11/8: Thankful for sibling love, foolishness and friendship!

11/8: Thankful for the relationship I have with my brother. Brothers and sisters have a special bond and ours is one that can’t be explained, rationalized or understood by the outside world.¬† I have yet to comprehend the total dynamic myself, and I don’t think I ever will. #WeAreCeephus&Reese ūüėČ

The next day my brother posted the following on my FB wall :-D:

Sis….my relationship with you is one of the most important I’ve ever had.¬† I love the fact that we can have fun together no matter where we are.¬† I love you and everything about you.


Lucky Number Seven…The Joys Of Winning As A Mommy

“Damn it, my child is 7!!!” is a thought, one of many, that ran through my mind at some point today. It wasn’t tied to feelings of sadness or thoughts of I’m getting old, I meant it with excitement. It’s amazing to think about how much he has grown from the day he was born and how I would have never been able to imagine just how freakin wonderful he is and how enriched my life is because of him. When he was born he was tiny, 3lbs 8 oz of tiny to be exact, which pales in comparison to how huge his heart and personality are today. He is the epitome of ‘big things come in small packages’, and although I’m biased because I’m his mother, many people that know him express similar thoughts and feelings. Two days ago a friend of mine posted this on my FB wall:

“While I am at it let me say that great things come in small packages! Your baby is meant for great things in this life and God knew who to send him through to ensure this. He’s a great little boy who brings light to everyone around him. So happy birthday to mighty man Tyler as well. Send a smile in his lunchbox for Ms ________ and _________!”

I’ve spent most of the day reflecting on the last seven years of his life and of course flashed back to the day of his birth and all of the events that surrounded his emergent arrival. There are three very distinctive moments that touched me today. The first was during lunch. I sat across from him in the school cafeteria with cupcakes in tow for him and his class. I got chills as I looked at him seated in between my parents who were also there to have lunch with him. There were the two people that gave me life and have loved me unconditionally from the moment they knew of my existence. These are the people that I strive to imitate when it comes to trying to be a good example for my child. And in between those two people was the person who I love more than I love myself.

The second was after school when I picked him up and we were walking hand in hand, he very nonchalantly said, ‘This is what I love and makes me happy”. I asked him what he was talking about and he looked at me and said, “This (raising our hands up), us walking, lunch and tonight (he knew we were going to the basketball game). I love this stuff, it makes me happy.” And of course my heart melted. As a parent, my hope has always been that my son is more impacted by moments and memories than materialistic things and in that moment, I felt like he got it. As I mentioned in my post about his birthday last year (https://86400andcounting.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/on-the-day-you-were-born/), the things that stick out in my mind weren’t the gifts but the overwhelming showering of love I received from family and friends. As parents, we try to make the most out of what we have in terms of giving to our children. Our children don’t know or aren’t able to understand the types of sacrifices we sometimes make for them. Honestly I don’t think children are fully able to understand until they become parents themselves and are doing the same for their children. But in making those sacrifices our only true desire is that our child knows how much we love them and how much we are willing to do for them. My wish isn’t that he know of the sacrifices, but that he values the gift of love that is expressed and given to him.

The third memory was right before I kissed and hugged him for the final time. I had read the book, On The Day You Were Born; we sung our song to each other, You Are My Sunshine and said our favorite saying, “I love you to infinity and beyond, and then some…and then a lotta some.” He looked at me and asked was I going to cry again and at that point I was already teary eyed. I told him maybe and that I had cried several times today because I was happy and thinking about his birth. He said, “I know you are happy, but you don’t need to cry, I’m already born and I’m here.” I told him that that was my very reason for crying. I cry because I’m happy and wonderfully blessed to have been given such a bright, funny, handsome, intelligent, strong and caring son. And he said, “and I’m a humanitarian” (a few months ago I told him what humanitarian meant because of a gesture he wanted to do for a classmate). I laughed and said yes you are and those are all the reasons why I cry, I cry because I’m so lucky to have you. He flashed a snaggle toothed smile, gave me another hug and kiss, rolled over and said good night.

Seven is said to be the number associated with luck. I definitely know that I am the luckiest parent in the world because I was dealt a winning hand when he came into my life.

