Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve


I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl. You know the type that always finds the good in any situation, the kind that believes in laughing to keep from crying. So it’s no surprise that for years my mantra was “living my life like it’s golden.” The minute I heard Jill Scott melodically bellow it out, I knew it was for me. That was until a year ago when my dad died and all of a sudden, golden just didn’t seem good enough.

Staring 40 in the face and determined to live each day as if it were my last, I vowed to live my life like it’s PLATINUM. What I meant was to hell with a bucket list, if I think it or want it, I will plan it and do it. No more thoughts about what I wish to do upon retirement age or where I plan to go. Life is not guaranteed and each day is truly a gift.

So I made a list, a list of things I’ve always wanted to do. Most of them, were things that at some point in my life I feared. Fear, is the biggest and most common self-inflicted wound. Some times we are forced to rid ourselves of it. For example, while crossing a bridge the other week, I laughed to myself remembering a time when I would have turned down the radio, put both hands on the wheel, slowed down to a snail’s pace just to cross a bridge. I’m not sure why I feared bridges, and I am not sure of the exact moment I rid myself of the unnecessary anxiety. I think it was the summer I interned at the Virginian-Pilot and was literally surrounded by water several times a day.

Remembering a much younger me, my best guess would be that I was forced to get over it. At this point in my life, I don’t want to be forced, I want to live fearlessly…intentionally. A few years ago I prayed, fasted and meditated for months to rid myself of fear. My new found freedom continues to reap immeasurable joy, but left a laundry list of should’ve, could’ve, would haves.

Towards the top of my list of want to’s was zip lining. I have no idea what sparked the zip-lining bug, but I was bit and I wanted to try it. For Mother’s Day/Birthday my husband arranged a quick trip to Myrtle Beach. While there, I couldn’t resist zip-lining option and was elated at my husband’s enthusiasm to join in on the fun. Now that was living my life like it was platinum. I gladly strapped in to the harnesses, gallantly walked up the thousands of steps and yes I seriously needed to catch my breath at the top and pat the sweat from my brow. I stepped onto the platform and for the first time, heard my heart pounding out of my chest and thought about changing my mind, but it was too late. I blinked and my legs were in the air, I screamed the entire time, couldn’t see a thing below me, my eyes were filled with water and I probably swallowed a bug or two while laughing at myself. I could see the ocean, I felt completely free and I was so happy about our chosen activity. In fact, so was my husband which is why, we then did it again.

My next “want to” was parasailing. I always thought it looked cool. The parachute above the water seemed exciting so imagine my elation when my bonus sister invited me to join her on a parasailing excursion while on a family Disney vacation. As we prepared to sign our lives away we were asked if we wanted to parasail at 450 feet or 600 feet or some higher number that I couldn’t easily compute. We decided to go for the 600 feet and encouraged my niece and bonus mom (mother-in-law) to join us. Not to be outdone, they agreed.

Because we were the first on the boat, we were also the first in harnesses. Again, I was good until it was time to actually ascend, but it was too late. As we went up, we couldn’t help but admire the view in Orlando. It was beautiful and we chit chatted about how soothing it was and what a beautiful and calm day. Before long, it was time to descend and it wasn’t until then that we realized that neither of us had been given instructions on landing. Would we land in the water? Would we land on the boat? Would they catch us? Well, as we continued to ponder, we also continue to come down and fast. In fact, we saw the cameras and heard them ask us to pose and next thing I know my hind parts were skidding to a halt on the exact same spot my adventure began.

Our co-captain/photographer asked if we were okay and I resoundingly said yes. Then I heard my sister say very calmly “I am not okay.” When I followed her eyes to her shin, we found a puncture wound that immediately called for stitches. She had a matching one on the other leg.

They escorted me off the boat and carried her to a stretcher. She and my bonus mom went to the hospital where she received a total of eight stitches. OUCH. She finished our vacation in a wheelchair, but with a smile. Although we wished our adventure ended differently than it started, neither of us regretted the experience.

