Tag Archives: new year

press the restart button

2013 has been a whopper of a year for me. the worst ever, actually, but i refuse to dwell on the negative because so many other things went right in my life. as the saying goes, sometimes things have to fall apart so they can fall back together. and it may not look as you expected, but it will come back together in the end. be-lee-dat!!

so here’s the good side to my 2013 because the bad…well, it deserves absolutely no energy.



2013 kicked off with dutch playing sports…basketball!!! it’s always a good time watching him play. his game improves more and more each season and he really seems to enjoy himself out there on the court. and that’s what it’s all about.

and while most of the early year was devoted to the game, we took time out to celebrate my stepmama’s birthday down in old town alexandria, virginia. we walked and walked and walked for a few blocks and by the time we all arrived at the restaurant i was dizzy as all get out. it wasn’t the first time. i had a bad case of dizziness on the treadmill too. my husband blamed it on me being out of shape, but after an ekg and blood tests, i found out that my anemia had kicked in rather strongly. (and i have a heart murmur i never knew about too!!) so if you’re feeling dizzy and just plain ‘ol out of sorts, get your bloodwork done!!

in fact, there are a whole slew of symptoms tied to anemia that could be affecting your life: weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), irritability and other mood disturbances, pale skin (however, healthy-looking skin color does not rule out anemia if a patient has risk factors and other symptoms of anemia), mental confusion and loss of sexual drive. i have felt allllllll of those at one point or another throughout the years and although i’ve taken iron supplements before i never stayed on them long enough to feel the total effects. won’t be doing that again! having my blood iron back on track 100% improved my overall well-being tremendously. no more exhaustion, freaky anxiety attacks or nothing.

but anyway…enough of that and my oh-my-goodness-am-i-about-to-have-a-heart-attack scare.apr2013onto april!! it snowed during dutch‘s spring break! weird, but we rolled with it and dutch got to play in it for a bit. we spent loads of time playing outdoors and i finally landed a little job that drove me almost to the point of insanity. i blogged about it at one point, but then i deleted it. so, oh well… just know that it wasn’t a good look for your girl. or anybody for that matter. the job + trying to get my iron levels back on track + everything else going on in my world had my head spinning. but i’m a mama so i kept smiling and pressed forward.


and smile, i did!! next up was my cousin aliya’s baby shower. i love these chicks right here to pieces and it’s always a good time when we’re together. always. smack talking and drinks!!! laughing, joking and just utter silliness. no drinks for the pregnant chick of course, but you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen a woman with a preggo belly hit the hee-haw (dc, where you at??).

trust, you had to be there. it was a sight to behold. it was also nice to have my mama there to bestow her *ahem* wisdom on us youngins. mayjune2013

this is just a modge podge of 2013 randomness. a guitar i painted earlier in the year for my niece, a demin clutch i made from my husband’s old jeans, me and my mama hanging out in the backyard at a bridal shower cookout for my cousin imari, and me and my dutchie having a picnic at gravelly point park. to know my son is to know he never wants to go anywhere except toys r us. so i drug his behind out the house, grabbed a blanket and some food and we had a grand old time watching the planes take off and land. it’s a day i won’t soon forget because we had so much fun just being silly. mayjune2my sexy librarian look (as they called it on instagram!!). ha! well, i was going on a job interview and i got there a little early so why not selfie, right? well, i didn’t land the job, but daggone it, i looked good!!

and you just don’t even understand the level of excitement i felt when i was finally able to pull my curly bush back into a ponytail. oh yes, hunty was happy!!


my cousin imari jumped the broom!!! we had a great time celebrating with the new couple, but dutch was a little disappointed that we didn’t have a chance to dance at the reception. he wanted to get his party on!

shorthairremember that ponytail i was soooooo excited about having? well, i chopped that sucka right on off. not only was i just getting tired of all that hair and the heat of summer, but i needed change and i needed it fast!! not that short hair is that drastic of a change for me. i’ve been wearing my hair short like this for almost 20 years. at the beginning of the summer i began feeling more like the old me than i had felt in years so it time for the hair to go and for me to get back in my niki zone.


let me tell you about that skirt in the pic. just before summer i was seeing the weight i had held onto for years sorta melt away. but i didn’t realize just how much it melted away until i headed down old town in that skirt and had to hold the puppy up before it hit the bricks! haha… i did. so it didn’t.

