Happy 2013!

Happy 2013!

The new year has commenced, and I’m happy about it! Much of 2012 sucked monkey balls for me, and I’m very enthusiastic about 2013 and the refreshed outlook I have on my life. Life is good. My baby is beautiful and healthy. My dog allows me to have peace every now and then. I love my hair. I have amazing family and friends. I love my job. I did a lot of reprogramming myself to shift my focus to what is good in 2012, and it has worked because I feel great these days. 🙂

I wish for you a year of triumphs, lessons, laughs, love, and fun. Happy New Year!

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Life is good.

Life is good.

I’m in a really upbeat mood. Despite the fact that it’s the end of the month and my money is dwindling. Despite the fact that there’s one person who has a hopefully not permanent spot nagging the back of my brain. My mood is because I am so blessed that I simply can’t give more than a few seconds of thought at a time to what’s not awesome. In the last couple of weeks alone, I’ve gotten reassurance and encouragement from my mom, pastor, and friends. I’ve had friends give Frederick clothes, more and more books, and a box of diapers, treat me to dinner, help me with my baby scrapbook, and spend time chilling with me and the munchkin (giving me some adult time!). There was even an older sorority sister, who remembers me from college when she was a middle school teacher who helped me and my committee for a couple of years host science fairs, who called me out of the blue (or should I say out of the pink? 🙂 ) to check on me and get my address so she could send me a little something for Frederick. I hadn’t talked to her in YEARS, but she still has fond memories of me and was happy for me when she heard I’d had a little one.

I wake up every morning to a little boy who grins every time I kiss him. Smokie is still my sweet (and spoiled) honey baby who is getting used to sharing his attention with a manchild. My job has been the best at helping me transition back to work, and I haven’t had any problems tending to my mom stuff, like pumping. My son is with someone I know all day so I feel confident he’s ok. I have tons of pictures and videos to look at when I’m missing him. And the highlight of my day is seeing his face when he recognizes me when I pick him up in the evenings. We read books, have fun bath times, and he’s been going to sleep without fussing when I put him down at the end of the day. I have a groove in the evenings and a semi-groove when I start over again each morning. I’m eating well, and I’m even starting to enjoy cooking like I did years ago.

Truly, I am blessed. More and more, I believe it when people tell me I’m doing a great job as a new mommy. More and more, I know and can trust that the Lord is Jehovah Jireh and will provide even when I can’t see how. And more and more, I am able to be positive for others when they need it. I can’t adequately express how grateful I am to those who “loved me back to awesome” when feeling like crud was a normal part of my routine, and I am equally grateful to be able to return the favor and even pay it forward.

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Ok enough gushing–here’s some seriousness:

–Praying for safety for all who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac

–If you aren’t registered to vote, please do so. The deadline here in GA is October 9 to be able to vote on November 6. If you are registered, make sure you have the proper ID and know where your poll is.

Happy Wednesday, folks! Let’s get over the hump!

Things Considered

Things Considered

This week I hit the 50 day mark and am officially less than 2 months away from having a small little human being to take care of and love and hopefully steer onto his life’s true path. I’m more excited than I’ve been throughout this process of realizing how much my life is changing and how much I can’t control or even influence. As he gets bigger and I get more wobbly, he continues more and more to be the source of perspective and gives me literal kicks of reality.

Alonzo Austin
I wish I could find a picture with his longer hair and his crooked grin!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my Uncle Lonzo a lot. And this, I’m sure, is for several reasons. One, he was the one who supported my mom when she was preggo with me, and I just appreciate everything he did for her and for me. Even years after, I still have some misty moments when I think about him being gone because I can only hope that he really knows just how much I loved/love him. He has literally given me the socks off his feet when I needed it. Two, although he’s gone I see so  much of him in his kids, who have really been amazing through my journey. It’s kind of another parallel of my mom’s life and my life. She had Lonzo, and I have his family to reach out at the exact right moments. To make me try to eat when I’m tired of trying (yes, I’m 33 weeks and I still get sick). To come with me to lamaze classes so that I’ll have a support partner. To give me a place to be when I’m really sick and need someone right there to help me if I need it. To just make me laugh and make me lighten up when I’m way too heavy. Record Deal (my cousin Kesha’s nickname for Butterbean) has nothing to worry about in terms of a circle of folks who will love him like my uncle loved me. 🙂

