggone happy about it.

As you see, I’m all about being happy with where you are. Your grass may be greener from where I’m standing because of the angle of the sun or just maybe I’m not watering my own grass enough. If it’s browner, then maybe somebody is getting too much sun. I don’t know nor do I care - I am not a grass person! What I care about though is if I have the joy that surpasses all. Yup, I do. I had it when I was single and I carry it with me always. I even share it from time to time cause I’m sometimes nice like that. ;)

No, but for real. How’s about everybody just cut the bashing out. It ain’t cute on either side. Plus, it just shows how miserable you are as an individual.

On that note: I love you all! Single or not :D


Vacation - The Preferred Drug of Working Folks...

I have been blessed to working at my job for over 7 years now.  I have worked with a few different companies that have very different vacation plans and policies.  This is by far one of the most beneficial plans I have been a part of (I won't go into details, but I get over 2 days a vacation a month, with another bump at 15 years).  Basically I can have a week of vacation time in no time if I so choose.  And it takes a lot for us to reach the max, approximately 3 months of vacation.  It doesn't evaporate, we don't have to use it within a certain time frame, this is just GREAT!

My problem, with this plan, is that it is what I like to call an "enabler".  Sure I can take a Friday or a Monday off, for a nice long weekend.  I may even take a few days off before a holiday for an almost longer break.  But I will admit, I have become very comfortable with the fact of taking a week off here and there, and then coming back and looking forward to the next planned "out" from work.

Hopefully you can see where I'm going with this, but if not, let me break it down for you. Ya see, when you're not at work, especially if you have a high stress job or work with high maintenance people, you look forward to getting away for a few days in a row, you get a "high" from not having to deal with the issues that plague you "Monday through Friday, 8 - 5", so to speak. But eventually, you will have to return to work, in order to get paid and begin to accumulate more vacation days. Have you ever said to yourself "Man sometimes it's more work to take a few days off than it's really even worth..."? I know I have. All the prep-work you do to make sure all your projects are completed in a timely fashion and all the emails you have to read after being out of the office for a few days, it's a lot of work! You get so tired and drained within a few days of coming back that you yearn to be back on vacation.

With all this, I say that taking a vacation is similar to the effects of drug; Think about it... Generally (not all, some) use a drug and get high, then they sober up and come down, a little bit "lower" than they were before they started using the drug. At first, they use very sporadically. Then they find themselves using again and again, trying to reach that original high, to the point that they "need" the drug just to get back to an "ordinary" state. Vacation is the same way - You start off with one day during the week, then you go to a long weekend, before you know it you want a whole week off. Only to feel a little bit more down when you return to work.

Now, sure, there are things that can be done to alleviate this feeling of constant need of reaching that "high" of not having to be at work:

Retire, but if you are under a certain age, or you haven't "put in your 30" then that just doesn't make sense...

Win the lottery, the chances of that are about as good as George W winning a Rhodes Scholar award.

Call in Sick, a lot, ok, don't do this, because when your dumb butt gets fired you're gonna ask me to borrow money, and I don't have it...

Suck it up and deal with it, this is what most of the normal working citizens are doing right now, you really are no different. Keep on counting down until your next vacation, when you can retire, or Friday night when you can play the numbers again.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go record my "Out of Office" message for all my co-workers...


G.I. Joe; Retaliation

Ladies & Gentlemen, the Stress-free, Universal Movement of Minorities, Escaping Rigamarole, Mainly Over Visually Interesting and Entertaining Stuff (AKA S.U.M.M.E.R. M.O.V.I.E.S.) has been officially retired. Welcome to the new forum for reviews. Table TalkN Review Board. The TTRB will not be limited to just movies, but books, recipes, art exhibits, and whatever else we get a chance to view & visit. Plus, I caught a lot of flack for a lot of the movies that were reviewed not actually being in “the summer” - (Technicalities... geez!)

So with that being said - the first order of business: G.I. Joe; Retaliation

I know that a lot of people were apprehensive about this movie when the news of a sequel hit the rumor mill. Not only that, it was pushed back from its original release date, back in the summer of 2012 until March of 2013. Even though it was starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, people were questioning whether this would be as corny as the first one was. Let’s be honest, The Rock has starred in his fair share of questionable roles over the past few years; The Game Plan & The Tooth Fairy to mention a couple. But as me and my wife were able to escape to a movie for a night, and we were pleasantly surprised.

