The ABC Car Game

For most families, family vacation takes place during the Summer and it’s that time of the year again.

But before you pack up the car and load everyone in, and even before you stop to get gas and snacks, I want to you teach you all a fun game to play that will provide entertainment and fun while you’re going from one destination to another..

My family calls this game, The ABC Game.  My dad taught this to my sister and I when we were little girls and we’ve been playing it ever since.  I’m not even sure if it’s a real game or not.  I just know it’s something that was always fun for us and we’ve since taught it to our children. Continue reading

5 Tips for Raising Teenagers

Where do I start?  Raising a teenager in this day and time is not easy whatsoever.  In fact, raising a teenager, period, is not easy, but especially now, it’s so much harder.  The same can be said for being a teenager—it is hard for them as well.  They are in that awkward period of their lives where they’re technically still a child but now older with more responsibilities and slightly a little more freedom.  They’re at a crossroads between doing what they know is right and wanting to fit in with “cool” kids.  They’re trying to figure out who they are but at the same time they are “know it alls” and refuse to listen to anyone over the age of 25.

I believe the hardest years for parents and child are the teenage years.  It’s one of those iron sharpens iron situations.  It’s a constant battle that both parent and child have to work on.

I remember growing up and the pressure from social media or reality TV was not present.  Back in those days, you worried about your parents letting your friend stay over, trying to record songs from the radio onto your cassette tape, and what was going on at school.  These days, kids are worried about the latest technology, the G-Wagon they saw a celebrity’s child driving on their Instagram feed, and so much more. Continue reading

My Blessing

I could probably guess that many do not know the story of me becoming a mother.  I was a junior in college, away from home, trying to earn my degree, and living a fun careless life.

I was a virgin until I was 19 years old.  Even after I lost my virginity, I wasn’t just running around with every Tom, Dick, or Harry.  I’ve always been a very cautious person so who I gave my body too was always important to me. Continue reading

Protecting our Daughters!

I remember growing up and often feeling like my sister and I really couldn’t do as much as our friends or cousins did.  There were times when we would beg and plead to stay over someone’s house and the answer was always, NO!  Eventually we got use to the word NO and stop asking to stay places or to even go certain places.  My mother always stated that our friends could come visit us and that was it.  I really didn’t understand why at the time but that was our life.

Just so we are clear, I come from a two parent home, but whatever momma said is what the final rule was.  If we ever tried to out talk my mother all she had to do was say my daddy’s name and my dad would give us a look, as if to say, you heard what your momma said! LOL

Now that I’m older, I understand my mother’s logic quite well and I’m actually very thankful that such guidelines were in place.  I now know that my mother was protecting me from being exposed to potential situations I had no business being in at such a young age.  I also realize that my parents only wanted what was best for my sister and me.

What it boils down to is, a person doesn’t know what goes on at another person’s house behind closed doors.  Not saying that everyone is doing bad things but you just don’t know.  Another parent might have rules that are totally different from what are currently in place at your house.  It’s better to not have a child placed in an environment that could be totally foreign to them.

All of this came to mind after I was watching the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries that recently aired on Lifetime.  In case you didn’t watch the series, this man has preyed on younger girls for most of his music career causing mental, physical, and sexual abuse to young girls and women as they told their personal stories.  The docuseries highlighted his actions from a young child all the way up to today–where it is said that he had a sex cult.  I watched the show with my daughter as it was very hard to do so, but being that I too, have a 14 year old child, I felt it was necessary and important.

I remember listening to him in heavy rotation as a teenager, not really knowing or putting two and two together.  Now when I think about some of the songs that he made they seem to all be centered on him targeting young naïve children.  Songs like Bump & Grind, and the lyrics stating “His mind is telling him no…but his body is telling him yes!”  Imagine him, as a 28 year old man singing this to a 14  year old girl.

What’s even more disgusting are the parents who act like they couldn’t do anything to protect their children.  I remember listening to the show and this one couple stating that their child who was 14 at the time, threatened them if they didn’t let her go away with R. Kelly.

Really!

Are you kidding me?

Who’s the parent and who’s the adult in this situation?

I wish my daughter would come to me and tell me she’s running off with some guy and if I don’t let her she’s going to threaten me.  Honey, you better send all your threats then because my number one mission and goal is to always protect my child whether she likes it or not.  I hate to see parents not protecting their children and just letting them do whatever they want.  It’s time for us to take back the parent role in our households.  I tell my daughter all the time, you will thank me when you get older and that’s that.

