Hello Summer!

Summer

As we prepare to bask in the golden sun rays, I can’t help but think of how I can make this a fun AND learning season for my toddler.

Outside of sight words and identifying objects, I’m thinking of creative ways to engage a LO.

What activities do you have planned for the warm weather and how do you turn it into a learning/development opportunity?

RELAX! Daily Devotional

Devotional
I have begun a new nightly/daily routine. The pictured devotional was given to me from my Daddy (with a lovely quote from my Grandma inside), the journal is from my Mommy 🙂
I took a moment to read this morning and I am ready for the day! Hence, I decided to share with you all!
 
Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! Jude 1:2 MSG
Hard work should be punctuated by rest and relaxation. So if you are overworked, overcommitted, or underinspired, give yourself a much-needed break. You deserve time to rest, relax, and to recharge your batteries. Do yourself and the world a favor: carve out the time you need to restore your energy, your optimism, your perspective, and your faith. ~From my daily devotional, I share with you the Word and these words.
This devotional is on time! I take the time out for everything and everyone else but myself! How can I live in His word and my mind and heart is cloudy? How can I raise up His child and I am exhausted beyond belief?
Something will fall behind…We must take time out for ourselves! It will allow us to be closer to God, more present with our loved ones and simply happier!
Are you relaxed? How do you prepare for your day?

Traveling with a Toddler

I believe that it is important to explore our world through different means such as literature, music, art but especially through travel. I’d like to start a tradition of traveling with my family at least once a year. I, unfortunately, have only traveled outside of the United States about 6 times in my life and it was in the earlier part of my childhood and teenage years.

The last decade of my life, happened to be my entry into adulthood and while I spent my time working, contributing to my community and acquiring higher degrees, the exploratory element was at a standstill.

Hubby and I would like to enjoy our days off trekking across the country and abroad with our daughter. This is something we look forward to and fear…simultaneously (is this even possible?)

For a couple that struggles with a Target meltdown (almost every single time! what is it about target and toddlers??), how will the experience be traveling at this age?

Well…we hope to share these experiences in this section. Hopefully you don’t read about us in the international news…

*Headline* Toddler Takes Down the Eiffel Tower single-handedly, Parents pictured below *insert bad picture*

 

Where have you traveled with your little one? How was the experience?

Bringing in the New Year…the ‘traditional’ southern way

On our table tonight (my last carnivorous meal!) we will have a traditional southern New Years dinner: BBQ ribs, collard greens, black eyed peas and corn bread…yummy! Even on her way to an overnight shift, my mom made sure to prepare a pot of collard greens and black eyed peas.

Along with some bubbly we will bring in the new year with our pj’s on, prayer on our tongues and full bellies.

IMG_0451
New Year’s Eve 2014! Bubbly!

 

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New Year’s Eve 2014! Our pork of choice was fried chops.

So what is the meaning behind this meal?

  • Pork represents health and continued prosperity
  • Greens (collards, mustard, turnip, cabbage) represents the present paper money
  • Black eyed peas (or any other field peas) represents good fortune or coins
  • Cornbread represents gold

 

All together the meal represents financial prosperity, good luck and good health in the coming new year for everyone who partakes in the meal.

Whether we truly believe it or not, this is how previous generations in my family did it, how I brought in the new year each year with my family and I plan to continue it with mine.

 

How do you bring in the new year?

Who do YOU love? New Years Eve – Part I

I’m not big on resolutions but I do like to take the time throughout the year to re-evaluate where I believe I fall short.

Growing up I was an avid reader, I find myself not taking the time out to read outside of work or school. This will change. Parents are encouraged to read to their children, but what about ourselves?

Which goes to my next point:

Sometimes I forget that I am a person outside of my daily roles:

Wife, mother, daughter, sister,  friend, employee…

It’s all too easy to get caught up in everyone else and lose the person you’ve known all your life, the person that means the absolute most…YOU!

I’m dedicating the next five months to…ME! My birthday is on May 16th (Go Taurus!) and I want to be happier, healthier…more sane!