This week has been super rough because my character has been tested over and over again, and so far I’ve stayed true to who I want to be, but it has been stressful walking the line. And added stress is something I do not need. So let me divert my thoughts to something more pleasant because that’s not even worth the time in my first blog in April (!! I’m slippin!!)–Sunday is my first baby shower!! I don’t know anything about it–not even where the heck it is or what time it starts, but I am excited anyway (but not as much as I might be if I were not in the dark about every single detail imaginable!! Can you believe the girl who has her hands in everything has nothing to do with this!) because I can’t wait to see everybody and see what’s in store because at the end of the day, I don’t have shabby friends so I know it’s going to be great. I have friends from Chi and New York and Charlotte and Richmond and Kentucky (yeah I know that’s not a city, but hey) coming in to show their support and excitement over this big ole bundle of lovin (I love this little alien karate champ so much already!). And so, although I’m constantly making myself steer myself from something that makes me frown to something that makes me feel good and slightly giddy, I’m blessed to have those somethings to steer to.

And so here’s a song I’ve been loving and looking forward to feeling like this more days than not. Because I am so blessed! Through all the trials and issues, I know I am blessed and loved and supported and all that stuff. “Trouble gone happen; it’s just the way it be. Ain’t nothing coming easily in this life; sometimes you gotta work and you gotta grow and it gotta hurt–I’m sure you know; take a look around.”

So you folks that are constantly worried about me, keep on, lol. But not too much because I’ll be a-okay. And so will my baby. I finally believe that (even though sometimes it’s a true matter of faith but that’s what life is about, huh?). It’s amazing how many emotions I can feel in just one day, but I’m sure one day I’ll be grateful for them all. Maybe when my memoir hits the Best-Seller List. LOL Anywho, 7 weeks to go. We’re almost in countdown mode. PRAY FOR US. We got lots to do!

 Pregnancy Ticker

Happy Love Day

Happy Love Day

If you know me or have been reading my blog over the years, you know that I love Love Day. Regardless of your boo status, it’s a day to focus on all kinds of love in your life. This year, it’s a little difficult for me, but hey, that’s what my own words are for, right? So, I went back and read a couple of my own posts, and here are a couple that made me go ok ok ok, I shouldn’t be feeling bad on a day I’ve always enjoyed.

Happy Love Day!

MLM: The Time of My Life

Happily Ever After

 Love Quote of the Day

Showers of Blessings in 2008

And then yesterday, while listening to my fave Whitney songs (I really thought I would wake up today and just post my fave Whitney love songs, but you know I operate on the whim as it relates to this here blog), I heard a song that I hadn’t heard in a while but hadn’t HEARD in even longer. Sometimes lyrics come alive when it’s something you need to hear. This all-time favorite talent show hit seemed to explode on me, and I started crying in the middle of it. Like not a tear here or there, but seriously crying. A song can never be too throwback to send a message.

The greatest love of all is easy to achieve <–[note from Nada Jo: not always]
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

And if, by chance, that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

 So any of you that may be having rough time in your life, listen to Whitney. Find your strength in love. And if love is part of your issue–maybe a romance gone wrong or a fallout with a friend or family member or something that has made you a little distant in your relationship with the Most High–you have to focus on those people who do give you love and remember who you are and what you’ve already made it through. It’s not always easy. Whatsoever. By any means. But you can’t wallow in the negative or it just keeps getting worse and worse. And the worse it gets, the harder it is to pull yourself back into the pleasant parts of life.

Now, I guess I’ll do something for myself today to show myself some love, which I haven’t been doing much lately. Not sure what. Maybe a manicure or something since my polish is chipping, lol. And maybe some lunch that I hopefully will keep down. And of course I have two special Valentines. One I carry around with me, and one who patiently waits for me to get home every day. Here’s my Valentine for my little sweetheart who’s been a brand new anchor at times.

And here’s my Valentine for my super brave and resilient pooch.

Happy Love Day, all! Focus on the positive and love yourself and appreciate those who love you today. Tootles.

The last couple of weeks, especially last week, have just been extremely rough, but I’ve found myself becoming more and more receptive to positive words. I may not always fully believe them, but I receive them and try to think of them and feel them. I opened an email this morning, and here’s the quote I found.
May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and  others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the  love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow  your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for  each and every one of us.
Thanks, Virgie, for sending that. I hope you readers find some inspiration/positivity/uplift in that. I’ll be back when I’m ready to share some things about last week. Stay tuned.
Bucket List

Bucket List

I was looking at the WordPress Daily Post in efforts to be a better bloggers for you all (lol–I have plenty to write about, I just can’t manage to be disciplined to get online, log in, and let my fingers go to work). Anywho, today topic was:

Topic #242:

Write your bucket list – a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket.

