Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fun Friday – Uncovering humor with family and friends

There is humor all around us each day, sometimes it slaps us in the face, other times it pops out when you least expect it. Once upon a time…

Who will mow the lawn?
My son called me at work one day to ask if I knew the location of some item he couldn’t find. After I assisted him I asked, “By the way have you cut the grass yet?”

“Oh…no. I’m waiting for the wind to die down. You know I’m skinny and I might blow away.”
SIDE NOTE: There was a slight wind that day, with sunny skies. My son is 6’3, strong and full of sarcasm.

Friendly conversation
My former college roommate attended an event where I performed comedy. During the intermission, we had a brief opportunity to talk. She said that right before I went on stage, she was conversing with the guy sitting next to her. She told him, “Oh she’s funny. I saw her perform last year. She’s my ex roommate.”

The guy politely leaned in to her and said, “I know, she’s my ex-wife.”

I was having lunch with my mom at a local deli, when a sign at the barbershop across the street caught my eye. The sign read, “Good haircuts $7.00.”
This made me wonder, how much for bad haircuts?

What humorous situations have you uncovered lately?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wellness Wednesday - Tips for taking care of your total body

Shape your body and your nails
check out the many styles of Color Street nail polish strips here

After an exhilarating workout, you're left feeling energized from head to toe. Make a commitment to do one thing each day to get your body moving for the health of it.

Need ideas...?

  • Get up and move during every commercial while watching TV.
  • Dance around the house while cleaning.
  • Take a walk after dinner (or during a lunch break).
Like a cherry on top of an ice cream sundae, top-off your healthy routine with attention to your hair, skin, and nails. Create a stay-at-home spa day for yourself or a group of friends. Indulge in facials, manicures and pedicures.

You can be a Wonder Woman or Super Girl at the gym, then go home for an evening of pampering.

Once you're ready to relax and rest your body, think of these tips...
  • Moisturize you hands, and feet - they work just as hard as the res of your body.
  • Rest when you feel you need it - it's okay to take a nap if you're feeling exhausted (in my opinion anyway).
  • Turn the TV off 30 minutes before bedtime - I think I heard this somewhere (I'm not the expert here), but this helps me to settle my body in preparation for sleep. Although sometimes I fall asleep as soon as my head is a few inches from the pillow.
What tips do you have for taking care of your total body?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Motivational Monday – The Power of Yes

Chicken Soup for the Soul readings with Kaye Curren, Nancy Beaufait, and Tammy Nicole Glover

Is there a challenge that you’ve been hesitant to take on? Perhaps you have been debating whether to move forward with a project. Don’t talk yourself out of success. Do the thing you have been wanting to – say yes. There is power in saying yes.

I had the pleasure of meeting three ladies who have stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul – The Power of Yes! Their stories are heartwarming and inspirational, just the right recipe for a Chicken Soup story.

If you still have doubts about saying yes, read some of the Chicken Soup stories for inspiration.  Here’s what the back cover of the book says:

“You’ll be inspired to make your own to-do list when you read these stories from regular people who used the power of saying “yes” to improve their lives.”

I was motivated listening to Kaye, Nancy and Tammy share their real life experiences – my new friends. They will tell you they are regular people who took a chance and said yes… yes to their challenges. I will tell you they ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

There is power in saying yes. Face your fears and take a chance on yes.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fun Friday – Life’s little changes – 3 secrets to managing change

Mama's New Hair (left)
Some people lay out their clothes in preparation for the next day, I laid out my hair. I was ready to change my hair style.

My son saw a new package of weave on my night stand and he screamed, “Noooo, not the fake hair. I like your hair natural.”

I tried to console him. “It’s ok son, Mama will still be the same person. I’ll just have brown hair instead of grey and it’ll be 14 inches longer.”

The above scenario demonstrates how change can be uncomfortable and at times stressful. Below are three secrets to help you successfully manage changes in your life.

1.      Celebrate the positives – think about some of the positive things that come from change. Perhaps you’ve met new friends, learned a new skill, or grew in some other aspect, due to a change in your situation.
2.      Exercise – exercise has been said to help decrease symptoms of depression. Even going for a walk can make you feel better.
3.      Choose your thoughts and attitudes about change – “negative thoughts block your creativity and problem-solving abilities.”