I guess that’s how living fearless will be. Sometimes, it will be better than I expected and sometimes it will be totally different than I imagined. But something tells me I will never regret my decision to live my life like it’s PLATINUM. I suggest you do the absolute same.Lady Di Zip LIningG.Todd Ziplining

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

Last year was tough for me. I was full of anxiety just thinking about transitioning our then 5-year-old daughter from a small close-knit private pre-school to public school. I researched every school, the district policy, interviewed teachers and administrator friends for advice. We teetered with the idea of homeschooling, bought curriculums and even made our spare bedroom a sudo-classroom. And I definitely prayed a lot. We finally decided to give public school a try. I figured, what’s the worse that can happen? We could be unhappy, pull her out and try something different.

After her initial assessment and being in Kindergarten for two days, the group consensus was to move her up to First Grade. With this change came even more apprehension. She was transitioning to public school, larger classes and she’s small in stature. Was this the right decision? Was she mature enough to handle it and if she wasn’t would her self-esteem survive putting her back? So back in my prayer closet I went.

We were assured by her school’s administration that she’d be fine and had a great First Grade teacher and we would very soon agree. Her teacher wasn’t much taller than my daughter, she was petite, smiled a lot and kept in constant contact with me about Morgan’s progress. She was young, full of energy and seemed to be a real go getter; you know the type that looks forward to challenges. In fact, she was a marathon runner and to me that spoke volumes about her personality. Marathon runners are in for the long haul, run through cramps, rain, extreme temperatures etc… She was just what the doctor ordered, in this case what we needed.

Morgan didn’t just exist in First Grade, she excelled both academically and socially. She also fell in love with her teacher and truthfully so did I. Right before Christmas break I told her, I really think she should consider teaching Second Grade. I know, I know totally selfish move. Of course she laughed and said it was a little early to sweat Second Grade, plus she said “Morgan will be fine.” Yes, Morgan will be fine, but what about me? I guess, back to the prayer closet I go.

As the end of the school year fast approaches, Morgan has talked about leaving her teacher every day. Today, my baby cried because it was her favorite teacher’s last day in the classroom. She’s transitioning to another career. I am happy for her, I really am, as I believe whole heartedly in re-inventing yourself. The reality is sometimes you really don’t know how much a person that you may not even know that well means to you until it’s time to say goodbye.

Morgan wasn’t the only one sad today. I understand the Blessing in having a God-fearing, talented teacher dedicated to giving her all. I am eternally grateful for the memories she’s created for my daughter and the foundation she has helped to build. So before I go back in prayer closet for an equally awesome Second Grade teacher, I say thank you, thank you , thank you Kate Faulkner and may you continue to leap into your greatness.MEandMs.F

He Got This

I read an article today on one of my favorite blogs Black and Married with Kids. It was titled 4 Things Your Husband is Trying to Protect you From. Since I’d rather you read it for yourself I will just say that the premise was that what women can misconstrue as controlling or nosey might actually be your spouse trying to look out for you. Now for the record, I have never thought my husband to be controlling or nosey or we wouldn’t have married, but I am sure I shortchange his effort to protect me.

For the past few weeks I have been suffering from quite a few migraines. While they are not new to me, it’s been years since they have plagued my daily routine. My normal remedies failed. On our way to a business meeting with my husband I was in bad shape. I was nauseous, my vision was blurry, and I felt inebriated. My husband said, “I think you are too stressed and it sounds like your blood pressure is up.“ I chuckled at his diagnosis because I have never, I repeat, never had an issue with my blood pressure and to be sure I was stressed, such is life. As the day went on, I started to feel a little better, my migraine downgraded to a headache and my vision was better, but he insisted that we stop at a CVS and check my “pressure” on the way home.

