How this busy mom let go of pride to keep it real

What does the perfect mother look like to you?

Meet Perfect Petunia. She’s got it going on from head to toe. Like literally. Every hair on her head is in it’s designated place. Her skin is flawless like a VVS diamond. She keeps a steady appointment to get her mani’s and pedi’s because her nails have to be strong, polished, and balanced just like her. She’s dressed to the nine’s because…well…she has to appear as if her clothes are not meant to be used as a napkin.

Are any of you Perfect Petunias? I’m sure not her. I’m more like Real Rose.

She keeps her hair looking nice, but it’s nothing for her to rock a top knot or french braid. She may not have time for monthly facials, but she washes her face and puts lotions and creams on to keep from looking too dry out here in these streets. Mani and pedi? She finds time to get her nails done professionally every now and then, but she owns a variety of shades of Sally Hansen and OPI nail polish. Dressing up for her is going to work or a special event on the weekend. Otherwise, jeans are most comfortable second to sweatpants.

What makes moms want to be Perfect Petunia is pride. We want to appear as if we have everything together. Our children are perfect, our homes are perfect, and our lives are perfect. But that is far from the truth.

Strip down any mom you see on social media or walking about, and you’ll find that we all have clouds in our stones. And that’s okay.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking nice and keeping your appearance up. I think it speaks well of a woman, or any person for that matter, to have good hygiene and be well groomed. The problem comes in when we hide or cover up our imperfections then send out our representative. Oh yeah, we not only have a representative in the dating world, but in everyday life, too.

I’ve met Real Rose because I am her.  Some days my kids frustrate me, and I want to leave the house and eat a dozen cupcakes. My house isn’t clean everyday. I would like for it be, but as soon as I clean up, my kids come around ready to destroy my work. You would think they’re allergic to a clean house.

I can speak on how pride gets in the way of being a genuine, pure, authentic being because I’ve been working on being delivered from pride for the last year. It’s a stubborn demon.

I’ve come to realize that I can be great and awesome, but I have to go through God. I can’t exalt myself and put myself on a pedestal to portray perfection. When I let God lead, He gives me His will. So then, my life is only perfect because it’s His perfect will.

This means that each of our lives will be different, yet perfect, in the way God has designed us. There is no cookie cutter, perfect mom. When we are true to ourselves, we can help others be set free.

I’m still embracing being an imperfect, stay at home mom. The more I work on just being me, and being the best mom I can be, my best keeps getting better.

I’d love to hear how you are shedding the representative who you want the world to see, and just love the body and the being God made you to be. It’s so freeing when you don’t have to work hard at being someone you’re not. It’s so easy being me and not giving 2 cares about changing for others.

Sending love and hope your way!

The end of an era

Around this time of year nine years ago, my husband and I were getting ready to start our family. We were ready to begin a new phase of our lives by bringing some little ones into the world.

Birthing, feeding, diapering, and bathing babies has been so sweet and rewarding for us. Every experience of having a new baby was so exciting and fun.

As my children are growing, I watch them in amazement at the thought that my husband and I created these mini humans with such vibrant personalities. Now that they’re no longer babies, I feel some type of way.

Today, Kai started hourly daycare on the Army base. I didn’t cry, but I did stop and take a deep breath because it hit me that he’s no longer a baby but a toddler.

Let’s back track a little bit. When Taj was born, he had trouble swallowing so he was never able to eat or drink  by mouth. To this day he still eats via a gastronomy tube. I pumped breastmilk for 6 months until I no longer had the desire to set my alarm every 3 hours, to include night pumps. Yes, I would wake up at 3 am to pump.

I was so discouraged that I didn’t pump as much milk as I saw other moms were pumping. I just let it go and waited until I had another child to give breastfeeding a try again.

Then I had Zoe. I was so excited when my milk came in within 24 hours of her being born. Actually putting a child to breast to feed was exciting to me. So exciting that I breastfed her for 20 months.

Kai is my last baby, and the same excitement was there when I was able to breastfeed him, too. The only problem with him was he didn’t want to take a bottle. So I exclusively breastfed him for TWO YEARS TWO MONTHS AND FOUR DAYS…Yikes! Sorry I had to emphasize that, but I really wanted to stop at 12 months with him. He’s such a picky eater and doesn’t eat much so I breastfed him longer so he could get some nutrients.

But now the feeling is bittersweet. I’m so happy to have my body back. No more being a temporary extended stay to house a baby. No more being a human milk factory to feed a baby. And no more waking up at night to a crying baby.

Part of me is sad that my baby making years are over. And before anyone asks, yes, they are over. I wanted to be done having kids by 35, and I accomplished that.