Click here for more tips on dealing with change.

Change can be good. We need to embrace it rather than fear it or become filled with anxiety. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but armed with the right coping tools, we make it through.

Now, it you want to dye your hair blonde, red, or shave sections of it, be prepared to console your family.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Words of Wisdom – World Gratitude Day – 3 tips for celebrating

photo credit

Gratitude – the quality of being thankful. World Gratitude Day is celebrated on September 21st.  First, give thanks for your life, imperfections and all. Celebrate where you are planted at this moment.

World Gratitude Day was first celebrated 1965. Let’s keep this tradition going by showing appreciation for things big and small. Below are 3 tips for celebrating this world holiday.
1.      Be thankful for your community – show gratitude where ever you go on this day. Extend a special thanks to community workers – mail carrier, cashier at a store, server at a restaurant.

2.      Write a note of thanks – reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while; send a card or short note just saying, “thinking of you.”

3.      Start a gratitude journal – this could also be in the form of a gratitude jar. Write one thing each day that you are thankful for, it can be big or small. You will begin to appreciate the little things that we don’t take time to enjoy.

What tips do you have for celebrating World Gratitude Day? Go out and brighten someone’s day with your smile.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Motivational Monday – 3 Blessings

Photo Credit: The Earth Plan

My cell phone dinged, indicating that I had a text message. I reached for the phone and tapped on the message. It was from a friend who sends uplifting words throughout the week. This particular message said, “As God blesses us through our gifts, we bless others.”

We all have a special gift. What is your gift and how will you use it to bless someone else?
I was given a writing prompt recently that said write three blessings. Pretend you were given a similar challenge, your guidelines are as follows:

·         Be a blessing to someone whom you do not expect to repay you.
·         Bless someone when they are least expecting it.

Here are 5 ways you can bless someone.

1.      Pay for someone’s meal
2.      Help a co-worker with a project
3.      Send flowers to someone, for no reason
4.      Do yard work for a neighbor
5.      Pay for a stranger’s gas

What are 3 blessing you can bestow upon someone?

The above may seem like small acts of kindness, but could be a major blessing at a time they are needed. Now that you’ve been a blessing to someone else, it’s time to speak power over your life – your dreams, your future.

Have faith, anticipate, and be ready to receive beyond what you can imagine.
Blessings to you.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Motivate Yourself

Today let's take time to reflect. First, find an old photo of yourself from childhood, teen years or even 10 years ago.

If you could go back in time and visit a younger you, what advice would you give to yourself?

Here's what I would say...

Ang, you're gonna be okay. Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone, stretch yourself and follow your dreams. You may be shy now, but you'll grow into your very own unique personality. Sometimes you will have to encourage yourself. Keep a strong faith and live your life on purpose.

Now, if I had said those exact words to my 10 year old self, I would not have understood any that. But looking back, I know I've come a long way from where I started.

How about you, what does your reflection look like? Celebrate the triumphs you've experienced from then to now.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Motivational Monday – The Power of One

photo credit

What if…you did one thing differently today? How could your one act change someone else’s life? Write one note of gratitude to someone. Call one person you haven’t talked to in a long time. Make one person smile.

Read the poem below and discover the power of one.

The Power of One
One song can spark a moment,
One whisper can wake a dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One moment can make one fall in love.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, it’s up to you!

Author unknown

How will you use the power of one today?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fun Friday – 5 Reasons you should not skip breakfast

It was quiet in the church pews, eyes were closed and heads bowed. One of the deacons was praying. Moments into the prayer, the sound of paper rustling could be heard. I opened one eye, then the other, and continued opening the peppermint candy that I’d scavenged from the bottom of my purse. I had skipped breakfast.

You may have heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m no expert, but I believe this to be true. Test this theory out for yourself. Go a few days without starting your day with breakfast. Then begin a few days eating something of nutritious value. Note the difference in your mood and behavior.

Let’s look at a sample study done during a Sunday morning church service. After observing a parishioner who had not eaten breakfast, the following signs were identified that she had not eaten breakfast.

1.      As communion was passed around in the little plastic cups, one woman eyeballed her neighbors wine/juice and unleavened bread. If you were to lean in close, you could hear her whisper, “are you going to eat that?”

2.      The choir is singing, yet you can hear the person next to you as her stomach roars. She tries to clap loudly to drown out the rumble.