While I won’t offer any spoilers here, I will tell you that this movie is much better than the first movie. Now, I’ll admit, I like bad movies. I’ll even admit to thinking the 1st G.I. Joe was pretty watchable on my own personal “Jason Scale”. But it was corny. There’s no getting around it. The directors, actors, producers all found a way to make the original as cheesey as possible by stuffing in as many of the classic cartoon lines as they could. “Kung Fu grip”, “A Real American Hero”, and “Yo Joe” were just a few of the one line zingers that were painfully adapted. Flash back to 2013. This was a whole other move.

Yes this movie had some information that helped if you did see the 1st part, but it wasn’t necessary. One of the things that I always look for in a sequel is to see if the movie can be a stand alone or you really needed to see the prior parts before you understood it. I can honestly say that for those of you that didn’t see the 1st G.I. Joe, you need not worry. Go out, grab some popcorn and enjoy. The action was fast paced. The story was believable and the acting was good - not great, not oscar worthy, but definitely good.

This movie did everything that a cartoon adaptation should be expected to do. Take some current big names, utilize the report that people have with the brand name and make an enjoyable movie. It wasn’t overloaded with cussing, but at the same time, it wasn’t a G rated movie. So parents, please keep this in mind when considering taking your children.

So in conclusion, I would rate this movie as a solid B -. It’s not a bad way to spend a free afternoon or evening.


Team Work

I will be completely honest. I Love my family. This past weekend has helped to exhibit this once again. Now it is no secret that me and the Mrs have a great relationship. Or even that the joy of my world has been my 3 foot collaboration of me and wifey. You know this, they know this, shoot, I’m not sure how people would not know this. My son, though, has been on this “I want daddy to do it” kick lately. I actually don’t mind doing things for the kid. He would be sooooooo much more spoiled if I could actually afford it. The problem has come when he gets frantic if someone else (read: my wife, his mother) tries to help me by helping him.

Example: He couldn’t reach his juice and mommy was standing right by the kitchen table and I was loading the dishwasher. He said “I need my juice, pweese” and so the automatic thing happened, mommy handed him his juice. You would have thought that someone took his entire Thomas the Tank engine collection (and he has a lot of them) and threw them down the garbage disposal and ran it - twice. This kid lost it, screaming that he wanted daddy to hand it to him. So mommy did the next automatic thing for us (we are smart alecs - even to each other) took juice cup out of his hand and put it back on the table, out of his reach and walked away.

Now I felt bad for both her and him. He’s still thirsty, and didn’t want mommy to help. While my lovely claims that it’s not a big deal, I must admit, it’s kinda disheartening to see because for the first year plus of his young life, he’s always wanted mommy whenever he felt distressed, uncomfortable, tired, upset, anything. I did the only thing that I could do. I dried my hands, went over to him, put him in the chair so he could reach his juice and then, before I would let him drink it, I explained the concept of teamwork.

Ya see I believe in roles and responsibilities. I am quite confident in my ability to cook, but if my wife is the one cooking (she is the better cook, so she does it 97.4% of the time), I try to keep our son occupied. Reading a story, chasing him around the house, jumping off the couch with him (don’t ask...) So my wife doesn’t have to worry about being superwoman for the moment. The same is true if the shoe is on the other foot. Usually when we go to Atlanta, I start off driving. I like to drive (so I usually drive all the way) and I like to drive at night. So while I nap before the trip, mommy will tend to “the boy”. There are just certain things that we do to help the other achieve the goals we, as a whole family, have established.

So in telling my son that me and mommy are working “Together so that Everyone can Achieve Moore” (just thought I throw that in there) things go much smoothly. We are able to make sure a lot more of our needs are met as a family. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and said

“juice pweese”

sigh... this is going to take a while.


I Don't Workout

Now don't go tripping at that title. I've tried working out & enjoyed it before we got lil man. Now, I just don't have time nor am I going to make the time. However, I've found that we workout without using the title. We have Family Dance Nights. We randomly race around the house. We even do a lil Kickboxing & yoga on demand. Once this weather cooperates, we'll get back to bike riding & outside activities (basketball awaits us). So while my husband is more traditional & he actually goes to the gym to workout, I find that I do better just incorporating my workout into spending time with lil man. The kid is a runner too so I can't pretend to run with him.

What about y'all? What do you do to workout? What other activities might you suggest for me & lil man?


Do you believe in "Accidental Racists"?