Our family is moving into a new phase. Taj is going to 3rd grade. Zoe’s starting kindergarten. And Kai just started part time daycare. They’re involved in activities and sports while making lifelong friends.

I just turned 36 last month, and I’m starting to feel like a new woman. I’m finally embracing being a stay at home mom….that’s another blog for another day. I have some ideas of what I want to do with my free time. It’s time to start doing things I enjoy doing that doesn’t involve kids.

I’m excited about what’s next for me and my family. Our family is complete, and I look forward to teaching, nurturing, and raising well behaved children that will become responsible adults.

For those of you who are done having kids, do you miss those baby years? I miss them, yet I don’t. Please God don’t let me get baby fever any time within the next 4 years.

Sending love and hope your way!

Embracing my normal

What is normal? Does anyone really know?

I guess you can say normal is what the majority is doing. It’s easy to follow the status quo of how a typical American lives life.

Growing up I always wanted to be normal. I wore big glasses that everyone said looked like they were upside down. I had a big butt and felt uncomfortable with my skirts rising in the back. I didn’t wear the latest fashions and brand name designs.

Side bar, does anyone remember Gitano jeans? We shopped at Kmart and Hills, a stand alone clothing store in my small hometown. I was so excited to get my first pair of Levi’s.

Anyway, being normal is what every kid wants. But again I ask, what is normal?

As a teenager, normal was what the in crowd was doing, saying, and where they were going. Being normal was hanging out at the Friday night football game then going to Krystal’s afterwards. Being normal was going to a house or neighborhood party and get into business that wasn’t for teenagers.

Growing up a Pastor’s granddaughter, I missed some of those fun times. My cousins and I had countless conversations with our moms about why we weren’t normal because we couldn’t go to Riverbend or The Strut with our friends without them.

Into adulthood, being normal became going to college and graduating, getting a job, finding a boyfriend, marrying that boyfriend, having kids, buying a house, then riding off into happily ever after.

I did all of that…and in that order. But I was thrown for a loop along the way and it changed my view of normal forever.

Most of you know about Taj so I won’t bore you with his details again. What my husband and I thought would be a temporary situation and then work itself out, has turned into a lifetime lesson of our own personal normal.

Normal is what you make it. Normal isn’t the same for every person, place, or thing. Normal can change over time as you go through phases of life.

I stopped comparing my life to the lives of others. Would I like to call my mom to come and watch the kids while my husband and I go out? Yes.

Would I like to take our family on a summer vacation to another continent? Yes.

Would I like to take my kids to a park where all 3 can play without having Taj sit beside me and kids stare at him wondering what’s wrong with him? YES.

But that’s not my normal. My normal is strategically planning date nights with 2 babysitters. One to watch Zoe and Kai and a nurse to watch Taj. My mom would absolutely be there when I need her but she lives 9 hours away.

My normal is driving to Niagara Falls to see the waterfalls but not being able to ride the boat under the falls because Taj can’t get his trach wet.

My normal is going to the park and pushing Zoe and Kai on the swings then running back to Taj to make sure he’s ok.

My day to day is a little more challenging than others, but I’ve learned to not feel sad for myself or complain. I don’t like going down in the dumps, and I for sure don’t stay there when I have those moments.

How can I call myself a Christian and not trust Christ? I want people to look at me and see Jesus. Even if you don’t know me, you should be able to see God’s strength in me.

If you ever see me in public without my husband with my hands full but proudly handling everything with confidence, I’m not putting on a show. By ability comes from God. Without Him I’m a mess.

When you look at your life and start comparing yourself to others, think about what is normal for you. Who cares what everyone else is going. While you’re watching them trying to match them step for step, they’re probably watching you or someone else trying to figure out how you’re striving.

Embrace your normal and live life doing what makes YOU happy. God gave each of us a different assignment and calling. We must trust what He wants to do in our lives. It’s always grand and never mediocre.

What’s something you consider normal in your life that may not be normal for others? Don’t let shame and guilt rob you of your normal that you conform to someone else’s normal. I’m embracing my normal each morning I wake up. I pray that you do the same.

Sending love and hope your way!

Push through the struggle

These last 2 weeks have been BUSY! Kai’s birthday was 2 weeks ago. He turned the big 2. He’s such a boy joy in my life. He’s learned quickly how to get what he wants.

Then, last week was recital week for Zoe. Rehearsals every night and a show to do on Saturday wore me and her out. But she did a beautiful job, and I’m very proud of her.

But that’s not what my post is about today.

My husband and I went to a parent/teacher conference for Zoe a couple of weeks ago. Something the teacher said spoke to me, and I applied it to life in general. I want to share with you because it will encourage you today.