‘Twas The Night Before 1st Grade

‘Twas the night before first grade and all through the house,

The school boy was sleeping and quieter than a mouse.

Mommy was exhausted from a long day’s work,

Still annoyed¬†by the rude students at tonight’s presentation¬†that were being¬†jerks.

The bookbag is packed with most of the requested supplies,

By the door awaiting for the morning and its owner to rise.

Ok, if I wasn’t so tired from a long day of work, going to 4 stores¬†in an unsuccessful attempt to find¬†a specific notebook, an event for work this evening, our nightly bedtime ritual, labeling supplies and packing the backpack, pre-loading the lunch box (which included writing my note to him that goes in the lunch box) and laying out the uniform, I would have written the entire post in the above format.¬† But my brain just won’t allow me to do that right now.

Superceding my exhaustion is my disbelief that summer vacation is over and it is the Eve of The First Day of School!!  I do vividly remember this night last year as I was very emotional about his first day of kindergarten (See: Milestones and Memories- http://tinyurl.com/3m3am43).  I am just as excited and emotional about this milestone in his life.  The journey in watching him grow and continue to develop his very unique and special personality continues to be an indescribable joy!  I am looking forward to hearing all about his big day tomorrow and really excited about his surprise tomorrow evening! 

If you read the post mentioned above and are wondering how I did when it came to singing our song….of course I cried. :’I

“I love you to infinity and beyond…

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† and then some……..

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† and then a lotta some”

                                                                                    ~Mommy & Son

A Visit From My 6 Year Old Self

Today I’m feeling very free spirited, almost giggly, just like a little girl, and frankly I LOVE how I’m feeling!!!

Maybe it is the green glittered polish on my fingers and the yellow polish on my toes.

Today feels like one of those walk barefoot in the grass (clearly I’m a G.R.I.T.S. -Girl Raised In The South), eat ice cream, run through the sprinkler, play Ring Around The Rosies, catch lightening bugs in Mason jars kind of days. My 6 year old self is wanting to come out and play today so I indulged her with some chocolate ice cream, which seemed to please her. I think the only thing that could have been better would have been a Snoopy Sno Cone machine and an Easy Bake Oven ;-D.

Maybe it is me feeling summer vacation coming to an end and connecting with my son and most other children getting ready to head back to school. Maybe it is that I’ve been so busy just ‘going’ that I haven’t taken time to stop and enjoy the little things that make summer special. Trust, I’m not complaining, just acknowledging the randomness in today’s feelings.

So today, I have and will continue spending some of those 86,400 seconds enjoying the visit from my 6 year old self. Feelings like this don’t come often, so I will cherish and appreciate this rare state of mind. I do hope she comes back to visit more often.

As wonderfully cute and adorable as that little girl is…..that isn’t me.

The Bittersweet Side of Friendship

Hearing the words, “it looks like we’re moving to New York” were some of the most stinging words I’ve heard in my life. I felt a pain in my gut and my eyes instantly filled with tears (as they are as I’m typing this and just as they do just about every time I think about this). These were the words my best friend shared as she told a few of us the news about a great career opportunity. It truly is a wonderful job and I am sincerely happy for her and feel that she, her family and New York are a good fit. But of course there is the selfish, emotional side that thinks of……me.

We have both endured very personal highs and lows over the past few years, and although one of us was directly impacted, the other emotionally absorbed a little of each experience. With this situation it is twofold, I can’t deny the tremendous and well deserved opportunity this is for her and her family, but I can’t ignore the pain this is causing me.
I know she will be a phone call, text message, email and short plane ride away, but there is something about being able to ‘lay eyes and hands on (not in the Biblical sense)’ someone; that is a luxury I won’t have with ease anymore. I know that giving into my feelings of grief only cheats me of the few days I have before she moves so I will try to focus on being in the moment for any time we have in each others presence before she leaves.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past few years it is the priceless value of true friendship and a conversation over drinks with her was the catalyst for me realizing this. It was a very candid conversation about friendships and the lack of support at times when friends were needed more during a particular time than ever and I was one of those people. It was definitely a talk that can only be had by true friends where one says to the other, you weren’t there like I needed and that message is received with the same genuine love in which it was delivered. I can say this conversation made me question the ‘friendships’ in my life and more importantly made me evaluate the friend that I was to people. My self evaluation was embarrassing to say the least. I wasn’t proud of the friend I had been to people I claimed to care about. During a recent conversation over dinner with my friend that is moving and another dear friend, I had a minor emotional meltdown while talking about a friend that I miss terribly. He was someone that was always there when I needed him but it was me that placed a wedge between us in attempt to distance myself from him. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. Óźď

