Daily Prompt V.10 – Having it all

What does “having it all” mean to you? Is it attainable?

For me, it’s the simple things that matter. It means having peace of mind, having good health, my basic needs being met, living comfortably and in beautiful surroundings, enjoying my simple luxuries, spending ample time with the people I love and care about, visiting a few new places occassionally, not worrying about money, and doing things that bring me joy like gardening (my pink hydrangeas are blooming beautifully), writing, and moving my body. I’m working on this daily, and I believe it’s attainable.


Intention for the week V.10

I had an exciting, full weekend that included my daughter, Elise’s, graduation (1 of 2), and prom. After we sent her off for prom, the sad emotions started creeping in because I realize our days with her are numbered as she heads away to college in the fall.

Fortunately, she won’t be far. Of the 11 schools across the states she was accepted in, she will be attending the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. The university is less than 30 minutes away. She’ll be staying on campus.

Me with Elise and Bryan- March 2023 tour and preorientation. I love that she’ll be attending my alma mater.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now with our daughter’s last year in high school, my health issues (newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis), and my 50th birthday coming up in 6 days. This week, Elise is wrapping up senior week with more activities at school, I will be catching up on work from being off on Friday, and I have my second visit with my new neurologist to discuss the plan for multiple sclerosis treatment.

With this is my mind, I want to be extra gentle with myself.

Intention for the week ahead: May I pace myself and slow down. May I take breaks when I feel the need to take breaks. May I seek out the joy in even the smallest circumstances. May I show up as my genuine self in every situation, sharing my honest thoughts with dignity and respect. May I encourage others and listen without expressing judgment. May I not fight against circumstances I can't control and reserve my energy for the things I can control. May I articulate my preferences and concerns clearly. May I be my own advocate. May I smile A LOT.
Go Longhorns!

Daily Prompt V.4-Favorite Brands

What are your favorite brands and why?

With regard to brands of products I use to take care of my hair and body, I prefer products with the most natural ingredients and with the least amount of chemicals. I also prefer brands that are conscious and respectful of the environment and the location where the product is sourced. I’ve tried many brands over the years, and I can’t say I’m only committed to particular ones. As I’ve honed in on what’s important to me in a product, I do have some preferences.

Generally, I love to support black owned (African American and across the Carribbean/African Diaspora) brands for all of my needs beyond personal grooming because I want to support my people. If I know a brand is black owned, I will likely try it.

For hair products, I prefer black owned brands because, as a black woman, I believe those products are created just for my hair texture and will help my hair thrive. I also want to support the brand.

For face and body care, I prefer any brand that has minimal chemicals and more natural and organic ingredients like essential oils and nutrients. I also prefer responsibly sourced products because many of those beneficial ingredients come from different parts of the world that may be impoverished, not well developed, and/or have limited resources and economic opportunities.

I’m open to trying different products that meet my preferences.

Me with freshly untwisted natural hair


Flourish Part Deux

Spring is my favorite time of year! I love seeing all the vibrant green colors of the trees and the pretty wildflower blooms as I drive through the city and walk in my neighborhood. Our weather here in Central Texas has been a roller coaster ride of warm and cool over the past couple of months, but the warm seems to be more consistent.

I’ve blogged in previous posts about my love for plants in Flourish Part I. In the past two years, my obsession with plants has exploded.

Me in my home office with real live plants in the background.

While in Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago, I told my colleagues I have about 80 plants (indoors and outdoors) and they couldn’t believe it. When I returned home from that trip, I counted my plants, and the total is actually 98. WHOAH!!!

I was asked questions like, “How long does it take to water them?” And “what kinds of plants”? They were impressed with the details I’ve learned, such as how in nature some orchids grow on rocks and that they require less than water than people think to survive.

One of my bathroom orchids

I don’t really think about the time because it’s a hobby and self-care activity for me. I tend to them all the time in one way or another as they have different needs. I don’t water them all on the same schedule either because, again, they have different needs, so I water some more frequently than others. It also depends on the type of pot they’re in. Some points like clay pots dry out faster.

Here are a few outdoor plants I tended to over the weekend.

