Gratitude: Thanks Mom


Our First Mother-Daughter Weekend Get-Away

    When I was little and my Mom would come home just beat from work , I would see in her eyes just how tied she was and I would promise “ When I grow up, I’m going to buy you a limousine and have someone drive you around in it so you can rest Mommy.” She’d just smile, hug me tight and say “Thank You Baby”. It was in those moments that I could see how hard she was trying, first as a Single Mom in the Army, then as an Active-Duty Army Wife & Mother-of-Two, and the on to be a Veteran Wife & Mother recovering from brain aneurisms.

My Mother has always been there, even through the growing pains, she was always there to support me; band competitions, volleyball games, dance recitals, crazy life decisions, horrible break-ups, and ALL OF MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS (whether physically or in spirit). She’s always been THAT Mom; the one who is available to talk not only on the maternal level but also a friendship one.

Over the years I believe I’ve grown wiser and more mature and come to the realization that honoring our loved one’s while they are still with us is much easier on the heart than having the feeling of regret for best intentions set. To me it’s all about GRATITUDE & APPRECIATION as we travel this JOURNEY of life TOGETHER.

Mommy has always wanted to go on a cruise, but timing and capital haven’t always been on her side. While initially taking her on a cruise would have been ideal, timing really isn’t on my side either. So, I decided to do the next best thing, I planned a weekend getaway for the two of us. While the promise may have been a limo when I was younger, but that’s not even cost effective or environment-friendly these days.

Planning this trip has been so exciting, from finding an AMAZING location to ensuring Mommy had her passport updated (somebody let their previous one expire).

Do you have your passport? Is it up to date? IMG_0464

 I have been able to keep the location a secret from her and only gave a hint that it’s in the Caribbean. I made sure we both have our swimsuits and great chillax gear, I’ve set up a few SPA Surprises, and can’t wait to see her face when we get to the airport. It means so much to me to be able to provide my Mom with such a gift of love and appreciation.

It’s high time for my Mom to relax on the beach, even if that means she brings her boyfriend, KIN’ along (Her KINDLE FIRE). I’m looking forward to her smiles, jokes, and well-rested spirit.

Well enough about me, I would love to hear from you. How do you show gratitude and appreciation for your loved ones? Do you have any upcoming vacation plans that include honoring loved ones?

A Note for You….August 26th, 2015

As I prepare for another crazy chapter in my life, I’ve been giving myself little pep talks and encouragement. The funny thing is, as I talk to my friends, many seem to be going through similar issues. So, for the first time in a long time, I decided to press pause on my whirlwind life and write a post immediately. I hope that this finds you all well and can take from it the encouragement intended.

A note

A lesson Learned- Special Thanks to DiscoverE’s Future City Competition

Recently I was invited to attend a DiscoverE Future City competition event, being that I had never heard of the program I was interested and began to do a bit of research, here’s what I found out:DiscoverE DiscoverE’s mission is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration, and volunteerism. The Future City competition asks middle-school students to imagine, design, and build cities of the future. After four months of designing a virtual city, researching, designing, and writing up their solution to a city-wide issue and building a scale model of their city, teams will present their vision to a panel of judges. This to me was absolutely amazing but since I was not a parent or educator, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to give the necessary input requested, but then I realized my godson would benefit from this program immensely if it were brought to his area in North Carolina. My godson, Quez is 11, and has been hooked on building and creating with Legos and other odds and ends around the house since he was 3 or 4. His mother and I used to just sit in awe from a distance and watch him entertain himself for hours building. With every year comes a different challenge, this year the teams were giving the theme of “Feeding Future Cities”. As I walked around the floor of the competition I was amazed not only by the ingenuity but also by the diversity that encompassed the teams. There were all girl teams, all boy teams, multicultural teams; and they all represented their state or region well. Regardless of the their personal background, these students were able to come together as teams and create what they believe to be a sustainable environment for the future; as a adults we could definitely take some pointers. When I engaged with a few of the teams, in between their meetings with judges, I was impressed by how the students had researched sustainable resources, protein, vegetable, and power sources. I’m a firm believer that at this age their minds are very sincere about the changing the world around them for the better. Through the Future City competition the 37 teams were given a sense of empowerment to change the world around them by creating solutions to urban agricultural needs in the future. I personally would have never come up with these solutions at my age, not that I didn’t care at that time, but more or less these types of engineering projects weren’t in the curriculum from what I could remember.