Her teacher said that when children are reading a book and they come to a word that they are unsure of, they need to go through their options of trying to figure the word out. They should look at the picture for clues, look at the letters and sound the word out, and if need be, you can give the child multiple choice answers.

The part of what she said that really stuck with me is that children need to struggle with a word in order to learn it and retain it. They must do the work for themselves to figure the word out. It’s the struggle that helps them to learn.

How many times do we struggle and want someone to give us the answer? How many struggles do we experience and look to someone to save us so we can continue on? How many times do we not want to do the work to help ourselves?

When we don’t embrace the struggle and do the work, we won’t learn from it. I truly believe that experience is the best teacher.

I’ve noticed that when I tell Zoe a word that she struggles with reading, she doesn’t remember it when it comes back around later. But when I make her do the work to figure it out, she’ll remember it the next time.

That’s how it is in life. When we come across a trial, crisis, or plain old hard time, we have to work through the struggle so that we’ll get stronger and grow more patience.

It reminds me of when I work out, and I’m trying to grow my muscles. I have to push myself past my struggle point and keep going. As I continue to do this, my muscles get used to that weight and they get stronger so that I can lift that weight again. As I keep doing this, I’m able to lift heavier and heavier weights.

So many times we want to give up. Things get too hard in life and we want to tap out. Then we question where is God. He’s always right there. God is like a spotter when you’re lifting weights. He’s right there behind you ready to catch you, the weight, or the concern in just the right time.

A struggle isn’t meant to stop you. The word itself means to make a forceful effort to get free of restraint or resist attack. So that tells me it’s an action. We are not supposed to sit idle and let every struggle take us down, but we are to make every effort to break free.

If you have any areas of your life where you are struggling, just know that’s an area where the enemy doesn’t want you to succeed. Trust God to help you get through. You’re only going to get stronger and better.

Sending love and hope your way!

 

60 Day Fitness Challenge

I sit here typing this blog post with sore legs and back. Someone send a masseuse my way. Like immediately!!! I need a massage and a nap, ASAP. I had a hard morning workout yesterday, then my neighbor invited Zoe and me to Soldierfit. Soldierfit is an awesome place to get a great military bootcamp style workout. Right now they’re only in the MD/VA area, but check them out when they come to a city near you.

This past Saturday I registered for a 60 day challenge my gym offers several times a year. My baby boy, Kai, will be 2 next Tuesday, and I still have some baby weight to lose. I didn’t have this problem with Taj and Zoe.

I got up to 192 lbs with Taj and 198 with both Zoe and Kai. Yeah, I wasn’t thinking about being healthy while pregnant. I gained all the weight my 5’2″ frame could hold. With Taj and Zoe, I got down to 163 by the time I went to my 6 week check up. I was able to lose another 20 lbs on my own, mainly through running. Especially after Zoe. I was running 5K’s, 10 milers, and half marathons. My weight hovered between 140-145.

But bay-bayyyyy after Kai, I got down to 166 6 weeks after his birth and I’ve been there ever since. I’m not used to this much weight. Zoe draws family pictures and I’m always bigger than my husband. I asked her if I’m bigger than daddy and she said yes. I just laugh because kids are so honest. I’m not easily offended and especially when I know its the truth.

I had enough of eating just because it tastes good even when I’m not hungry. I got tired of being an emotional eater so I’ve had to find other ways to deal with my emotions. And I’m no longer accepting that I’ll have a C-section tummy for the rest of my life.

I’ve always been fascinated with the human body. I’ve always had an interest in fitness and nutrition. And now I’m taking what I’ve learned, and I’m starting to reshape my body.

I joined my gym, Life Time Fitness, in October 2017. I was working out just to say I was going to the gym and working out. The holidays were right around the corner and I needed some extra help keeping my weight in check since I would be consuming extra calories for the next 2 months. Yes, I planned ahead, lol.

I worked with a personal trainer once a week. He was good with the fitness piece, but he didn’t seem to be as concerned with my nutrition and neither was I. So I trudged along thinking I’m doing better than most just by going to the gym a few times a week.

This particular trainer left the gym for another job in February, so I was stuck on my own planning my workouts and trying to eat right. It cost me a lot of money to work with him, so at this point I was willing to do my own research and train myself. I went to see a nutritionist through the army. She gave me some great tips and advice. But I still wasn’t fully focused and disciplined.

Sidebar, if you’re an Army spouse, please take advantage of their free…yes, FREE… resources to help you get in shape. I know I don’t take full advantage of everything, but there’s no use in letting these great tools go to waste. You’re able to talk to nutritionists and get those expensive metabolic and body fat tests for free. Call or visit your local base’s fitness center.