3.      Low energy level – the person sitting in front of you closes her eyes during prayer and doesn’t open them again until the pastor says, “…in closing.”

DISCLAIMER:   This was not a real study, but a fabrication of the author’s creative imagination.

Below are two reasons the experts say you should not skip breakfast
4.      Weight gain – when breakfast is skipped, you are more likely to eat more to overcompensate your body.
5.      Serves as fuel – eating breakfast provides fuel for your body and helps your brain function (the crazy facts website).

What would you add to the list of reasons why you should not skip breakfast?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Words of Wisdom – Read a Book Day – 3 ways to celebrate

Photo Credit: National Coast Education Services

Hurry, hurry, it’s almost time…for Read a Book Day. This national day is celebrated on September 6th. Pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read and join the celebration.

Below are 3 ways to celebrate Read a Book Day

1.      Read to someone – visit someone in a nursing home and spend time reading to them. If you’re an author, read one of your books to someone. Better yet, give away a copy of your book.

2.      Buy a new book – set a short-term goal, something you can accomplish in the next day or two. Reward yourself with a new book.

3.      Ask someone for a recommendation – you can start with me, I’m reading a couple of books right now. I love to support local authors. A book I’ve just begun to read is What’s in Your Sandwich? See the picture below. First of all, I was intrigued by the title. The book is easy to follow and uses the analogy of building a sandwich, to relay tips for career success.

As you begin create your sandwich with ingredients for success, you have to set up your kitchen for success. You have to read the book to discover the details of this analogy. If you’re look for an additional charge to ignite your career, the author, Jocelyn Giangrande if sponsoring a 100 women power conference in Detroit on November 29th. Clickhere for details.

What book would you recommend for Read a Book Day? How will you celebrate?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Motivational Monday – When life throws you a curve ball

When life throws you a curve ball - or an accidentally sliced golf ball

Every summer the kids at my church play in a youth baseball league. The league is affectionately named, Meet Me at Second, as it includes part of our church name, Second Baptist. Parents, friends and other spectators gather to cheer the kids on. We all sit in the bleachers or anywhere away from the fence line, to avoid stray curve balls.

As life would have it, there’s no way to avoid the curve balls of challenging situations. My curve ball started out as a pop-up fly ball, nothing too devastating. A couple week before I was to travel to my sons’ college football game, I was told my car needed four new tires. I put it off as long as I could.

The football game was a four hour drive, I couldn’t chance taking the trip on bald tires. I gritted my teeth and purchased the new tires. The week after this, my breathing felt weird. I brushed it off as the beginning of a cold. After a few days, the persistent shortness of breath didn’t stop, this was not normal for me. I exercise, I eat healthy (most of the time), and I get rest. I started to panic.

One day during my lunch break, I stopped by the doctor’s office. I told the attending physician, “I don’t care if you have to give me a respirator, a ventilator or a generator, I’m not missing my sons’ game.” He smiled at my attempt at humor. I explained that it was the first game of the season and my son was a starting player. The physician gave recommendations and we considered the issue resolved, for the time being.

The pop-up fly ball I mentioned, quickly turned into a curve ball. It happened the day I noticed that a few items in my fridge seemed warm, so I increased the temperature. The next day, I pulled an ice tray from the freezer, water splashed everywhere. There was also condensation on the bags of frozen vegetables. The end had come for my refrigerator.

I gritted my teeth once more and purchased a new fridge. If I were to grit and grind any more teeth, I would soon need to add dental care to the mound of proverbial curve balls. As if things were not challenging enough, as I left work one day, I noticed a thin line coming down my car windshield. I followed the line with my eyes. A golf ball sized crack, sat chiseled at the top of my windshield, lines like a spider web stemming from it.

Sitting in my driver’s seat, I took a few deep breaths and said, “Lord, I know you got this.” The situation was out of my control. I could cry, but once my tears dried I would have a headache and the shards of glass would still be on my windshield. I needed to let God catch my curve balls.

Just like those kids running the bases in the Meet Me at Second league, God was waiting for me at home base…waiting for me to lean on Him. I prayed and believed things would work out.

My family came through in a clutch. I had a back-up vehicle to drive to the game, we shared the gas expense, and my son had an awesome game.

What will you do when life throws you a curve ball?