The last day or so, my twitter timeline has been filled with tweets about Brad Paisley’s song “Accidental Racist” featuring L.L. Cool J.  People have been in general “shock” by the fact that someone would come out with such a song.  “Why would anyone in this P.C. driven society even think that the name of this song is a good idea?” is the general consensus that I’ve read.  Now, I didn’t respond to everyone that mentioned it and asked them what was so offensive about the song, or if they even listened to it.  I was, by all accounts, at work (note - I didn’t say “working” ref: WorkN Style post; Apr 2, 2013).

I finally had a chance to sit back and listen to the song and draw my own conclusion regarding the lyrics and message that the artist was attempting to get across.  I’m not going to sit here and tell everyone that I believe that people overreacted to the song title - As a-matter-of-fact, I believe that is exactly what the artist and record company wanted to happen.  Shock value is one of the few things that sells on a consistent basis.  This record has probably gotten so many spins and free advertising by the title alone.  I’m not sure that 1/2 the listeners were even really trying to hear what the song was about.

I do understand Paisley’s message.  And to some degree, I agree with it.  For those of you who have not heard the song yet, he is simply saying that he not responsible for what happened in the past (slavery) but he is proud of his home and where he came from (the south).  L.L. comes in to add the “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” appeal to it: “If you don’t judge my doo-rag, I won’t judge your red [confederate] flag.”  This is so true - in the paying for ‘the sins of our father’s” mindset.  I don’t hold the white friends that I have responsible for slavery or even the Jim Crow days.  They don’t assume me or my family were locked arm in arm with Dr. King during the civil rights movement.

I do have an issue with the overall mentality though.  I am not so ignorant to the fact that certain actions I may take or words I may say (the “N” word - with the “a” at the end) may make people uncomfortable.  I don’t sag, but I do wear pants that are more relaxing and comfortable to me.  So if I am walking to my car in the Target parking lot, and I am casually dressed, and an elderly white lady happens to be in front of me walking to her car I understand that she may be intimidated by me.  I try to take all this into consideration.  So if you KNOW that you are wearing something that may offend others, is it a good idea to wear it anyway?  I went to school in Atlanta, so I have learned of the pain and suffering that has been caused throughout the years and what the confederate flag may represent to some.

Why would you want to put yourself in a position to help trigger ill will?  I’m not a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, but apparently they have a T-Shirt or album cover with their name decorated as the confederated flag.  Paisley alludes to the fact that he puts on his T-Shirt because he’s a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd, not because he supports the confederates.  To that people, I say, gently as I know how, Get over it!  I like 2-Live Crew, I might sport the “Banned in the USA” T-Shirt one day, not to work, but hey, when I’m out and about on a Saturday, who knows (not really), but really at this point I think that people are a little bit too analyzing and chomping at the bit to label that someone as being racists.
With all this said, I simply invite you to listen to the song and make the call for yourself.  And then ask yourself, are you an “Accidental Racist” or do you know one?


Jairus Interlude - Letter to Mommy & Daddy

Mommy & Daddy

{You are both so very selfish. Do you really need to work?} No work! WHY? I need you. I need hugs and kisses from you. I need to see you. I need some Mommy ‘tention. Jairus go to work with you? {You probably only go to get away from me.} I want to play at home with my beige tracks and trains on table upstairs with my daddy. I don’t want you to go to work. I don’t want to play at the green house. I need to go bye-bye.

Key to reading post
  • {} - Not necessarily something you will hear him say, but it’s what we think he’s thinking.
  • ‘tention = attention
  • green house = daycare


Jesus Knows My Secret Code

I’ve never told anyone about how I really became a believer because it was a gradually instant experience. Makes no sense, but yet it does. So here goes ...

I wasn’t raised in nobody’s church. I went when my mama asked me & honestly I only remember going on Easter and Homecoming (sort of like of Family Reunion Day at the church of the elder members of the family). So yeah, I knew the basic drill, but the people freaked me out. Church people were and have always been a bit off their rocker to me for various and ridiculous reasons. I’ve been sent to Hell on many occasions for the silliest reasons (ie. not going to church, getting a tattoo, etc.). I don’t believe any of those things are inherently wrong so if you send me to Hell (in your mind) for these, I label you as foolish.

Anyway, back to the story.

I was baptized during my teenage years and it meant a LOT to me, but I didn’t really get my transformation until YEARS later. I read my bible, but I still wouldn’t get involved seriously in anybody’s church. I began to really study my bible during my last year of high school and that’s around the time things began to get awkward for me. It was like finding myself and not even realizing that I’d even been searching. I didn’t really get it though.