Reluctantly I put my arm in the thingy, pressed the button and watched the numbers jump all around until it landed on one higher than I’d ever seen. In fact, it read pre-hypertension. I was stunned and he didn’t gloat at being right or relish in his victory. In fact, he looked quite concerned, but said nothing. A few days later he insisted I cancel weekend plans and pack the kids and me a bag for a weekend at the beach. Now while the idea seemed sweet and I was sure the children would love it, I just kept thinking about how much work it is to watch two babies who love water and no not how to swim at the beach.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I got this. Just pack the bags and when we get there, I’ll take care of the kids and you just relax.” I have to give you one last tidbit. I love water; it calms me, soothes me and helps me clear my mind. In fact, we were married on a beach. With no fight left in me, I did as I was told. I sent cancelation messages to those I’d committed and packed. For the first time I realized it was actually Mother’s Day weekend.

When we arrived I took the children to the resort pool while he went shopping for last minute supplies and dinner. The next morning we went to the beach and for the first time in God knows how long I got to relax. It was just what I needed and my helpmate knew it and although I don’t have too many Mother’s Days under my belt, I am sure this one will go down in the history books as one of my favorites.

When you are confident you’ve made a good choice in a mate ladies, let him protect you in every way. It’s a wonderful feeling when Wonder Woman gets to take off her bangles and know that her Super Man “got this.” Now if, I can just get him to do the dishes.

Beach Pic





I’ve always been pretty competitive. I mean who doesn’t like to win. The older I’ve gotten or I guess I should say the more mature; winning has taken a back seat and most times I just want to finish what I’ve started. I wouldn’t say this out loud, but my 5 year-old daughter is a lot like me. She likes to win. I mean she really likes to win, if you want her to do something, make it a competition and she’s guaranteed to put forth an effort. Problem is, she can’t stand to lose. I mean she despises it. So we work hard with her on explaining sportsmanship and the idea that winning isn’t necessarily everything.

And for the record, no I’m not the parent who loses all the time to make her feel better. If she wants to beat me, she better be prepared to “earn” it. The reality is the world does not guarantee you a win, it says you can play, but to win you’ve got to put in some hard work and dedication. But when my daughter loses she pouts, she repeatedly says “I didn’t win.” Losing creates the feeling of disappointment and no one wants to feel disappointed. But what if we always thought we won? What if, even as adults we always thought we won, even if we didn’t?

My 2-year-old son is amazing. Every morning when I free him from his car seat to go into daycare, he challenges me to a race to the door. I must admit I started this competition out of desperation. He was moving entirely too slow one day, but I didn’t know it would become a part of our daily routine. Now he always lines up at the same crack in the sidewalk and looks at me and proudly announces “on the mark, get set, go.” Then he jogs, a little quicker than a walk but definitely not a full on run. He never leaves me behind when I’m in heels and a short skirt. He never falls. He never rushes when I pass him. He finds his own pace and he jogs. And when he arrives at the door, he always says the exact same thing “I win.”

Usually I can’t help but laugh because he does this in every competition, especially with his sister. She’ll challenge him to something and she’ll try her best and no matter what place he comes in he always says the same thing “ I win.” The other night my husband challenged them both to a race to the top of the stairs to get ready for bath time.

“On the mark, get set, go,” he announced. They were off to the races and running up one step at a time. When my daughter arrived first, she jumped up and down and shouted, “I won, I won. Brother you lose, I won.” By this point he was climbing the last step and grinning from ear to ear and guess what he said? You guessed it “I didn’t lose sissy, I win. I always win.”

Wow, I couldn’t help but smile. His confidence wasn’t broken, he wasn’t sad. He wasn’t crying and he definitely was not disappointed. In his mind he’s always a winner and God Bless him, because as long as he thinks it….it is so.


Winning 2

Sex Tape Trumps Baby


I pride myself on not watching a whole lot of television and definitely not reality television. To me, it’s always an indication that I have too much time on my hands or I am totally avoiding something I know I need to be doing. With that said, I also pride myself on knowing a little bit about everything, at least enough to engage in conversation at a water cooler.

