31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 3 of 3)

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 3 of 3)

Here’s the final installment. I wonder if I’ve been more positive as I take the time each day to speak out loud (and write out) something I’m thankful for. I think I’ll keep it going in a journal. Anywho, here goes!

24. I’m just thankful for life and love. Thankful for a good day.

[Update: This wasn’t a cop out. I really just had a good content day.]

25. I’m thankful for so much it’s overwhelming! I’m thankful for the opportunity to give God’s blessing to me back to Him. I’m thankful that Frederick knows and is loved by all four of his grandparents. I’m thankful that my grandmother has had the opportunity to hold Frederick multiple times. I’m thankful to have had both of my brothers, both of my parents, both of my aunts, 1st cousins from both sides of my family, and two special friends witness Frederick’s blessing today and eat with us after. I’m thankful for Rev. Daniel Watkins who keeps me prayed up and reminds whose I am when I’m starting to forget. I’m thankful for family, fellowship, and faith.

Rev. Daniel Watkins and Frederick Daniel
Baby Blessing – 11/25/12

26. I’m thankful to have gotten home safely after a long trip with a teething baby. I’m thankful to have found my home safe and sound. I’m thankful for a wonderful but too short trip to my home base.

27. I’m thankful for protection against dangers seen and unseen. I’m also thankful that my teething baby is finally sleep. Guess I need to close my eyes too.

28. I’m thankful (and sad at the same time) that Frederick is such a big boy. He ate food for the first time today and was a champ. I’m thankful he didn’t spit those green beans back at me, lol.

All done - Yum yum mama!
All done – Yum yum mama!

[Update: Day #3 of eating green beans was 10x messier than the first day. It was full of Frederick grabbing the spoon trying to feed himself and blowing green spit bubbles. :)]

29. I’m thankful for imagination and the ability to dream. My mom Mary Robinson and I had fun planning what we’d do with $500 million, lol. And now that we’ve awaken from that dream, I’m thankful for the provisions I already have!

30. I’m unbelievably thankful that today is Friday and I don’t have a busy weekend ahead. I’m going to straighten up downstairs and decorate the house, and I’m going to take Frederick to the Atlanta Botanical Garden with TEO to see their lights display. And I’m going to cook a couple of times (including this breakfast rice I scarfed down at Zion Travelers on Thanksgiving). And I’m going to RELAX.

Just the beginning!
Just the beginning!

31. I’m thankful to have an awesome support system in my family, my friends, and my sorors. I’m thankful for the “best of times and the worst of times” 2012 brought because it has made me the woman I am, and I kinda like me! I’m also thankful for following through with my 31 days of Thanksgiving. There’s always something to be thankful for each and every moment, we just have to remember to focus on the good and work around the rest.

The End. (Or maybe just the beginning!)

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31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 2 of 3)

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 2 of 3)

Here’s the second installment, and I’m stopping on the special day that was my BIRTHDAY!! I’m blessed. 🙂

Content

12. I’m thankful for 3 day weekends. I feel as rested as a single mother of a five month old can feel, lol. Also, Happy Veterans Day to all who have served, past and present, especially my grandfathers and my cousins!

13. I’m thankful for God’s perfection. I appreciate him not always letting me have my way because he knows my future and what needs to happen to get me there. Who knows where I’d be if my plans always worked out. What glitters isn’t always gold. Or even if it glittered with no glitches, my imagination is small stuff compared to what God can do.

14. I’m thankful for my health and for Frederick’s health. We haven’t had any major problems since he got here. I’m also very thankful to have been able to nurse him thus far! <side note: as I was typing this status, a flu shot commercial came on–was that a omen???>

[update: I went and got a flu shot later that week and still got sick, lol]

15. I’m thankful for the gift of resourcefulness. I’ve learned how to think outside the box when I need to. Small example: I got to work this morning and realized I forgot to pack bottles for pumping. I found a couple of rubber bands, grabbed some storage bags, and made it do what it do. 🙂

16. I’m thankful for The Learning Village and my daycare provider Dianne Coggins. I can breathe more easily knowing that someone I know and trust is caring for Frederick while I’m at work. It definitely made my transition back into the working world easier. I’m also thankful that she gives parents a Parents Night Out, which I’m gonna use to go get my hair laid and treat myself to dinner and maybe a movie if I take a nap under the dryer. 🙂

[update: I didn’t go to the movies, but I did make a full spa day out of the afternoon/evening. I got my hair done as planned, then got a mani/pedi and visited Sweet Samba before treating myself to dinner!]

17. I am thankful for a reason to get glammed up! I love formal events, semi-formal events, cocktail events, etc. Any reason to put on a beautiful dress, get the hair in a special do, and use more makeup than usual. And to think, I was the rebel quasi-tomboy girl back when I was invited to participate in my first pageant in 10th grade. Boy, how things change. AND I’m thankful if you’re supporting The Twenty Pearls Foundation Incorporated tonight and attending A Hush Affair!