When I got to U of M, I felt the need to completely change, but I couldn’t embrace it fully due to my comfort within my insecurities. I knew my insecurities and I was fine with them. They kept me in my safe bubble - the quiet girl who just listens to everyone and rarely speaks. That was me & I was okay with it even if I was dying on the inside to free my voice. Those years were rough for me and nobody really knew the extent of it. I cried many nights without a soul in the know - or at least that’s what I thought. And then I hit a brick wall. I hit it and I hit it HARD!

My success and my belief in myself was grounded on some very simple things. I was smart - All A’s (maybe a couple B’s). I was financially on point. And I had family and gained “friends” wherever I went. This was my brick wall that came tumbling down after I hit it HARD! The first hit seemed real small to everyone else, but was a massive blow. I got a C in my Calculus class and CRIED. Yeah, I cried over something as simple as a grade. But what you don’t know is that that’s how I defined myself. My A’s made me feel special - I was somebody as long as I got A’s. That C rocked my world and the 1st bricks started tumbling down on top of me.

The 2nd hit came when I realized that that C cost me my scholarship. I had a job, but no way was I gonna be able to come up with 10K to make up for that. This meant that I couldn’t register for classes, which meant I needed to go home. But I couldn’t go home. I’d drown there in the sorrows & pains of others. I’d drown in their delinquencies and never get out of the cycle that has grasped many of my family members [that story is for another day]. I had to tell someone, but who?

That was the 3rd hit ... I had NO ONE to tell who I trusted would actually listen or be able to do something about it. I looked around and realized that I didn’t really have any friends. The one that I would have told had, for some reason, gone away. Another one I should have been able to tell was doggin’ me out & abusing me without even realizing it. I couldn’t tell my family because I just couldn’t fathom telling anyone over the phone - they were so far away. Plus, I didn’t want to disappoint them. It was a sad, sad day in my world. I was a failure, I was broke, and I had no one to turn to for help, for love, for ... anything actually.

The next hit was simply a realization that I had been asking for help for a LONG time, but no one even knew it. I wasn’t asking for tutoring or money. I was asking for some life-saving help. See I had suicidal thoughts all the time, but wouldn’t really acknowledge them. I’d say stuff to people like “I just want to disappear” and I think they thought I just needed some “me time” or something because nobody called me on it except 1 person and that is what woke me up. When he questioned it and began to keep an eye on me for those reasons, I realized that I needed help. Who knew when my thoughts would finally produce actions. The fact that my thoughts had produced some words shocked me so I didn’t want any parts of the actions. I had no idea of how to do that though except to think positive thoughts. Isn’t that what all these self-help folk tell you?

Well, that mess didn’t work for me. I distinctly remember the day I broke down because I couldn’t handle the weight I was carrying and all I could do was bow down, pray, and cry. It wasn’t like I hadn’t prayed before. It wasn’t like I hadn’t cried before. I’d even prayed & cried on my knees before. But this time was different. It was the 1st time God revealed himself to me so plainly and so swiftly that I couldn’t deny what happened. No it wasn’t one of those surreal visions or anything you imagine on tv. It was ugly. I was ugly, but GOD ... oh, but GOD.

I’d just had a meeting with some admin folks about how to get me some scholarships, loans, and any other financial aid out there so I could stay here. I remember the lady asking me if I’d rather not be in the meetings and my answer was “yes, I’d rather just know the outcome.” My mentor lit into me after that meeting talking all kinds of stuff about that answer shows that I don’t care and that I’m leaving it in their hands. He was all kinds of “they could eff up your life and you wouldn’t be around to stop it.” My response was, “I am tired. I can barely contain my tears in those meetings. I really don’t want to be apart of the process now that it is kind of in their hand. I’ve done all I can.” He said some other stuff, but left it alone. I thought it was over after we parted, but it was NOT. He had called my boyfriend and told him about it. My boyfriend called me and proceeded to give me the Holy Roly Christian version of a cursing. I hung up the phone. I’d had enough.

When I got into my room, I had every intention of taking a nap cause that’s what I do when the world is too much for me to handle. I couldn’t calm down though. I was way too upset to just bury myself in sleep. I didn’t even want my normal go-to feel good snack, ice cream. The tears just started flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing some more. Then it got ugly cause I was angry that they’d come and that I couldn’t stop them from flowing. [I HATE crying - it is the worse thing EVER to me!] And then it was like all of my burdens all of a sudden attacked me. My suicidal thoughts started colliding with my thoughts of being a failure, which were already tied up with my financial woes ... And everything went dark. Honestly, I don’t remember anything within about an hour span. I didn’t faint or anything, but it was just so chaotic that I can’t remember how I ended up on the ground, when the tears stopped flowing, or when I started praying.