I’m going to give myself a goal of at least an hour of ‘me time’ every day. It will allow me to be a little more even keeled (hopefully!). I will lean on but not limit my cleanse to:

  • Food (Vegetarianism)
  • Health (Multi-Vitamins, Daily Workouts, Hydration)
  • Spirituality (Meditation, Reflection, Dedication)
  • Entertainment (Reading, Cultural Performances)

My goal is to take note on how I look and feel during this period and after 137 days I’ll post an update–with the nitty gritty…grrr!!!!

 

Who’s with me?

Fighting to find Child Care

The struggle is REAL!

There is so much to consider… Nanny, Day Care Center, Family Day Care, Montessori Preschool, Private Preschool…oh there is more and trust that we considered it all!

After several Google searches, a Care.com account, The state child care site and numerous local forums we scheduled 10 day care/preschool tours and was able to make 6 of them but in the end the power of word of mouth helped us find what is best for our family at the time. Hello Family Day Care!

Several Questions we asked were:

  • Is this a nurturing environment?
  • Will she get lost in big classrooms?
  • Can she thrive?
  • Is the program too structured?

Sam is in the stage where she is a toddler but she is real needy and temperamental. We thought it would be traumatizing to move her across the state into a huge day care center in a big classroom. So a home day care with some structure will be her transition for at least the next 6 months.

I still fear leaving my baby for the long work days coming ahead and the guilt is creeping up on overtime but I know that this is best. It is time for my caterpillar to bloom into the beautiful, spunky butterfly and share her love with others outside of kin.

Blue Butterfly

How did you choose the right Child Care?

Toddlers are A$$holes…

Have you ever read this book? I’m at the point where my frustrations with how combative, stubborn and sassy my toddler is, have left me in need of some extra mama support.

She has recently started to take on other people’s fears…my sister is terrified of bugs so my before dirt loving daughter screams “Bug, kill it!”

She has become a picky eater, she can’t stand milk without chocolate or cinnamon.

Oh and remember the poop post?? 10 times worse…

Poop games x 10

I’m hoping that maybe this book won’t make me feel like a terrible mom. My co-worker expressed multiple times that she wants a sibling…uh I’d like to find an alternative means of riding through this stage.

What helps you cope/deal with Toddlerhood?

MPA Graduate!!

Hey World!

Boy has the past month been the most challenging in my adult life. I graduated earlier this month with my Master of Public Administration…

I did it!

I was offered (and accepted!) an awesome career opportunity and we have to move 3 hours away to the state capital in one month!

woah

I am excited and absolutely nervous about this change but I look forward to it! This is a milestone that I embrace for myself, my husband and our daughter. This journey is one I look forward to sharing with you all.

Stay tuned as we embark this change with open arms, tears and laughs. I’m going to miss being close to my family and friends. Now to find a new home 🙂

Mommy and Daughter graduation day!

The search has begun…

Juice Feast – Day 3 recap

Hey World!

Just stopping in to update on my Juice Feast. I have a long way to go but hey I’m up for it!

At the end of Day 2, I had a tension headache like you can’t believe :/ I messaged Danii who then asked how much water I drank throughout the day. Then I thought about how I failed to take in my H2o in my weight in ounces. Shame on me! After being more mindful of my intake on the 3rd Day, I’d like to express how energized and light I feel .

Let’s see if I can keep this up tomorrow, the day my thesis is due…blah!

Sam enjoys the juices too. I get to share my journey with my picky eating toddler 🙂

Juice Feast – Day 1 recap

Although I am writing this post through the lens of a mom, this is for everyone. As people we get wrapped up in the daily movements of our life and fail to fully provide TLC for ourself. Whether it is work, a hobby, family responsibility: self comes last (or in the middle) even if we don’t want to admit it.

After experiencing an indescribable weakness and vertigo, I decided to be more aware of what I intake. My body spoke and it is time for a re-set. I reached out to my fellow mama, friend and juice & brew extraordinaire Danii from houseofjuicebk.com, to start a 30 day cleanse.

This is in no way a gimmick: no shakes, pills, creams or hand stands first thing in the am. Just straight organic and local cold-pressed juice combinations and probiotics to feed my exhausted and vitamin starved body. I invite you in as I go through this one day at a time. I’m scared, nervous but excited and anxious to see and feel better after this journey. I’m hoping for a lifestyle change.

Are you with me?
Juice
Along with one meal, this is what I drink everyday with my weight in water.