So anyway, fast forward to mid April. A personal trainer approaches me and we start talking. She’s asking me about my workouts and my natural hair. I can tell she’s a cool chick, and I like her. She offers me a free consultation, so I take her up on it because I like getting a different approach to fitness from these trainers and how they like to work out their clients.

She gave me a hard workout and kept it real with me. That’s the way to get to me because if you fluff, I’ll fluff. But if you keep it real, I’ll keep it all the way real with you. She read me like she knew me all my life. All I could do was shake my head and comply.

I know I’m strong. I know I have a naturally muscular frame. I know that I’m physically fit…just with extra fat on top of my muscles. I also know that I can be lazy. That’s my Achilles heel.

She hit the nail on the head and told me I needed a trainer to reach my fitness goals because if I keep coming in the gym doing what I’m doing I’m just going to maintain and not change my body into what it could be. I actually lost 2% of my body fat in 4 weeks and I gained 2 lbs of muscle, which is great.

Now I know most people see me and say, “You don’t need to lose any weight”…”You look good to have 3 kids”…”Lose weight where?”. I’ve heard it all.

And no offense to these people who make these comments because I know they’re coming from a place of compliment, but I have fitness goals I’m trying to obtain. And left to my own devices, I won’t get there because I won’t push myself.

Long story short, I joined this challenge to jump start this next phase of my life. I’ll be 36 in July, my baby making years are behind me, and I’m excited to get my body in the best physical shape of my life.

I’m telling you all this because I’m preparing to do a bikini or figure competition at the end of the year or the beginning of next year. I need that accountability and cheers along the way because this journey isn’t going to be easy. It takes a lot of discipline and focus to eat properly and work out effectively so that you get those type of results.

I’ll keep you guys posted on how I finish this 60 day challenge. It ends July 7 so I’ll be sure to blog about it. I want to be a national finalist and hopefully win overall. That would be awesome! I know my husband would love for me to win just so he doesn’t have to pay monthly memberships fees for a year. Cha-ching!!!

You may not have extreme goals like mine of being a fitness competitor, but what goals are you trying to achieve that I or someone else could help you with? I love encouraging people and cheering you on to be your best self.

Sending love and hope your way!

 

I love you, Mommy!

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids said DaDa before saying MaMa…insert eye roll. No, I’m kidding.

Taj isn’t verbal, but I long for the day to hear him say Mommy. When I first heard Zoe and Kai say MaMa then Mommy, it melted my heart. Those little sweet voices are so precious.

Being a mom is a very challenging job, but I LOVE IT and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I do my best to be the greatest mom that my kids need me to be.

I had a beautiful example of motherhood, my mother and grandmother. Both are loving, giving, firm women of God. They taught me how to stay humble, take care of home, and be true to who I am.

Sidebar, I’m stubborn and hardheaded at times so I don’t always take heed to those words. But they trained me right so I have a well to draw from when I need water. I remember words and advice my mom and grandma taught me and it will come to remembrance when I need it

As a black woman and mother, I’ve picked up some ways of saying and doing thing that even make me laugh. You know how black mamas are. We say some crazy stuff to get our point across. I guess that moms in general, haha!

For example, when Zoe doesn’t want to go to bed because she wants to play. I’ll say, “you better play yourself to bed. Go meet the Sandman and ask him for a dream”.

That works for any scenario. Try it!

Child: “I don’t want to eat.” Mom: “You better eat your way to this table.”

Child: “I don’t want read a book.” Mom: “You better read this book or you’re going to read my hand across your behind.”

Anyway, back to some serious business. My mom was a single mom. With her village of my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, she did an amazing job raising my sister and me. I always thought my mom was the smartest woman I knew. She was a calculator, calendar, and encyclopedia. She was Google before there was the internet.

My mom wrote poems, did people’s taxes, filed FAFSA forms for upcoming college students, wrote and printed obituaries, drove kids and adults all over Chattanooga and North GA, the list goes on and on. And she’s still doing this today.

And let me tell you, she drove a stick shift most of my young life. But that didn’t stop her from putting her left hand on the wheel, change the gear with her right hand, then proceed to use the same right hand to reach around and pop my legs. That’s true talent right there 😉

She’s such a beautiful spirit, inside and out. She wants to see others win, and she will do anything to support those she loves. She’s a resilient woman who knows the call on her life, and she’s fulfilling her God given purpose.

My mom has always been my hero, and that’s what I aim to be to my children. If you can’t look up to your parents, even in adulthood, then something’s wrong. We must never stop learning and growing, because our little ones are watching.

As a grown woman, I still watch my mom making boss moves. She’s nearing retirement from her corporate  job, but she’s already making entrepreneur goals and plans for her next phase of life. Even fulfilling some of those goals right now.