The expression says “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, well I know what I have in her as a friend, which is why this is so emotionally difficult. My plan of action is simple:
– Enjoy every second we have together before she leaves.
– Take plenty of pictures.
– Let the tears flow as needed (I need to try to remember not to wear mascara the day before she leaves). Tears Dry On Their Own (RIP Amy Winehouse)
– Plan trips to New York (awww how miserable for me)
– Appreciate having friendships so lovingly precious that life experiences like these are this painful.

We are Linked in friendship, motherhood and down right fabulousness!!!

The highs and lows of friendship.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I’m honored for my many blessings of friendship. Take a few seconds today to reflect on the wonderful friends in your life.

On The Day You Were Born

‚Äé6 years ago thanks to God’s blessing, Tyrone’s love and an amazing team of doctors and nurses,¬†my son¬†was born!¬†¬† As he and I say to each other at night: “I love you to infinity and beyond, and then some…and then a lotta some!!!”¬† And nothing could be further from the truth, that is just how much I love him!!

Today has been a day filled with fun, excitement, energy, emotions and of course reflections.¬† My parents made my brother and I feel so special on our birthdays that we could have easily believed¬†our birthdays were international holidays; and that is no different than how I want my son to feel on his special day.¬† Of course children love gifts, honestly adults love them too.¬† But when I think back about my birthdays, I can’t remember every gift I was given, but I can remember my mother coming to school and setting up¬† class parties for my special day, or my dad leading the ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ story for one of my parties, or the only surprise party I’ve had in my life when I turned 13.¬† I remember my parents making me wait a little while in the car before getting out for school, because they called the radio station to give me a birthday shout out.¬† Things like that are what I remember and that is what I want for my son as well.¬† I want him to remember the love of family and friends that surrounded him for his special days, birthdays as well as other major individual accomplishments.

As today passed, there were moments when I remembered what was going on at that time 6 years ago.  Some of those were moments of indescribable excitement and some were of the worst fears a mother waiting to give birth could hear.  I remember the first time I laid eyes on his face, the brutally agonizing length of time before I could see him after recovery, the first time I touched him, which was simultaneous with the first time I cried after he was born.  I remember the first time I held him, my first time trying to feed, and I could go on and on. 

Well I flash forward today to the wonderfully intelligent, well mannered, hilarious, kind, outgoing, sports loving, boy that he is today and I can’t help but to become overwhelmed with emotions.¬† His smile melts my heart, his laughter is music to my ears and his hugs and kisses fill my soul with an undescribable warmth.¬† Simply put I LOVE THAT BOY!!!!

Shortly after he was born, I found a book that I knew I had to buy based on the title alone, ‘On The Day You Were Born’.¬† I’ve read that book to him a few times in between the obvious days, his birthday and Mother’s Day.¬† Words can’t accurately depict the emotions that I felt and would imagine other parents feel on that special day, but this book comes pretty damn close.¬† Tonight I read the book to him, he finished it by reading the last page (which of course made me burst into full tears) and then we followed that with our night time lullaby and expressions of love.¬†

Below are the last three pages of the book, On The Day You Were Born (with some relative edits to make it fit the day he was born),  followed by the expression of love we share to each other:

“On the day you were born

the Earth turned, the Moon pulled,

the Sun flared, and, then with a pull (push),

you were pulled out of the dark quiet

where suddenly you could hear….

a circle of people saying

with voices familiar and clear.

“Welcome to the spinning world,” the people sang, as they washed your new, tiny hands.

“Welcome to the green Earth,” the people sang, as they wrapped your wet, slippery body.

And as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear,

“We are so glad you’ve come!”

My son, because of you, I continue to be amazed, inspired, uplifted, motivated and¬†thankful¬†for all of¬†the things that you’ve brought into your parent’s lives.¬† You are the blessing that we wanted but never could have imagined that it would have been as great as the one we¬†received.