I love my new Fuschia Bougainvillea. She’s so pretty!
Some tropicals potted together and a variegated myrtle (black pot) I rescued!
Last summer’s sunflowers were so pretty!
Some old and newer plants I’ve been tending to.
She’s survived two winters thus far and continues to bloom. I forgot the name of this variety.
My spider plant is still recovering from last summer’s heat, but she’s doing much better, especially since I moved her location. I see some white blooms on her. My fern and porciana are also making a comeback. My peace lily (red clay pot next to fern) used to be inside, but she’s not been doing well for over a year. I thought the warm air in the shade would do her some good.
Last but not least, my beautiful hydrangeas in the front entrance are making a comeback.

I love to be rewarded with beautiful blooms and bright green leaves from all my nurturing!

That’s it for now. There will be a Part 3 to this series!


Intention for the week V.9

May has always been my favorite month, mostly because of the blooms and spring weather, AND it’s my birthday month. This May, in particular, will be EPIC! My daughter Elise will be graduating from high school twice (more on that in another post), she’s going to prom, my sister is visiting from Chicago, there’s Mother’s day, & my 50th birthday! Whoah! It’s going to be a month of celebrations!

I also plan to blog mostly every day this month in honor of my milestone birthday! This will be a challenge, but I’m here for it, and I hope you are too.

Intention for the week ahead. May I trust God for fulfilling my desires rather than relying on my own efforts. May I forgive and do it quickly. May I take strategic breaks to meditate throughout the day. May I treat myself guilt free. May I find joy in unsuspecting places. May I indulge in a cappuccino one day and a chai latte on another. May I be content in my blessings and smile more often than not.

Intention for the week V.8

On our way back home from church yesterday, our teenage daughter, Elise, said something so profound to her dad as he was making a case for his behavior the other day at a fast food drive-through. She perceived that he was rude. I wasn’t there. Elise said in her snarky way, “Intention doesn’t equate to impact.” Wow. I don’t know where she heard that, but I had to give it her – valid point!

I unpacked that a little in my head. You may intend a certain response or outcome, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will materialize based on actions you control. I suppose there may be instances where you don’t control the outcome, but for simplicity, let’s say you can.

My “intention” with establishing and sharing my intentions for the week in my blog posts is to ensure I stay focused and in a head space that is healthy for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By sharing, I intend to help others.

I want to approach life by being intentional about decisions I make that impact my outlook on life. I do go back and review what I’ve posted to keep me focused and provide direction for the next week. I don’t want to be typing words just for the sake of writing a blog post. My life is very full as a wife, working mom, and everything else. It’s easy for me to get swept up in it. These posts help ensure I have impact. With that said…

My intention for this week: May I not shrink in the face of pressure to not speak up or be myself. May I be honest, but kind and patient in my communication with others. May I dig into my endless well of calmness in the midst of any chaos. May I speak encouraging words to myself and my children. May I give myself an imaginary hug when needed. May I be in the moment more often than not and take good photos so my future self will smile at the memories.


Travel blog with food and how I reset

My work trip to Rockville, Maryland, and Washington D.C. was productive, invorgorating, and most of all, enlightening. It was an exercise in learning new information, applying this information, and collaborating with others to plan for our state. The depth of work we did would not have been possible without meeting in person. This was my first work travel trip since the pandemic, so it’s been over three years. This trip was enjoyable, which is saying a lot for a state employee attending to state matters.

Three days, two nights, and I barely took photos on this trip, but after all, it was a work trip. However, one night, I had the pleasure of enjoying Ethiopian food for the first time with 5 of my colleagues, and it was amazing. I took photos. I kept wondering, “Where have I been to be living this long and just now partaking of this delicacy?”

Actually, every meal I ate was delicious, including my vegetable plate of grilled cauliflower steak, green beans, and mushroom risotto for day one’s dinner at Founding Farmers in Washington D.C. I just forgot to take photos. It occurred to me a few hours before our flight back to Texas that the seafood in this region had to be delicious considering the Atlantic Ocean in its backyard.

With any trip where I travel overnight, when I return, I do the things that bring me back to equilibrium. Think about it: the hustle and bustle to and from the airport, the traveling in unfamiliar places, eating different foods (albeit tasty), sleeping (if I manage to do that) in an unfamiliar bed, and not drinking as many fluids as usual….all of these activities and more take my body out of equilibrium.

One of the first things I do is get a relaxing, steamy shower and good night’s sleep. My husband, Bryan, got us home after midnight early Thursday morning. Remember, we had a late flight. I was grateful that I took the rest of the week off, so I slept in later on Thursday morning. I usually unpack my bags quickly, but I took my time on Thursday.