My mom had me at a young age, 17 to be exact. I’m sure she doesn’t mind me saying because it’s part of her testimony. Everyone thinks she’s my sister. While I used to be annoyed, I love it now. I’m so proud of my mom! All of her accomplishments and her youthful look make me proud to call her mom.

This Mother’s Day, I honor my mom as my GOAT, greatest of all time. She means the world to me and I wouldn’t trade her for another mom. God ordained her to be my mom. And He ordained me to be Taj, Zoe, and Kai’s mom. I want to  their GOAT. I mean, they are my kids. Get it? Baby goats are called kids. Ok corny joke, I’m done!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Sending love and hope your way!

Growing pains


My daughter turned 5 on April 22, and for some reason I had a hard time processing her growth. She’s my middle child, so why was I feeling this way? Taj will be 8 soon. Why didn’t I feel this way when he turned 5?

To be completely honest, sometimes I forget how old Taj is, until I look at his long legs. Although Taj’s chronological age is almost 8, his cognitive and physical development is that of an 18 month old, or younger depending on the activity.

Now don’t get me wrong, he understands everything you say and what’s going on around him. He just has an inability to express himself with words making a sound out of his mouth.

Taj spent his 5th birthday in the hospital. On Friday, June 12, 2015, Taj went to his PreK graduation and slept the whole time. He was on stage with his classmates knocked out and unbothered. He wouldn’t even pull anyone’s hair or necklaces as they bent down to hug him. If you know Taj, you know he likes to pull hair and necklaces.

By that Sunday morning, the 14th, he woke up with blue lips and hands. I knew he had pneumonia based on previous experience. We took him to the ER, which always ends up in an impatient stay, and this time was no different.

Monday, June 15th, it’s Taj’s 5th birthday, and he’s in the hospital. At least he’s smiling and not struggling to to breathe anymore. I just don’t like being in the hospital, AND it’s his birthday. His 5th birthday at that.

So fast forward to last week when Zoe turned 5. I just kept hugging her and telling her I can’t believe she’s 5. She must have been tired of me because by the end of the night she finally asked me why I’m so excited she’s 5. I explained to her the best way I could for her 5 year old brain to process.

I never want Zoe to think I overlook Taj because of his disability. My husband and I teach Zoe and Kai to treat Taj like the older brother that he is. They play with him, talk to him, and love on him. It’s so cute!

But I did realize that I was putting a lot of emphasis on her 5th birthday. I had to stop and reflect on Taj’s life. He may not be walking, talking, and running around the house like a mad man, but dang it he’s 2 years away from being 10. Then I really started feeling the “my kids are growing up too fast” heartburn. I remember when I turned 10. It was a big deal to hit double digits, and my oldest will be there in 2 years.

I was losing it over Zoe turning 5 and then I look at my Daddy Longlegs and see how far he’s come in 8 years. It’s not the same accolades as a typical kid, but considering where Taj has come from he’s made a lot of progress.

Then to top this last week off, Zoe has her first lose tooth. I mean, her permanent tooth is almost halfway in and she just told me. Parents always say that your kids grow up fast. You blink and they’re graduating high school.

I’ll soon have an 8, 5, and 2 year old. Where are my babies!?! Oh well, my womb has gone out of business. I’m going to enjoy raising these beautiful children God has given me. They work my last nerve but I love them sooooo much.

Are there any moms and dads out there experiencing this feeling of not wanting your kids to grow up too fast? Please tell me I’ll be ok. I don’t want baby fever to creep up on me, lol. Please share how you cope with your kids growing up right before your eyes.

Sending love and hope your way!

Roll out the red carpet…

First giving honor to God who is the head of my life. I’d like to thank Abba Father for this award…

Oh I’m sorry, I thought was on stage!

But seriously, I was nominated for a Liebster Award. (Applause, cheers, standing ovation) Never heard of it? Neither had I…until now! It’s an awesome way to discover new blogs and meet new people. You have been informed. In the words of Maui from the movie Moana, “You’re Welcome”!

Thank you soooo much to Queenly Constance for nominating me. The power of social media is amazing, so I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and finding me worthy to be acknowledged.

So what’s next?

1.) Acknowledge the blogger who nominated me. Enter the Queen, Constance. Thank you again, honey!

2.) Answer 11 questions Constance asked me about my blog.

3.) Give 11 random facts about myself.

4.) Nominate 5-11 bloggers for this award.

5.) Ask the nominated bloggers 11 questions.

11 Questions asked by Constance

1.) What is one thing you usually need to blog like a boss? Depending on the time of day that I blog, I need everyone in my house to take a nap or go to bed. I can listen to God more clearly without distraction from my husband and kids. I turn on some music and start writing like I’m talking to friends.