This collage only begins to show the talent, diversity and creativity found at the Future City Competition

The afternoon was extremely fun and engaging, I wish I had my godson with me so he could talk to the students about their experiences and their thoughts on engineering for social good. Next year I plan to have him in toe and take him to as many DiscoverE events I can find. By the time I was fully aware of what DiscoverE had to offer all the awesome programs here in DC to take my godson to had passed; events like Family Day at the Building Museum and Engineers Week, but this godmother is now officially on her get “STEM Educated” duties.

My Godson, Quez, and one of his many buildings from Leggos. Time to get him into the STEM focused projects!

If you’re like me and want to know more about DiscoverE or the Future City Competition check out on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DiscoverE. The opinions and text are all mine.


It’s 2015 and I’m…………….

Hey Hey Hey!It's 2015

Yes, it’s been a while; my hiatus turned into a complete missing in action type situation. 2014 was absolutely crazy in terms of being able to keep up with myself and everything going on, I really just needed a break; between starting my Master’s full-time , working full time, and my health, I had to take some time to get myself back on track. With that being said, I have finally kicked myself in the tush to get a few posts done. Funny enough, It’s not that I’m not doing anything….its that I was doing tooooooooo much. So, instead of resolutions for 2015, I made revelations for what’s really important to me. This is the year that I truly take my passions and desires into my own hands; it means I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and “doing the dang thang”.

Here’s my list of “It’s 2015 and I’m….”

– It’s 2015 and I’m going to start taking a more trips. Actually, my goal is to take an “Off the Grid” trip at least once a year from here on out. This may be a trip where I’m completely secluded or it may just be a trip where I don’t respond to email or burn the midnight oil via social media. Either way, these trips will be all about me and what I want to do and more than likely require my passport!

– It’s 2015 and I’m pushing myself harder on my fitness & overall health. It’s the middle of January and I can proudly say that I’ve lost 10 pounds as of Friday, January 16th. Yasss, I’m so for real. I even went so far as to…..wait for it……….JOIN A GYM (smh yes, me the chic who likes to be in her own little space and not have anyone looking at her while she gets her fat in check…lol). I finally caved in after practically being thrown from a faulty treadmill in my apartment gym.

Seriously, the dang thing was skipping and jerking; I waAsics-2015 Fitness Shoess either going to end up in someone’s blooper reel or  get thrown from it and end up in the Emergency Room.


I bought myself new running shoes and I’m a bit more proactive with my Fitbit, challenges with co-workers and friends helps tremendously.

My friends even stepped in on the action, the Besty sent me some awesome tea….miss her bunches, but somehow even from Afghanistan, she knew just what I needed. YourTea for Tee….lol.


– It’s 2015 and I’m pulling my focus together. My passion for writing and supporting the Veteran Community is burning deeper than ever before and it’s high time I did something about it. Take action, not just words. There will be more Veteran, Military, Spouse, and Dependent related topics that come up in the near future. This is a community that I was born and raised in, and as an adult; learned some of my most important life lessons. Articles on VA concerns to sharing Veteran Service Organizations and programs that do their best to help us through our transitions and life’s hurdles. From poetry and letters, to little chats about big issues; like the current veteran suicide epidemic and what’s being done about it, the stigma of Post-Traumatic Stress and other mental health issues, employment drama, and of course life’s little follies (what many of my friends and I refer to as shenanigans).Strong Women

Some posts will be light-hearted and funny, while others will bring you face to face with the harsh reality that so many face daily. My intention is to be as open as possible about what’s going on not just in my life, but also the lives of other veterans and their families, and their journey through life on the other side of service. I’ve envisioned this direction for a long while and look forward to input, ideas, and testimonials.


So with all the new year pleasantries out of the way, how’s your year setting up? What resolutions or revelations have you made for 2015? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about it.

On Hiatus….until mid-November

Hello Hello Hello!

Yes,  I have been away for almost 6 months, but I will be back…soon-ish. Here’s a brief re-cap of what I’ve been up to:

Settled into my new job and looking forward to where this chapter of my career takes me.