This week the world is a buzz about the MiMi Faust Sex tape. For those who are unaware, MiMi is a regular on reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. No she’s not a recorded hip hop artist and no she is not an aspiring Hip Hop MC. The father of her toddler daughter is Stevie J, a producer in the industry.

Yes, I know my regular readers, are like is she really talking about a sex tape? Yes and I will tell you why. Eva Jordan, her daughter is around the same age as my 5-year-old daughter and I am horrified that this Chocolate Mother didn’t think about her baby and her legacy or thought so little of it to degrade herself with a sex tape. And to add insult to injury, it’s with a different man, Nikko Smith, who she is not married to.

I am far from a Holy roller and I believe that what two adult people within the confines of their bedroom preferably marriage do, is truly their business. But MiMi was not the victim of a sexual escapade that was mistakenly videotaped and leaked by an ex-lover. This was orchestrated and released by her camp. As I watched the clip, I just kept saying “what about her baby.”

I am legitimately concerned for the welfare of her child and apparently so is Steve J. who is now seeking custody of their daughter. Now, I’m no Stevie J. fan, in fact, I thought his character on the show was despicable. But as a momma I’m having a hard time with this. My daughter idolizes me. She loves her daddy, but she watches and emulates everything I do. She watches me put on make-up, she walks in my shoes, she watches how I interact with people and especially my husband. She asks a ton of questions and she depends on me to teach her how to be. As mothers we have a responsibility beyond our own personal needs and goals. As mothers we don’t get to dwell on the “what about me” or “when do I get to be happy” syndromes. It’s so not about us. And in the words of Eminem “We only get one shot.” I’m really going to need for us to do better.

Oh, and did I mention Ms. Faust is starting a children’s clothing line? Really? What is it going to consist of baby leather strap ups, fishnets and whips and chains? Now for a 40+ single mother, I must admit she looks good, but I couldn’t help but wonder the pain that this 30 seconds, minutes or even days will cause Eva in the long run.


Where’s the Sandman?


On any given morning around 4 a.m. my eyes open and I know that my long lost friend sleep has abandoned me yet again. I used to lie dormant, praying to go back to sleep, tossing and turning trying to figure out how I was going to function the next day. Some time last year, I embraced these early morning wakeups as a time of peace and stillness. I don’t set my alarm clock but when I wake, I get up. I trek downstairs in the dark, make myself a big cup of hot tea and find something to work on for the next three hours. Since I now get up, I’ve put the anxiety of not sleeping to bed. It just doesn’t bother me. So I fall asleep just fine, just haven’t mastered staying sleep.

My husband is my polar opposite in the sleep department. He has trouble falling asleep. He’s a night owl and usually doesn’t shut his eyes until about 2 a.m. Unbeknown to us and unintentionally, we usually, silently pass each other in the night.

It’s one thing for the of us to walk around sleep deprived, but a few months ago sleep also left my baby girl’s bed. She has never been great at soothing herself to sleep and recently has struggled to stay sleep for more than four hours at a time. So we did what any loving parents would do. We panicked. I made a diary of everything she ate, in hopes of finding the culprit. We continued our nightly routine and incorporated toddler Tai Chi after bath before prayer. We scented her room with lavender oil. We dimmed the lights. We tried melatonin. We even tried letting her sleep with the dog although his snores quickly proved to be too much. I was really starting to stress over it. I was reading everything I could on how to help a toddler sleep. I made an appointment with her pediatrician. We even had a parent teacher conference with her teacher to report her sleep issues and check up on her school “attitude.”

But one early morning last week something happened. I got out of bed about 3:58 a.m and by 4:36 a.m. I had already cleaned the kitchen and was about to start writing and I heard a soft voice say “mommy” I replied with a quiet yes and she made her way down the steps in the dark. When she came in the kitchen I am sure she expected me say what I also say “go back to bed, your body needs to rest, lay there quietly and think happy thoughts until you fall back to sleep.”

Instead, I asked her what was wrong. “Mommy I can’t sleep. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t sleep” she said. So I gave her a hug and I told her I understand and that sometimes that happens to me too and I offered her some tea. She smiled and accepted.