2.) How do you come up with blog topics? I go to God for EVERYTHING, so I ask Him what He wants me to share.

3.) What is your blog’s age? Supernaturally Me is 12 weeks today…woot woot!

4.) Why did you start your blog? I have a 7 year old special medical needs son along with a 4 year old daughter (5 on Sunday) and 22 month old son (23 months on Sunday). My husband is in the army which means deployments and TDY’s (temporary duty) away from home. I get asked all the time everywhere I go how I do it. I always give the short answer “by the grace of God” which is true, but this blog lets me open up more about my journey with my family. I love sharing with people how God can supernaturally give you His strength and power to get through ANYTHING.

5.) What is a tip for other bloggers? Don’t overthink it! When you have a topic you want to write about, go full throttle and give the people what they want. I second guess myself a lot, then I remember this is what God told me to talk about. I can’t argue with Him.

6.) What is something you wish someone would have told you before starting your blog? I wish I would have known that blogging is like talking to like minded individuals with similar interests. No need to write like you’re writing a textbook or novel. Be free to be yourself and speak from your heart the same way you speak to people. Had I known this before, I would have started blogging as soon I stopped working in corporate America 9 years ago.

7.) What’s one word that best describes your blog? Relatable

8.) Who is your favorite blogger and why? I honestly don’t read a lot of blogs. I’m more of vlogger follower. If you’re a faith based entrepreneur, you’ve most likely heard of Tiphani Montogmery. I love her Periscopes!

9.) When is your usual post day for your new blogs? Tuesdays. This is early enough in the week to get the blog written then I can Periscope later in the week.

10.) What is one of your blogging fears? I fear that I may write something someone doesn’t find interesting. Even if it’s a situation the person hasn’t experienced, I hope they find my sense of humor refreshing and can at least sympathize with the struggles of parenthood.

11.) We all have that one person in mind that would make our LIFE of they read one of our blogs. Who would that person be for you?  As stated above, Tiphani Montgomery. I think she’s hilariously funny and definitely knows Jesus Christ. I would be so tickled, yet honored, if she read one of my posts.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I’ve worn glasses since I was 2 years old.
  2. Some of my earliest memories start at age 2. I remember going skating with my parents at that age.
  3. I was an only child for 8 years, 10 months, and 8 days. I adore my little sister. She’s gorgeous and creative…like me.
  4. I graduated from high school in the top 10% of my class…number 7 to be exact. I was voted Most Likely to Succeed.
  5. I met my husband my freshman year of college at The University of Georgia. We’ve been together for 18 years,  married almost 10 years. Aww!!!
  6. My husband’s birthday is on the 4th, I’m the 31st, my oldest son is the 15th, my daughter is the 22nd, and my baby boy is the 22nd. All equal to 4 through adding or subtracting. I think that’s pretty cool!
  7. My favorite holidays are Christmas and Independence Day. For the record, I can only listen to Christmas music after Thanksgiving and ends on New Year’s Day.
  8. I ran 2 10 milers and 2 half marathons a year after my daughter was born. I impressed myself back then.
  9. I have 2 Bachelors (Telecommunications and Drama), a Masters in HR, worked in health insurance and banking industry, and now I’m a stay at home mom working to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes it takes a while to get focused:)
  10. I’ve been relaxer free since 2009. I long transitioned and cut ends in 2011. I went heat free in 2014. I’ve only had heat on my hair once in almost 4 years. No heat at all for the last 3 years. My Naturalistas will understand:)
  11. The beach is my favorite place to be!

My nominees for the Liebster Award are…

1) The World Traveling Mom – Jessie is a wife and mom of 2 boys. She travels with her family as an outlet to get away from the full time job of being Mom. She has a post with great tips for traveling to Disneyworld you should check out if you have kids and plan on going to Disney soon. I’ll be using these tips for my trip in July.

2) A Fashionable Believer – Chelsea sure knows how to rock some beautiful, colorful dresses and skirts…and other items, too. Who says you can’t love Christ while being cute? Be sure to read her anniversary post where she talks about how she met her husband. So sweet!

3) The Pretty Little Hustler – Kacie is a young lady living it up in NYC. I love NYC, so it’s nice to see someone in her 20’s taking on the Big Apple and making “pretty” moves. She has lots of posts with tips, gift guides, and travel around the city. Read her post about how to nail an interview, great tips!

4) A Glimmer in Her Eye – Follow the lives of two expatriates, husband and wife, living in Austria. I’ve traveled abroad but never lived outside the US. I love seeing the world through their eyes. Her post about moving while abroad will have you on the edge of your seat. Go read about what happened!

5) Chain Movers – We find many mom blogs out there, but here’s a dad blog with my type of interests. Josh lives in my home state of Georgia with his wife and 2 kids. Read his entry blog post about why his blog is called Chain Movers. I love seeing a man write about life from a dad’s perspective.