All dolled up

18. I’m thankful for the adversity my friends and I have faced, and we still find ways to thrive this year. No one told me 2012 would be rough, but God has a plan–and we are being made better! #muchlove

Peter 3:3

19. I’m thankful for solution-oriented friends. In the last 36 hours, JenniferVeeKendraRashida, and Ashleyhave figured out how to make something happen for me. Thanks ladies! Smooches!

20. I’m thankful for my neighbors. I always wanted to live in a neighborhood where I liked the people living around me, and CandaceLatoya, and Mary are awesome! I appreciate them more than they know!

21. I’m thankful for traveling grace. I’m also thankful for peace of mind. After you’ve done all you can, you just stand.

22. I’m thankful for our holiday tradition of attending church and breakfast at Zion Travelers Baptist Church. I am thankful for a church family that has been a support system no matter where in the world I am!

23. I’m thankful for 31 years of blessings, adventures, and laughs. And I’m thankful for a timeline full of birthday wishes. And most of all, I’m thankful to bring in my 31st birthday as a mommy to my sweet sweet thang!

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 1 of 3)

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 1 of 3)

On November 1, I decided to join a Facebook Thanksgiving challenge, where I would post daily what I’m thankful for. Yes, I know November has only 30 days–it is my birth month, yanno :), but I chose 31 days because I turned 31 years old this year. I’ll post these in three installments since 31 is a bit much for one post. So here’s the first part of a rundown of the many many things I’m grateful for.

  1. I’m thankful for my healthy, juicy, alert son!
  2. I’m thankful for my love for math and research (and my capacity to understand it) and a job that leverages that love and uses it to help communities across the country.
  3. I’m thankful to be a homeowner. Even though the market slammed me, it’s nice to have my special place. And I’m thankful to have newfound motivation (FDT) to get it organized and redecorated!
  4. I’m thankful for a mom (Mary Robinson) who loves and supports me through it all. And I’m thankful to be closer to her than ever before as I understand more and more each day what it is to be a mom. I thank her for giving me a stellar example to follow.
  5. I’m thankful for my culinary skills. Did some cooking this weekend and I have to pat myself on the back. And I have to give shouts out to my parents, my granddaddy, and my Aunt Sweet for teaching me how to fill my belly with yumminess.
  6. I’m thankful that to vote, all I had to do was make sure my information was accurate, then get in my car and drive to my precinct and push a few buttons–NOT pay a poll tax, take a literacy test, walk for miles, get spit on, or put myself or my family in harm’s way. Exercise your right!
  7. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had as an AKA. Over the last 13 years, I have (and continue to) learned lessons (a slew of them), made lifelong friends, amped up my community service efforts, road tripped, partied, had fun, and developed my leadership skills by putting them to the test. No one could believe I let anyone tell me what to do for a whole semester, but it was so worth it. 🙂
  8. I’m thankful to have too many clothes vs. not enough. I’m in the process of making more room for my growing baby, and I’m just grateful to have had more than I need and to have looked good in it. 🙂
  9. I’m thankful for a world full of adventures and culture. Although I’ve had to significantly decrease my mileage, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time in several states across the country as well as six countries (seven if you count driving through Luxembourg). And I live vicariously through my friends. I collect postcards and magnets, and my fridge is covered with postcards from other countries from my friends’ travels too. (The latest from this year come from Vee‘s trip to Australia, Mallory‘s trip to Ghana, and Paula‘s trip to Jerusalem.) How blessed we are to see what the world has to offer and to have a safe place to come back to!
  10. I’m thankful for my family. I couldn’t ask for a better support system. They are crazy when I can’t be, positive and encouraging when I’m sad, and always funny. And they take care of me any chance they get. ♥ ♥ ♥
  11. I thank GOD for the truth. What’s done in the dark will always come to the light, and I thank Him for personal growth and the development of my patience and trust in God’s plans.

It’s been a long road for me over the last year, and figuring out how to focus on positive things instead of my trials has been key. I still have my moments when I just don’t understand various aspects of my life, but at the end of the day, I have to hold on to (and remind myself of) my belief that everything happens for a reason and that God’s plan is perfect.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Corinthians 4:17

Adventures and All the beef you can imagine

Adventures and All the beef you can imagine

I’m back! So last time I talked about the awesome. Here’s some of the great.

1. Remember the adventures due to rain I told you about? Well… After a full day of exploration, the gang decided to take the route home that would take us through a historical celebration. That’s actually when we took the best pics of the Pink Palace and the oldest church in Buenos Aires and the like.

Almost as soon as we got off the subway, the music stopped and people started packing up their instruments and stage way early (according to a random, they had just started). Did we take that as a sign? No… LOL. We took more pics, we talked to a guy who was walking one of the sweetest dogs ever, we basically snubbed our noses at the sprinkles. Then the sprinkles turned into slightly larger than tiny drops, so we started walking to the condo. Halfway there, the drops turned into a full out rain storm. We had no umbrellas, no ponchos, or anything. It is funny now. It was slightly funny then, but we were cold and wet. And my feet weren’t covered so I felt icky icky. We took streets where we saw awnings so that we could dash from awning to awning, walking with our backs almost to the wall like we were spying, lol. We took a break in a bakery and got a couple treats. Then back to the mad dash. When we saw there wouldn’t be an awning for awhile, we would take a break under the last one, then ask each other were we ready to run. By the time we got to the condo, we were drenched. And of course, Nervous Nelly (me) got to the door and started shaking so it took me longer than usual to unlock it. We all immediately took showers. Then we watched a DVD. (Well, the DVD watched me and everyone else watched it.) It was a wet adventure that really made for a memory.