And although I can’t give you specifics as to what transpired in that hour span, I can tell you when I came to myself I literally heard a voice say “I took care of it already. Just get up & go wash your face.” Now again this was no dramatic movie scene so bring your imaginations back to the screen. It took me a minute to get up - I was still in a daze. However, I got up with such ease that it kind of scared me; I knew I just had those burdens, but I didn’t have them anymore. That makes no sense again huh? Well, it was like I saw my burdens, but they weren’t weighing me down anymore. I didn’t realize it at the time, but at some point, I’d given them on over to Him.

Then once I gathered myself, I went to wash my face AND ooohhh the ugly that I saw was ridiculous. However, after washing my face and looking back in the mirror, I finally saw her. I saw me and I smiled at me for the 1st time in over a decade - I was barely 20. Yeah, well ... No everything didn’t magically happen over night - I didn’t have the faith to believe that it would anyway. It did happen though and as each one was taken care of, I saw just how POWERFUL, MIGHTY, and AWESOME my God is. He took care of things in ways that I wouldn’t have even dreamed up & he continues to surprise me as I put more & more trust in Him.

So while this post is VERY long, I apologize for its length, but not it’s contents. I am thankful everyday for what God has done and continues to do for me! My finances were taking care of abundantly then and I’ve never worried since. He always comes through with more than what I need. I graduated and went on to get my Masters with every intention of getting my PhD once I get the clearance. I met & married my wonderful husband who accepts me as is and always has a listening ear for all of my craziness; he even picks up on my sad days without a word from me. I never thought I’d even get married or have a kid, but look at me now. I thank God for it everyday.

Last but not least is that I have placed my identity in Christ and continue to seek His purpose for me living on this here Earth. I won’t ever FEEL another one of those tumbling bricks since with my God - there are no walls that he cannot move. He moves mountains y’all so rest assured that ain’t no wall tumbling down on me now that I’ve given my life to Him. No, I’m not perfect in anything I do, but my God, my God!


Wardrobe Challenges

I hate shopping! Yes, I said it. And honestly, you wouldn't know it from my closet. However, you would definitely think it based on what I choose to present on a daily basis. See, I have a LOT of clothes, but I enjoy comfort & warmth. I pretend to not be that creative with my attire, but I am a big, fat liar (gasp) in that respect. I have more creative ideas about what to do with my wardrobe than most would even think and for whatever reason I have little self-motivation to stop my lazy attire cycle. SO I’m heading to the internet for a much needed push to GET IT TOGETHER! Who’s in?

I read a lot of blogs about how to recycle, up-cycle, DIY, [insert other similar words] clothes and everything else around the house. I get these great ideas about how I can wear this or that to make it POP and then I do nothing about it. I have outfits lined up in my head … sometimes, they’re actually lined up in my closet … and they just stay there until I put them back in their respective spaces. Why? Well, because …

  • it’s cold outside
  • I have to run after the lil one
  • I don’t have anywhere to go
  • I don’t have any shoes to wear with it
  • I’m not going anywhere that requires all of that
  • my hair …
  • my mood ...
This list could go on, and on, and on, and on some more! I always have some excuse and it’s about time I cut that foolishness out!

So in preparation for the rest of my life, I’m reaching out to y’all for some challenges to basically force me (because I like to win) to dress better. The goal is that it becomes a habit. After this Challenge Season, I’ll determine routine challenges to ensure that I keep it up. SO with that being said, who’s got something for me?


Kitchen Mistakes & Discoveries

I am a recipe junkie and I don’t even follow most of them after the 1st time through. Honestly, I barely follow instructions the first time, but that’s what it’s all about for me. I make mistakes and I make wonderful discoveries. Here’s a quick roundup.

Brown Rice, Black Beans, & Peppers Casserole -> MISTAKE!
I followed the directions to the T! It was absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. I’d rather eat squash & I HATE squash. Funny story behind that is my husband tasted it first and didn’t give me any signal that it was terrible. I love that dude for taking one for the team, BUT we clearly had to discuss him telling me the real deal about the food. That ain’t cool. My man can’t be going around starving for some good cooking when I decide to try the random healthy recipes without doing my research. I now cook all brown rice with stock so I also made a DISCOVERY that day. Brown rice needs stock to agree with my taste buds.