6) Baby Chicks and Seasonings – I need to step my game up after reading about this hot momma. Cinthya has a cute, everyday mom style that we can all follow whether we work a job outside the home or work a job inside the home (motherhood). Read her travel essentials post for some practical tips to stay fly.

7) Two Beautiful Disasters – In the words of my daughter, Ashley and Meghan are adorbs! I love women who can keep it real about life. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it can be a disaster of a hot mess sometimes. We always get through, and they show you how. Their recent blog post is so great for tweens and teens as they feature a company called STRONG Self(ie). STRONG Self(ie) offers a monthly subscription box as well as empowers young girl to be confident and strong. I love it!

8) Mocha Divas – Desiree is very inspiring, encouraging us to live our lives the fullest. You can’t help but to smile reading her posts about food and happenings around town. I particularly loved her post about breaking out of comfort zones. We could all use that push.

9) Azarya Life & Style – These 2 sisters, Amara and Chidera, are very bright young ladies inspiring others to live life on purpose with the help of God. I love seeing young people calling on God for their strength knowing it is because of Him that all things are possible. Their recent blog post hits the nail on the head with tips on how to trust God. Check it out!

10) Raising Little’ns – Friends and first time moms, Amelia and Jodie, give you the real about being a mom. They don’t give you the fluff that the internet or books talk about. I love their Confessions of a Bad Mum category (they’re British; therefore, mum). Sometimes they feature stories from other moms, you’re not alone. I love the one about dropping your phone on your baby’s head. Yes, I’ve done that several times to all 3 of my kids, lol.

11) Let There B Dance – My daughter loves to dance and is currently taking ballet and tap. Mary takes her over 30 years experience of teaching dance and provides lessons and tips with her expert flair. She has a very helpful post about 3 basic ballet steps. I need this information so I know what Zoe’s talking about as she tells me about her upcoming recital, hehe.

11 Questions for the Nominees

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What are your goals for your blog? Is this a hobby or are you working towards a business, if you haven’t started one already?
  3. Who or what is your motivation to continue blogging?
  4. What is something you’ve learned about yourself since you started blogging?
  5. What was the time frame from the moment you got the idea to start a blog to the second you published your first post?
  6. What is your favorite compliment you’ve received from a reader?
  7. How do you market your blog to get the word out and gain subscribers/readers?
  8. Are there any bloggers that you follow who inspire you?
  9. Do you only write blog posts or do you also video blog on other social media platforms?
  10. Do you plan your blog topics ahead of time or write a post as something comes to mind?
  11. What feeling do you get after you’ve worked hard on a post then hit publish?

Thanks for coming along this ride with me. Sending love and hope your way!

~Shanetta

Baby fat go bye bye

In my 20’s, I could eat whatever I wanted and would lose weight. I could think of my dream body and BAM, I’d be thin again. Even after my first 2 kids (2nd one in my early 30’s) I had a pretty good snap back with healthy eating and exercise. That was once upon a time.

Can I get those days back? I can and I will.

After the birth of my 3rd child, um, yeah, I mean…what happened, y’all? No one told me after the 3rd one it would be harder to get the weight off.

I understand that it gets harder to stay in shape and lose weight as you get older. I just didn’t think 33 was “older” and that it wouldn’t be the same as having a baby at 30. Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of life and taking care of 3 kids. I don’t have as much time for myself as I used to.

As I said in a previous post, (read my post from March 6) I am a very disciplined person in the moment. But lately I get easily distracted. When I take a break from healthy living, that break lasts longer than it should.

I don’t just fall off the wagon. I fall off, find a slice of pizza on the side of the road, find out there’s a pizzeria around the corner, then build a new home there.

I gained 50 pounds with each 3 of my kids. No, I don’t believe in eating for 2. I ate everything I wanted to eat for 1…me, moi, mí. So I don’t blame the weight gain on being pregnant. I take full responsibility for it. I was going gain weight anyway so I might as well eat I want. I would worry about getting the weight off later. If I had to do it again…AND I WON’T…I would do it differently.

After Taj and Zoe, I was able to lose 30 pounds before my 6 week check up. Woot woot! Then, I was able to run and do home workouts to lose weight the extra 20. Weight Watchers was also helpful. It helped me to get my portions back in check, and it made me make healthier food choices.

I started running 5K’s, 10 milers, and half marathons. After Zoe, I lost an extra 10 pounds for a total weight loss of 60 pounds. I was able to do this before her 1st birthday so I was proud of myself. (See above photos)

I gained that 10 back before I got pregnant with Kai, then I gained the faithful 50 back during his pregnancy. I was successful at losing my typical 30 pounds before the 6 week check up. But something changed from then to now. To this day I’m still stuck with the last 20 pounds to lose, and Kai will be 2 in May.