As we sat on the couch cuddled up with a warm cup of chamomile, we didn’t talk much, the lights were out and we watched the sunrise through the blinds. I empathized with her struggle and thought about my own. And that’s when she said it. “Momma, this is the best time of my life. I will remember this forever. Just you and me watching the sun come up with a cup of tea.”

I couldn’t help but smile and hug her even tighter. And while my quest to help her get the rest I know she so desperately needs won’t stop I recognize that at 5 years old she cherishes moments with me, even the sleepy ones and for now….that’s enough.




A Wise Woman

A friend of mine home schools her children and she has a slogan she reminds her daughter of daily, “Knowledge, Understanding and then Wisdom.” I admire the strength of this statement. See gaining knowledge about something is just the beginning. The reality is we spend the majority of our time in the understanding stage and rarely do we reach wisdom.

When it comes to communication, I have the knowledge and I’m at the tale end of understanding, but I have not yet mastered it. I am truly a work in progress. I’ve gotten better, but I have not arrived. See understanding is when we know we should do certain things, or say something a certain way. It’s being fully aware that interrupting someone while they are speaking is rude, inappropriate and unproductive, but we give ourselves excuses like “I ain’t got time to coddle his feelings, or I shouldn’t have to sugar coat what I need to say. However, a wise woman knows that time in itself is relative. We determine what we have time for and the idea that we don’t have time for something we should value means we haven’t learned to value it.

Some of us communicate more than others. Regardless of how little or much a person speaks there are just a few reasons we communicate at all. When you dialog with someone, anyone you are trying to give them information manage a relationship or make a request. Most of the time we want something, we are making a request. There is however a formula to making a request and using the formula will determine if your significant other thinks you are just nagging or a change is on the horizon.

So when you are making a request, here’s the formula:

1)   Validate the person and the relationship. Restore their sense of self-worth.

2)   Clearly and concisely state what you want the other person to do

3)   Explain how their current action makes YOU feel and include your expectation. You can only use “I statements” no “you make me mad when, “you should know” or “you always.”

4)   When possible offer a possible solution

5)   Assume the person will comply and thank them

Oh and by the way, my disclaimer is that this only works if you are in a relationship with someone that values you and the relationship. I have a quiz I can give you later if you need help with this determination.

Now that we have the knowledge, let’s see if I can help with the understanding. Let’s say for example your issue is that your spouse leaves his dirty dishes where he ate and it drives you crazy. You can replace dishes with whatever applies, socks, shoes, etc…You have complained about it before, but have you made a formal request ? And yelling at him NOT to do it, is not a request, that’s nagging. So using the formula above would go something like this:

1)   “Babe, thank you so much going to the store to get the onion for the meatloaf. I am grateful to have a helpmate.” Wait for his ‘you’re welcome.’

2)   “There is something else, I’d like you to do to help me, though. Can you please put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher when you finish?

3)   I feel over-whelmed and unappreciated when I have to clean up after dinner.

4)   If you don’t feel like putting them in the dishwasher, can you at least put them in the sink so I can get to them later? Again wait for his response..

5)   Now here’s the hard part…..assume that he heard you and if he said he would….believe him. None of that yeah right mentality or “I bet he don’t” attitude and when he forgets as he probably will don’t assume it’s him ignoring your request. Just remember that old habits are hard to break and we all need to be reminded when we are changing a behavior.

I want you to know I here the sister girl attitude through the internet: “Ain’t nobody got time for that, he knows the dishes don’t clean themselves. How come I have to craft all that to get him to do what he should already know?”

I’ll tell you why, because that’s the difference between understanding and wisdom. A wise woman knows that all of the above will more likely than not get you what you desire and that alone is worth a try. A wise woman knows that all of the above to get the dishes from the table to the sink is worth a little bit of her piece of mind.

So before you write this off and tell me it won’t work….try it, you might like it. The journey to wisdom is paved with uncertainty, but perfected through trial and error. Much Love.