Beet Lemonade -> DISCOVERY
I did not follow the recipe every detail, but ooohhh was it delicious to me. My husband doesn’t care for beets so to him it was just alright, but better than he thought. And although, I will still make it again - I know I’m the only one that will partake for the most part. I’m okay with that. The lil one steers clear of beets for whatever reason, but I’ll let ya know if he likes it.

Ice Cream Bread -> MISTAKE!
I messed this up twice so far, but I’m determined to make it work. The 1st time I didn’t mix it up enough (ie. didn’t melt the ice cream enough). The 2nd time, I’m blaming it on my flour. i tried to substitute, but it didn’t work. I only had all-purpose flour & needed self-rising. I failed big time. It’s cool though because I’ll just go get me some self-rising flour and make it again with some melted ice cream. I’m having Strawberry Bread for breakfast one of these days!

Granola Bars -> DISCOVERY
I followed the directions for the most part and they were delicious! Now that I’ve brought it back up, I should make some more soon. They were easy to make & healthier than the ones in the store. Yup.

Baked Oatmeal -> DISCOVERY
We always have oatmeal nowadays because of the health benefits and whatnots, but regular oatmeal does get a bit drab after so long. That meant I went to the internet for other ways to use oats and of course, I was NOT disappointed. I had a list of flavors to try from sweet to savory. but this one right here stuck! Oh how we love some baked oatmeal. I barely use recipes anymore and just kind of throw things together and it still comes out delicious. Recently I made some Strawberry Brown Sugar Baked Oatmeal and ooohhhh man - divine! I didn’t even have all of the ingredients I needed and kind of just made it up as I saw what we had. [Yes, I need to start actually writing down recipes, but I keep forgetting until I’m eating it.] Anyway, go make some.

Cheesy Oatmeal -> MISTAKE!
Now about those savory oats, I wrote of above - NOT FOR ME. I tried Cheesy Oatmeal and knew it was a bust before even tasting it. It just didn’t look right to me, but I made it so I had to eat it. I only made a small bowl of it and was glad I didn’t go for the gusto as usual. YUK! It’s not for me & I LOVE cheese. This one was a disappointment in a half. I believe I can’t get past the fact that I want my oats to be sweet.

Raisin Bran Bread/Muffins -> DISCOVERY
For a minute, we found ourselves with a boatload of Raisin Bran Cereal. While I do eat them, I couldn’t have ate that much Raisin Bran to save my life. It was just too much. To the internet I went and I was a little suspect of using the cereal, but oh what deliciousness it created. I made Raisin Bran Bread and muffins for a good couple months to get us through those Sundays that we went to both services & attended Sunday School. Whew! Anyway, if you ever find yourself with a lot of Raisin Bran - definitely try out some Raisin Bran Bread or Muffins. They’re real easy to make too.

That’s the end of my Kitchen Mistakes & Discoveries, but I’m sure there will be plenty more. I enjoy trying out new recipes and whatnot. What’s your latest Kitchen Mistake or Discovery?


Alone in ...

... Orlando for a work conference. My main objective was recruiting so I had no plans to attend lectures that I didn't understand. That meant a great family mini-vacay except the trip was last minute. Flight tickets were way too expensive for the fam to go, but I still had to go. Oh joy. So now, I plan to attend the various lectures if I can possibly figure out an ounce of what they speak. Here's how it went.

I got on the Struggle Bus as soon as I landed in Florida. It all began with my stupid phone keeping absolutely NO kind of charge. The phone wasn't even on during the flight & it was already on Orange when we landed. What the foolishness? Yeah, so it began. It was on Red before we got to the resort AND I couldn't check into my room for some hours. So I sat down near an outlet and had lunch until it was time to go over and do what I needed to do. Phone was pretty much dead all evening because the doggone thing wouldn't charge. Stupid phone.

When I tell you that every day was rough, I mean everyday I was on the struggle bus. Yeah, there's plenty to do in Orlando even at the resort, but I just had no desire to do anything that my family would have enjoyed. Not to mention the issues I was having with my phone so I was tethered to a socket. My 2 men may think they missed me, but I seriously was depressed without them. Barely ate, very little social interaction (didn't know anyone anyway), and the list goes on. Even the interenet connection was a waste. I wanted to cry when I couldn't even have a successful Hangout with them without an interruption in service. [I don't cry much, but when I do ...]