I’m mom tired…meaning, I don’t always eat healthy and I don’t always feel like working out because I like rewarding myself with food or just laying on the couch doing nothing when the kids are away or asleep. I really need to increase my will power from 32% to at least 51%. I’ll get to 100% soon enough.

I was talking to my cousin about losing weight and we both agreed that we have to do what’s best for our bodies. I’m tired of doing research and talking to fitness professionals and being told to do the same thing everyone else does. I get bored and need variety. Nobody puts Shanetta in a corner. Lol

So here I am again…drafting a new plan to get healthy and in shape before my 36th birthday this summer. But this time, I’m making a lifestyle change that will carry me into my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond.

I want to show the world and be an example to moms that you can lose the weight and attain your dream body. You can be a busy person and still take your health seriously. I’m finding my groove but trust me, I will get there.

You all are my accountability partners. I’ve shared my current struggle and don’t mind putting my business out there. I can’t wait to come back for my birthday and show you the work I’ve done. Hold me to it!

Your struggle may be something different or it may be the same. No matter what it is, you can overcome it.  You will win!

Sending love and hope your way!

Stop, drop, and roll with it

When I was a little girl, I loved watching The Jetsons. They were the future! They were what I thought my adulthood would be like.

Riding around in space cars, robots as maids, and many household gadgets to make life easier. 2018 is here, and we’re not too far off from that 80’s cartoon. However; has it been to our detriment?

I’ll explain. I naturally move at a fast pace. When I slow down it literally makes me itch. When I want something, I want it now. When I’m going somewhere, I want to get there fast.  When it’s time to leave the house, I get aggravated with my kids for intentionally moving slow.

Maybe it’s the Generation Y in me, but I keep telling myself to slow down, take life in, and enjoy the ride.

I like to be in control of my day because I have a lot going on. I try to keep a certain pace so that I’m able to make every appointment on time. Of course, things happen, and I may get thrown off course. Most times I get mad at myself for not adding in that extra buffer of time to account for the unknown.

Last weekend, I was cleaning up in between giving the kids baths and dressed for the day. I had to get myself dressed as well to get to my pamper session at the spa. But once my husband got home, we started talking. The next thing I know, I had 40 minutes to get in the shower, dressed, and to my appointment on time.

The whole way there I’m beating myself up for mismanaging my time. I was being an over achiever trying to get things done before my appointment. Then God said to me, “Chill out, relax, and stop idolizing yourself. You say you trust Me so stop thinking you’re Superowman on your own”. ( Yeah, He talks to me like that.)

He and I have had previous conversations like this before. I think I can do all things, and He reminds me that I can but only through Him who strengthens me.

So I let it go because at this point I’m going to get there just in time. Well……I made a work turn and got lost. I have to call the spa to ask them what street I should turn on to get to their location. She tells me to go back where I made the wrong turn and go down one more street.

I arrive 15 minutes late. The esthetician doing my wax reassured me she would work fast to get me to my massage on time. We’ve been working together for about 3 years now so we have a smooth routine down now.

She gets me finished in 10 minutes…whoo hoo…with 5 minutes to spare before my massage. God was like, “See, I told you to trust Me”.

The massage therapist was so nice and she helped me to relax even more. Oh how I love a good massage!

But wait my friends, the story doesn’t end there. After the massage I have to rush home to pick Zoe up and take her skating with some friends. I get home and she’s escaped to our neighbors’ house to play with her friend. I go there to pick her up and they invite me in to meet their new puppy. I couldn’t resist. She was a cute puppy, y’all!

As I’m talking I’m also thinking in my head, “Ugh, I’m about to be late once again”. In case you guys haven’t noticed, I don’t like being late. BUT God reminded me again to trust Him and don’t worry about it.

I get a text from our friends at the skating rink that they ordered pizza and would wait for us to skate. Amen! Zoe and I got there in time to skate with them for about an hour.

I’m telling you this story as an example of one day of many where I get caught up in myself thinking I have everything under control, and God has to remind me that He’s in control. We don’t exactly live in the Jetsons era, and I can’t beam myself around town to get to places on time.

Doing too much too fast then beating myself up is my character flaw. Your’s  may be something  different. No matter what it is, just know that when you take time to pause, breathe, and trust God, all things work out the way they’re supposed to. Why worry and stress when we have a Father who will take care of that for us?

It’s a day by day process for me. But God doesn’t ask for us to get it together on our own. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I promise I’ll let Him handle my burdens from now on. I pray that you do the same.

Sending love and hope your way!