I immediately thought of this website I visited 3 years ago where I created a list of goals and yes, forgot all about. On 43 Things, I listed 43 things I wanted to get done–a bucket list of my own, and although I hadn’t logged on in years, I was encouraged to see that I have accomplished 3 of those things and making progress on seven others. Not surprisingly, most of my “things” are either travel-related or centered around being a more well-rounded, balanced person. So here’s what I’ve completed. Yay for trackable progress!

1. Go on a missions trip: I actually organized my own. Last year, a group of us went to New Orleans and had an interesting time volunteering with ongoing rebuilding efforts. We definitely plan to keep up the momentum. I’m currently working on a trip that will hopefully happen in October so that this can be an annual thing.

2. Keep in touch better with old friends: This one may seem kinda boring, but I really cherish those relationships I’ve had over the years. Especially when I was kid. I was a pretty not-your-run-of-the-mill kid so it wasn’t all that easy for me to let my guards down and really get close to people. I haven’t gotten in a rhythm with all the special people in my past, but I’ve made amends with some pretty important folks and reestablished our friendships, and I’m proud of myself for that. More than that, though, I’m happy to be back in contact with them. Now I just need to extend the effort to a few more VIPs.

3. Join Junior League of Atlanta: I forgot that was even a goal back then. I joined in 2009 and stayed active, working hard on fulfilling my requirements, for two years. I didn’t renew this year because I just wasn’t feeling it. I definitely respect and support all the great things JLA does for the Atlanta community, but I didn’t feel connected to the organization at all. I do plan to redirect that energy to the organizations in which I have leadership roles already. I definitely had enough on my plate as it was so I don’t feel THAT bad (just a little) about abandoning that one. But I got it done, lol.

So what else am I working on?

  • Becoming less shy – yes believe it or not, I’m an introvert. I really don’t like public speaking and I don’t like talking to strangers. But I have been putting myself in positions where I have to be a little more upbeat and friendly than is natural for me. 🙂
  • Blogging more often – I giggled when I saw this one. Evidently, I’ve been struggling with this one ever since I left my place over on blogger. I used to have fun over there. I guess it was way easier for me to make you guys laugh talking about my dating exploits than it is for me to be a little more grown up. 🙂 Maybe I’ll start back telling funny stories though.
  • Finding additional streams of income – Since then, I’ve started tutoring. I didn’t mark this off the list though because the key is that letter s at the end of streams. So I’m still masterminding my way of two other things that are also on my list: getting out of debt and becoming a millionaire. 
  • Learning how to crochet – My grandma started teaching me how to crochet probably not too long after I put that on my list. I have a  couple of stitches on my belt, but I have a loooooooooooooong way to go before I am even close to her level. But this was a two-fer. I got to spend some extra quality time with her and hear stories while she showed me something I really want to learn.
Of course there are 40 more things on the list. I won’t go through all of them, but just for a little fun, I have the following on my places to travel (and I said I wanted to live in Paris :-D): Australia, Egypt, Uganda, Greece, and a cross-country road trip. I actually considered both Egypt (then the riots happened) and the cross-country road trip (along with Amsterdam) for my flirty 30 trip, but I settled on Buenos Aires, Argentina. 🙂
How about you? What’s on your bucket list? Are you going to 43Things to start your own list?
10 Ways to Love

10 Ways to Love

Today, I need this. I needed it yesterday, and I know I’ll need it tomorrow. I posted it on my Tumblr, but I need to devote more than just one thought on it today.

As we get older, relationships get more complicated (family, friend, romantic, etc.) and you really have to decide who you want to dedicate time and energy to–who reciprocates and who adds positive energy to your life, recharging you for this life that’s full of ups and downs. But once you do, it still ain’t an easy journey because we’re all human. And no matter what, you need to be able to discern how to be loving in all steps of your walk. It’s the greatest commandment, remember? From the stranger you pass on the street that may need a smile to the long lost friend you haven’t spoken to in a year that may need a listening ear out of the blue. From the family member that gets on that one nerve to the boyfriend/partner/boothang (whatever you wanna call him or her) that doesn’t always speak or hear your primary love language. Love is still the goal.

So here’s the post, with the verses that go along. Happy Tuesday.

1. Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)

To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. – Proverbs 18:13-15

2. Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

3. Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)

All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.

4. Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.

5. Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

6. Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

7. Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)

Do everything without grumbling or arguing.

8. Trust without wavering. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

9. Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

10. Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

The Love Chapter