I was craving my nutritious foods, so I began prepping for my green smoothie and some fresh juice.

Produce for fresh squeezed juice: apple, ginger, celery (going bad), carrots, & a cucumber.

Usually, completely unpacking helps me feel accomplished after a trip, and I tend to do it the day I return. This time, I didn’t completely finish unpacking until Friday morning. I put a few items back throughout Thursday. I took my time and didn’t feel rushed.

I spent the weekend filling my belly with nutritious foods, tending to my plants, doing a little work catch up, and nesting with my family! I’m refreshed for the week ahead.


Intention for the week V.7 (Traveling blog)

This week, I’m in Washington D.C. for a work conference. It’s hard to believe I haven’t traveled for work in 3 years, but it’s true. The pandemic has changed our lives so much, particularly my work life, because I’ve also been teleworking for 3 years. Never would I have imagined myself as a “social” worker, enjoying working from home, but alas, here I am enjoying it.

I’m in D.C. with about 7 other colleagues and my boss representing Texas. We arrived yesterday on different flights. Considering the time I arrived, I didn’t get to see any of the sites. My last trip to D.C. was in the nineties on a high school field trip. At that time, I saw the Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Lincoln statue, we drive down Embassy row, and maybe a few other sites.

The conference agenda is pretty jam-packed with activity, so I’m not sure if I will get out to explore the city today. However, I will try depending on how I feel. I’m going to get a quick workout in before I start the day.

Intention for the week ahead: May I be in the moment and observe and absorb as much as I can, may I smile and breathe as often as possible, may I not hesitate to speak my mind, but also listen, may I pace myself, may I stretch morning and night, and may I enjoy my stay in Washington D.C.
Me waiting patiently to board the plane at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. 4/17/2023

Daily Prompt V.1

What is one word that describes you?

One word that describes me is resilient. If you know me, then you know. My 16 year old self couldn’t have imagined my life today and what I’ve been through. I always manage to get to the other side and not without some bruising at times. I seek the light in every situation, no matter how painful.

I personify the saying, “I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” But there have also been plenty of joyful times mostly because I choose to be grateful and focus on the blessings.


Intention for this week V.5

Last week, I finally had a medical procedure that was scheduled over a month ago. I’ve never had a lumbar puncture before, but it was necessary in order to gather more evidence on a possible diagnosis. I won’t go into what the diagnosis may be in this post. I will say that the procedure went smoothly and I was impressed with how well the staff took care of me.

Unfiltered selfie before they rolled me away for the procedure on 3/16/2023

My husband, Bryan, accompanied me because I couldn’t drive home. I was put under mild sedation and local anesthesia. I was aware of what was going on. The radiologist inserted a needle in my spine, in the lower back area, to extract a small sample of spinal fluid. I was very surprised by how clear the spinal fluid was – it was as clear as water.

I made peace with this health condition last month. I had an MRI done at the end of January, and a week later, the doctor called me to tell me the findings. I was initially stunned, but I had been having some long-standing health symptoms that I put on the back burner of my mind for years except for the stuttering I acquired after the hysterectomy last January. I’ve researched the condition to the NTH degree all of February and some of March. It was the stuttering that reopened this door, although I’ve never stuttered prior to the hysterectomy.

I stayed in bed the rest of the day following the procedure….Bryan made sure of it. He lay in the rocking chair watching me nap and, at times, napping himself. I even called in from work the next day also to take in more rest, so I had nice a long weekend. My back has been sore but manageable.

On Saturday morning, I wanted to participate in the neighborhood garage sale, so I prepped my little spider plant babies I had been nursing for 6+ months. I was also selling some of my cute clothes and shoes.

My spider babies getting ready for a new home. I sold the red cardinals but still have the squirrels. They will make great gifts.

On Sunday, I took some of my homemade chicken noodle soup, garlic bread, and chocolate chip cookies to a sick coworker who lives near me. I also gave her a spider baby.

It is true that giving to others is a gift to yourself because it allows you to take the focus off of you and your problems. It fills you up with joy. Whatever happens, I’ll be ok for many reasons, including a supportive husband and family and quality healthcare.

Intention for the week ahead: May I not take things personally. May I not act defensively. May I be present in the moment more often than not. May I be patient and kind. May I remember who I am in the heat of moments that try to test me. May I indulge in a bubble bath or two. 
A little posing after church on Sunday, 3/19/2023