I also believe that it is our responsibility to not only protect our daughters but to also have the best interest of other children that may cross our paths at heart.  During this R. Kelly docuseries so many people were helping and assisting him with getting way with being a predator and no one ever stood up for these young girls.  No one came to their rescue.  No one had enough balls to tell R. Kelly NO!  They were all smitten by his fame and celebrity lifestyle that they allowed a grown man to take advantage of innocent girls.

So the current question floating around social media is can you separate the artist from art?  I believe in this instance, there is no way to separate the two.  Time after time he wrote and sung songs that were centered on having sex with young girls and WE as a culture have ignored every single solitary sign that has come across our TV’s and radio. It’s time that we do better.  We can start by not listening to his music!

I want to publicly ask my generation to stop listening to R. Kelly’s music as protecting our daughters should be more important than listening to his music.  How about we not give him wings so that he can fly any more.  How about we step in the name of love and protect our daughters.   Lets also teach our daughters the importance of self worth and self love.  That no man should ever be able to take their power or voice away from them.

LETS PROTECT OUR DAUGHTERS.  YOUNG BLACK GIRLS ARE IMPORTANT TOO!

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Ancestry DNA provides the missing pieces to my family puzzle!

Disclaimer: This is a longer read than normal; but it’s a great one!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and just assume we’ve all worked a puzzle at some point in our lives.  Puzzles tend to range in size with as many or as few oddly shaped pieces imaginable.

Connecting smaller pieces together in order to create a larger masterpiece is the goal when working any puzzle.  Like most, I start with the border; because in fact, that’s the easiest part.

From there I begin to concentrate on certain areas of the puzzle and I begin filling in the center by gently pressing two pieces together.  I can sit in silence for hours focusing on matching one correct piece with another, and another, and another.  For weeks, one puzzle can consume most of my time. Continue reading

The Moth: The Traveling Sandwiches

A few years ago, I was introduced to a non-fiction book called, The Moth. You can find it HERE. The Moth was a book of short stories that were told in their truest form around the world by individuals in a live group setting.  It was called The Moth because every time they would get together to tell their stories of what happened to them moths would fly in through a hole in the screen and gather all around.  Live Moth events, referred to now as “Moth StorySLAMS” would take place; I picture the setting like going to a comedy club.  But in this case, these weren’t jokes, although some were funny.  They were real life events. Continue reading

“Would it be ok if your spouse went on vacation with their ex?”

Recently, in mainstream media, most of you have heard about Jada Pinkett-Smith discussing her relationship with her husband, Will Smith; along with conversations around her children, her Bonus child, and his mother.  If you are like me, you may even tune in occasionally to her Red Table Talk show that airs on Facebook Live.

Let me be the first to say that I commend Jada for her candid conversations around marriage, kids, life, and blended families.  They are definitely needed and most often they are also very eye-opening.

With that being said, I wanted to take a moment to briefly talk about a recent interview that Jada did on Sway In the Morning radio show.  She stated that because Will had a child prior to their marriage that she allows/is okay with Will, Trey (Will’s son by another woman) and Trey’s mother going on vacation together.  Social media went into a frenzy with views all over the spectrum.  Many people stating that they weren’t that mature to allow such thing to happen.

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I want to be clear and upfront to my readers and to those who may be around my age–late 30’s–and say this has nothing to do with maturity.  It really has nothing to do with trust. Do not feel bad or feel like you need to get on their level.  A person’s opinion is their opinion, and mine is certainly mine,  but do not feel like you need to get in line with this couple.

People have to learn to take their marriage seriously and you shouldn’t invite additional people into your union.  Where is the respect for the spouse?  If you open a window eventually something will fly in.  I am all for blending families.  I recently posted about how to Embrace your Blended Family just this past Fathers Day.  Click HERE to read more about it!

But telling my husband to go on vacation with your child who is in his 20’s (or any age for that matter) along with his mother so that he can get the dynamics of both mother and father is uncalled for.  Why would you even put that spirit out there?

I’m happy to go on a day trip with everyone to an amusement park.  I will love for us to all be together at graduations and birthdays.  But a vacation where you’re going to be acting like a married couple?  Miss me with that one!!  I think you should have a relationship with the child’s mother/father but a vacation–not so much.

I wonder if Will would allow Jada to do the same thing if she had a child with another man prior to them?  I highly doubt it!!

Keep blending your families but know you MUST draw the line somewhere!  Whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Living Life and Writing all about IT!!!

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