It was sad, but it was also very enlightening. As much as I enjoyed being single & couldn't see myself being married with a kid, I now realize how much we've really evolved into one over these 6/7 years. It's really awesome that someone as hermit-ous as I am can be transformed into wanting to experience the fullness of life cause my soul mate craves it. All I kept thinking was "they would have enjoyed this trip!" Everything I saw was related back to them.

So for all those who are able to travel by yourselves, more power to you for that. I am not about that life. I need my family with me & realize my life is very sad when I'm not with them. That may change one day, but I'm doubtful cause we're in this together & we have fun with each other. We're best friends & don't enjoy being apart especially when it involves lots of fun & sun.


SweatN to the Beat

Whether doing some type of cardio exercise, or lifting weights, music tends to help give people an extra push when working out.  Generally when you go into a gym to work out they have some type of music playing.  Most times it’s a general pop station or playlist that encompasses a variety of different tastes and styles.  Some people even bring their own headphones to the gym so they have more control over their playlist.  Music helps move the soul, even if you can’t dance, just sheer movement is a form of exercise.  (FYI - Dancing is a form of exercise).

With that being said, picking out the proper music is very important to getting a good workout in.  I’m not stating that you should only listen to Rap, Heavy Metal, or Rock & Roll.  If that is what you like, then go for it.  You could even listen to gospel or jazz if it provides that provides the tempo of workout that you desire.  I, personally, would not choose “smooth jazz” or classical music to get me amped for my workout.  I tend to do a lot more weightlifting and running for my exercise so I prefer something with a harder beat: Hip Hop, Rap, Motown Flavor.  I see myself having a hard time trying to do a bench press while listening to Brian McKnight’s One Last Cry.  I can’t even imagine having to run a mile, let alone 3, while hearing Tamia’s You put a move on my heart.  And I like those songs, I really do.  I just have a hard time trying to get my heart rate up to a certain level while listening to slow music.

Here are the top 10 workout songs of 2012 according to a Huffington Post:
10. & It Was U by How To Dress Well
9. That’s What’s Up by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
8. Only If For A Night - MTV Unplugged by Florence + The Machine
7. I Found You by Alabama Shakes
6. Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men
5. Transplant by Lolove
4. Let Me Love You by Ne-Yo
3. Rack City by Tyga
2. Climax by Usher
1. Xoxo by Cherub

Would I listen to this list? Probably not for working out, but once again, the goal is to pick something that will make you move.  And if you were wondering - I use Pandora; Stations like B.I.G., Kanye, DJ Khaled,  T.I., even a little 2 Chainz every now and again (what can I say - “I’m Different” is my joint!)

Let us know what gets you amped to work out/exercise!


The Money Maker: Marriage...

A lot of times, marriage is often compared and referenced to a financial entity. We’ve all heard the cliches:”Marriage is an investment” and “it’s cheaper to keep her”, just to name a couple.  But the truth of the matter is, when I look at marriage and compare it to my bank account, I can see where it does add up.  

As I sat down to prepare to write this post, I did a little research.  There are many articles out there about how Marriages can help to improve someones financial status.  You can even look at it from an economic growth standpoint.  Married couples tend to buy bigger houses, save more money, shop more (not necessarily for the flashy items, but more so for the long term, dependable, & efficient items).

Allow me to state, for the record, marriage is not for everyone.  Just because I state these things which I, personally have noticed, I am not forcing y’all to go out and hurry up and get married.  I do not want to be accused of calling someone out because they are single.  Trust me, I LOVED my single life, that was one phase of my life that I was happy while I was in it but now I am ecstatic where I am currently - married.  So for all my single friends out there, and I have plenty, this is only how I view my life.

When I was single, I believed that I needed very little to live my life.  I had a small house, it was just me.  I had limited food in my fridge & freezer, I usually ate out.  My savings account was practically non-existent, why save when I can buy what I want now.  Now that I’m married, we’ve moved into a bigger home, stock our refrigerator and save for, not just the future, but a rainy day, “just in case”, and college (I do have a 2 year old to think about).  But that is they key: My mentality has changed.  I see the importance of having a future set up for my family, financially.  I want to make sure that I can provide, and in case of emergency, I’m not “grasping at straws” as the saying goes.