I am honored to have the title Mommy and don’t take for granted any of the rights, priviledges and most importantly responsibilities that come along with such an esteemed role.¬† My hope is that the tsunami of love my parents have and continue to give to me, I can at least give to you, if not enough for a flood so that you will¬†feel washed in love for my time on this Earth.¬†


As our lullaby and words of expression go,

You are my son-shine, my only son-shine so please don’t take Mommy’s son-shine away.

“I love you to infinity and beyond, and then some…..and then a lotta some.” ~Mommy and Son



My Birthday Trip To ‘Never Land’

Yesterday was¬†the last day of March, which marks the end of my month long 35th Fabulous Birthday Celebration.¬† Yes, I celebrated my birthday for the entire month and of course loved every minute of it!¬† What a celebration it was! On the day of my birthday, some of my best friends came in town from DC and Atlanta to help me celebrate; and we did just that, beginning at 9:00 am at my parent‚Äôs home!¬† We spent the day hanging out and later that night, more friends joined in helping me celebrate at a birthday party one of my friends threw in my honor.¬† We had a weekend of nothing but good times.¬† Bigger than it being a milestone birthday was the fact that my entire day was spent with people and receiving birthday love from people that love and deeply care for me.¬† In the past year I have often reflected and shared with others about how wonderfully blessed I am to have the best family and friends anyone in the world could ever want.¬† And nothing could be closer to the truth than that!¬† The month long celebration also included celebrating with other fellow Pisces at a fundraiser out of town, a delicious and very hilarious brunch with girlfriends, cupcakes at work, a night of his Purple Majesty (Prince) and the release of the iPad 2(Yeah, that had to be mentioned.¬† I‚Äôm loving mine!!). Although March is gone, there¬†is something that¬†I’ve carried into April that wasn‚Äôt even around¬†on the first of March.¬† What I thought¬†was a gift that I was giving myself¬† turned out to be a completely different gift all on it’s own.

We all know the saying, ‚ÄúNever say never.‚ÄĚ and understand its meaning.¬† Even though that is a very well known phrase and one that makes complete sense, some of us have things that we without a doubt feel are definite nevers; present company included.¬† Well in the midst of celebrating I decided to throw caution to the wind and contradict myself.¬† My gift to myself was the permission to do something I never thought I would and be ok with it.¬†

With my permission slip signed, I went on my field trip to ‚ÄėNever Land‚Äô.¬† Once I arrived onto park grounds, I went to the ticket window where instead of getting a basic general admission ticket, I was handed a VIP pass and told the park was all mine to enjoy.¬†¬†Having VIP access to just about anything is pretty exciting, but this pass didn‚Äôt evoke those feelings of excitement because I had no idea of what to expect with that access.¬† As a matter of fact, the only thing I walked into the park expecting, was knowing I was going to be walking out of the park with an experience I previously said I would never have.¬†

So what was said experience like?¬† Let me put it like this, the ride I actually ended up on, was no where close to the one I thought I stood in line for.¬†¬†Since I hadn’t been to this amusement park before I tried to keep my expectations low¬†to avoid¬†being disappointed.¬† Since this was something I said I would never do, eventhough I didn’t know exactly what it would be like, I did assume/expect it to be¬†something¬†that wasn’t¬†toward the top of my list of enjoyable things.¬† Let alone did I think it would have been something I would possibly do again, which is a big extreme from something I¬†said I would never do.¬†

Lots of people that visit amusement parks¬†are happy to¬†leave with a ridiculously oversized stuffed animal.¬† Me, I’m happy with the daily smile and inner glow that came from not only trying something new¬†that was for myself, but¬†also as the result of an outcome that was quite the opposite of my assumptions.¬†

It was a Facebook status on a friend’s page that made me realize just how special my birthdate is.¬† My birthdate, March 4th, is the only date in the year that¬†gives us¬†a command/directive….March forth (4th).¬† So with that, take at least one trip and¬†March 4th¬†into ‘Never Land’; who knows, it might be there that you find your ‘Happily Ever After’.¬†

*FYI-Mom, Dad and anyone else wondering, no my ‘experience’ wasn’t anything illegal.

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