Graduated from my Bachelor’s program (long time coming)!

A few days before my lease renewal in Silver Spring, I decided I was moving into the District. I was not feeling that commute to work at all, nope nuh uh. Three weeks later, Mommy dearest and one of my closest friend’s were assisting me with what we now refer to as the  “3 Chics and a Uhaul” event.

Mom “vacationed” here with me for almost a month….if that’s what she wants to call it, we did get to go see “The Lion King”, hang out a bit, and I took her to #JRINK Juicery, which is probably by far one of her favorite places in DC now.

Worked the 2014 Naturalista Hair Show, assisted with putting together the Competition.

Found a Master’s program that fits with my demanding life/work schedule, sort of. I’m still getting used to the workload and managing a life between 9hr work days and 3 classes.

With all that being said, I had planned to do a re-brand over the summer and it just didn’t happen (Life), as I’m re-adjusting my schedule and closing out a few other commitments, I’ve realized it would be best to come back mid-November; #FRESH, #ENERGIZED, and READY TO ROCK! So yes, the blog is on hiatus until mid-November. I will be attending the V-WISE National Conference  on behalf of K&K and I will be at Blogalicious #BeGreat6 Social Squad!!!


Take Care & Hugs all around.



            My baby brother notified  me to some extremely disheartening news recently. The daughter of someone we know had committed suicide and bullying had apparently played a key role. The news hit me unexpectedly hard, no not because I was a family friend or a contributor to this young person’s life but because I knew what it was like to be bullied and picked on at a young age.ImageThrough the years I’ve heard people say “oh, its just kids being kids” or “its not that bad ignore them”. It’s always that bad to the child whose getting picked on or bullied; whether physically or emotionally, and as of the last decade or so it’s gone far beyond kids just being kids. Often times most bullies are emulating behavior they’ve been exposed to. I’m at the age where I can look around and say kids these days can be friggnin’ mean. I’ve witnessed it as a Camp Counselor and just out and about. I don’t know the exact story or the form and fashion of bullying that led to a child’s life being lost but I do know from my own experience that bullying, regardless of the super snarky comebacks your mom tells you to give the next time around, will never change the fact that for some reason one or more of your peers has decided to single you out and make you feel unworthy or small.


            As my brother and I discussed the recent incident, I reminded him that I knew quite well what it was like to be picked on and especially at such a young age. I could’ve gone on for hours about how hurtful some of my peers were when we first moved to South Carolina after my parents’ time in the Army. I was “Alaska Girl” for a while since that’s where I had last gone to school, then there was Peach Fuzz (lame, just lame), and I was told I “talk like a white girl” (Speaking proper English and being educated has NOTHING TO DO WITH ETHNICITY) which started in the fourth and didn’t go away even after graduation. It really upset me when the name-calling moved to my mother and her physical condition after her back-to-back aneurysm surgeries. They called us both ugly, made fun of her shaved head, and picked on me because “I thought I was smart or something”. by middle school there had been a few physical altercations, and by high school it was back to some of the emotional verbally abusive type behavior, for a while I tried and tried to fit in and be accepted, but that got old so I gave up and went back to being myself (nerdy, somewhat funny, and creative). My little brother took a minute and could recollect some of the incidents, but of course at the time he didn’t realize what was going on, especially since there was a seven year difference between us.

I say all this to say that when he told me about the unfortunate situation that someone had faced, I remembered my own pain and dealings. Your parents and family can love on you all they can but during your formative years it’s not always their approval you look for, it’s also your peers. To be shunned, ousted, picked on, bullied, or mistreated can be hard for most adults; one can only imagine what goes on with a child or teenager these days.More and more we’re seeing reactive behavior to the affects of bullying and its become much more lethal than the days of throwing your book bag down and “going at it”. [ I am in no way shape or form promoting fighting in schools.] At some point people have to STAND UP TO BULLYING, say “Enough is Enough!” and be willing to make a change; that goes for teachers/administrators, students, and yes parents you too. Sadly bullying doesn’t always have signs nor does it always stop in school, there are plenty of bullies in the workplace for adults, but the key is getting the right dialogue going to encourage positive change and feedback.

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