My finances are not where I want them to be at.  I still play the lottery every now and again, but I’m not living from check to check as I once was.  My wife and I have a plan for the future, and it involves becoming debt free in 5 years.  We would like to be able to spoil ourselves (and our son) on occasion without thinking of how we’ll be able to pay for it in the future.  And while our savings accounts are modest, they do exist, both individually and collectively, and they are growing.

So yes, marriage has helped my finances tremendously.  But more importantly, it has helped my mentality.


WorkN Style

When first looking at the title of this post, you may be lead to think about what you wear to work.  That is not the point I’m going to be discussing at this moment.  (Although it may come up at a later time).  What I’m referring to is how you do your work.  Are you the type of person that procrastinates? Do you get everything done right away and then go looking for more?  Or are you the type of person that does all of your work right away, but keep a little bit left so it always looks like you have more to do?  Do you complain to your co-workers about every assignment given?  Perhaps you try not to rock the boat when it comes to your workplace.  Most people tend to be a hybrid of all of the different types of workers, and if you were to take a survey of your coworkers, you would find most claim they just “come in and do their job”.  But when you look closer at them, from your perspective you can see that they generally fit into one of the following groups.

The Eager Beaver: This is the person who asks a million and one questions about every little detail in hopes of doing exactly what the boss is looking for.  They really don’t have too much creativity to step too far out the lines, but as soon as an assignment is given out, they are usually the first ones to jump on it.  While they may get the exact details of what the boss may want, they have a hard time “thinking outside the box”.  They don’t like to take risks when it comes to their job (and probably their lives) but at the same time they are complacent at where they are in life.  The funny thing about this coworker is that, while they are generally a nice person, people tend to find themselves very annoyed with this person.  They are the ones who asks a question at the end of a meeting when everyone else is ready to go.  They are the ones who hurry up and start an assignment before realizing that they already volunteered to help someone else perform another duty for the moment.  They are the ones that start something without seeing how their piece can be completed much easier using the tools of technology (they are not very computer savy, so they do a lot of things the hard way).

THE PROCRASTINATOR: This is an obvious description of this particular work style.  Generally this person waits until the last possible moment before (s)he starts on their work.  Whether it is a big project or daily work assignment, they like to make sure everything else is tended to before they start on the work.  They usually hide behind the “usual tasks” of having their cup of coffee while going around and obtaining all the items needed to complete their work.  Speak to their direct supervisor to see if there is anything more pressing that needs to be completed first.  Finally, before starting, they have to go to the bathroom so they won’t be interrupted when they do start their work.  Hidden in between that time is usually an update on the scores of last nights games, the latest youtube video sensation, seeing about everyone's weekend (that they like).  They also make sure to check their personal email and update their twitter status (assuming the company policy is not violated).  The funny thing about this person is that they usually get their work done in time.  Sure they may be a little stressed, or re-emphasize to all others that come up to them asking them general questions that they are “sooooooooo busy right now” but the truth-of-the-matter is they put themselves in that position.  So in order to get the work done, they must sacrifice at the end of the day/project instead of just starting when they first received the assignment.

The Get-Along Guy/Girl: This person usually is everyone’s “friend”.  They are very courteous, and greet everyone they come in contact with a big smile and hearty “welcome”.  No one can ever say anything bad about this person.  They are always working when you walk by their desk, but they always can stop and speak for a moment.  They want to make sure they can help whoever has a question, regardless of what it may cost them in the long run.  The only major issue is that being a friend and agreeing with everything everyone says is it can definitely play a toll on your own personal mentality.  (In my current position, I am able to view many different things as they take place.  This type of person always seem to come to me to vent.)  While everyone may like the Get-Along Guy/Girl, (s)he does not like everyone.  They tend to be very superficial and while they may maintain certain confidentiality, they continuously remind (at least me) why everyone likes coming to them.  An additional problem is they tend to spread themselves thin and everyone else tends to use them as a doormat.  The person says “yes” all the time to help people, but then they have to work extra hard to be current on their own personal workload.  They are a great person to have around, but at the same time, other employees (especially within the specific department) tend to dump on this person.  

While I say all this jokingly, there are these types of people at every place I’ve ever worked at.  All of these people have their pros and cons, so no one is truly the “Perfect Coworker”.  As long as everyone gets the work done, generally there are no problems.  It only becomes an issue when a person doesn't pull their weight and others are forced to pick up the slack.  The main thing to take away is to determine what works best for you.  

What is your work style?  What about those that you work with?  Make sure to comment and share your experiences with us.