2. The next morning, we headed to the zoo. That was one of the activities I was most looking forward to. We hopped on the train, got to the stop, walked over to the entrance, and crickets. All gates locked. No one in sight. Then a family walks up and they were looking like we were. Utterly confused and pretty disappointed. So what’s going on? Our resident Spanish interpreter Kendra read the sign about the hours (maybe we were just early??), and nope, sure enough, it should be open that day of the week at that time. So she kept reading and learned that the zoo has a right to close the day of based on weather condition. That damn rain storm last night!!! It was bright and sunny that day, but they had decided not to take the chance, I guess. Sigh… It was ok because we used that time to venture out to another part of town we hadn’t yet been to (with a superb mall where we got some super shopping done) and maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. And I still got to go to the zoo later that week on Thanksgiving. 🙂

3. The outdoor markets are just great. I loved being outside and seeing people peddle their (very lovely) wares. We got to go to two different markets on Sunday, both with their own personalities and both with plenty of characters. People like to bargain. And people like to pretend they’re bargaining, lol. Paula went back and forth with a guy flirting with Kendra about a pair of earrings and how much he’d take from her since she was out of pesos. I think she ended up getting her way with the rest of the pesos she had and like 5 American dollars. That scene could have been in a sitcom.

the hippie hustler

4. Leaving the markets, Paula spotted an ice cream stand. So we headed there, and I sat at a nearby table while everyone looked at the sign trying to figure out what the many flavors could be. Then I spied that this was not your average ice cream stand. There was also a restaurant inside and there was a couple eating at the next table, and I SPY chicken fingers!!!!!!!!!!!!! By Sunday, I was so tired of beef (gasp!) I didn’t know what to do. I am a beef eater, and I like an occasional steak. BUT GEEZ LOUISE. I had to have those chicken fingers. I don’t think anyone had even planned on eating for another couple of hours, but they were sports. Since we were there and since I was ordering anyway, we went ahead and ate. My ma and I ended up splitting a three course meal for 60 pesos (the chicken fingers by themselves would have been 30 so why not??). Sirobe got her normal cheese dish. Paula got that too. And Kendra got chicken fingers by themselves (hers looked different from mine–still not completely sure why). But they were a #win. I don’t really even remember the rest of the meal. I savored those chicken fingers.

5. Paula and American Airlines had a bad relationship throughout this trip so she had to leave early. 😦 BUT we couldn’t let her leave without seeing some tango! So we headed over to the La Boca area (which has a very rich history!) and had lunch. There’s a strip of restaurants there where they have tango in front of each to lure people to come in and eat. I think we picked the best one. We got tango, we got flamenco, we got this guy who had these balls on strings and kept backing up until I thought he was going to hit me with them, then he turned around and grinned. Jokester! That was a good lunch too. I think we all enjoyed our choices. (I didn’t have to eat beef there either, LOL!)

La Boca
Flamenco!

Ok, I have to run. I’ll be back to sprinkle in some pics. And I haven’t forgotten about the pics for the last post–I haven’t yet found my battery charger so I can’t upload my pics yet!!

Last Post before 30

Last Post before 30

I’m closing out my 30th year of living on this here earth, and I’ve learned a lot. Or maybe I should say relearned alot.

I’ve relearned that:

I can’t control anyone or anything except my own actions.

Perspective is the key to a sound mind. There’s a positive way to look at nearly anything. You have to allow yourself to see it from that vantage point.

No matter what life brings, God sends the help you need.

I will always be a busy body. It’s in my DNA.

You have to listen to your body. Even if you have to pull an all-nighter, you need to cancel whatever you had planned the next day. If your body is tired, let it rest.

The reason for the Sabbath is because God doesn’t want us running ourselves ragged. Productivity depends on balance.

Sour patch kids are still some of the best candy ever put on the shelf.

You can plan all that you wanna, but you have to be flexible because back to my first point, you can’t control anyone or anything but your own actions.

But planning is still important. You need to dream then wake up and starting putting feet those ideas. Nothing is impossible unless you don’t believe you can do it. And once you believe, then you need to put one foot in front of the other.

It’s a great thing to give to others, but you have to remember to refuel on a regular basis. Taking care of self is not selfish–you can’t give someone a ride if your car  has no gas.

I learned a lot more, but those are the ones that were on the tips of my fingers to share. Thanks for visiting my lil space on the net and always coming back for me. The road to 30 was bumpy yet exciting, and I’m so looking forward to forging my way through my 30s. Happy birthday to me!!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you!