music soothes me and i did a lot of record spinning over the summer to calm my thoughts. i also played music on my kindle, on pandora from my phone, cd’s and i kept vh-1 soul on most times. music all around me. that’s how i like it. hey, like bob marley said, “one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” unless the wrong song comes on, of course. but that’s another story. random_2see my baby complaining? it’s one of his most favorite-ist things to do in life. haha… we stopped thru eastern market on our way to my mama’s house to get her a bunch of flowers for her birthday. i also attended the wedding of an old friend over the summer and she had the cutest wedding and reception that included skits of her and her husband on a big screen. she was absolutely stunning! joy, joy, joy!!randomness3we attended a family member’s birthday party at a restaurant back in july and the guys were mostly bored, i suppose. but i got up danced because that’s what you do at a party with music, no? i’m all about making the most of any situation so if there’s music and a dancefloor that’s where i’ll be. thank you very much.

lemonade out of lemons, my friends.

that month a girlfriend and i also hung out at a little spot called puro lounge in georgetown. we sipped mojitos and had the most fabulous food! i hear the head chef has left the building so if you go there now i can’t stamp the new cook. sorry!


at the beginning of the summer we spent sooooooo much time at the pool. me and my boy…every day at the pool. worked fine for me, i got my tan on and dutch got his band-aid on from scraping those toes at the bottom of the pool. the upside is he became a much better swimmer and is absolutely fearless in the water. which scares me just a wee bit but we worked it out. perhaps next summer he’ll learn to dive off the diving board because the child begged me about doing that alllllll.summer.long.summer2013_2

and not just my tan, i got my workout on too!! i hit the gym when i could, walked a lot and changed up my diet. between that and my appetite decreasing (due too much daggone stress) i was getting right back down to my pre-dutch weight. well, helllllloooooooooo!! took long enough, huh? but remember what i said about the exhaustion from anemia?? i’d literally wake up every morning sleepy. hard to motivate yourself to workout when you’re dead tired all the time.

oh, and my fur baby charlie!! we bond over stare down contests. he likes to stare at you before he decides to attack your face and smother you with puppy love and kisses. he’s special.

pooltimemore pool time at my aunt jackie’s with the fam!! the kids had a great time dancing and swimming and so did the adults. these little people are amazing. smart. talented. just all around good kids. yeah, they can irk the nerves of their parents and all that, but we’re so blessed to have such cool kids.

summerwinddowndutch and i finally hit up a waterpark just before school started and before we knew it it was time for back-to-school with endless school supply lists and back-to-school nights. dutch went to school, we, the parents, went to the movies!!

but ooops!!! just realized i put the same pic up twice of me in a hippie rv at the gas station. i met an interesting trio at the gas station who were all about love and peace and happiness and hope. they coulda been high, who knows. haha… the chick offered me almonds, but i kindly declined. anyway, they invited me to sit in their rv and write a love msg on it. i did. why not? i love people. well, some of them anyway.

birthdaysbirthday time for me and the kid!! i made a birthday banner for my dutchie and then baked cupcakes for his class. the kids loved them!! then the following month i had the most awesome 40th birthday celebration ever!! definitely the highlight of my year. the love in that room for me that night was so thick and i needed it. i needed the laughs, the tears, the dancing, the shouting…the words. chiiiiiilllllld, that birthday will go down in the history books of birthdays for me.

funtimesmy fam… kindred the family soul! aja and fatin came in town for a show at the birchmere and it was a great show as usual. if you have not seen them perform live yet, please do! you won’t be disappointed.

a couple weeks later it was off to philly for fatin’s 40th birthday party at ms. tootsie’s. it was a quick trip but we packed in the fun…’cause that’s how we do it. good food, good drinks and GREAT music ’cause the dj was allllll the way on point! i woke up after 4 hours of sleep and it was just about time to hit the road again.

i also caught up with my girls and former sister 2 sister magazine coworkers for an open mic night at the legendary bohemian caverns. it always freaks me out a bit being down in the caverns, hadn’t been there in years, but it really is a cool spot. it’s been around since 1926 and hopefully will be around for many, many more years.Christmasand then came Christmas! dutch’s excitement over his mile-long wwe everything list rubbed off on me a bit. i couldn’t wait for him to see all that he had gotten. i fell asleep waaaaaay before him on Christmas eve (i’m talking 8:30pm, y’all) but was wide awake before him and ready to get crackin’ Christmas morn’! nothing like family love to bring a smile to your face.

so now that 2013 is over and done i’m ready to press the restart button and begin new again.

happy new year, everyone!!

10 of my good intentions


resolution, smesolution. the advice i’ve seen lately about resolutions in the new year is not to make any. and why, you ask? because no one ever sticks to them. duh!! so i’ve followed that bit of advice that i saw online somewhere and decided to keep a checklist of things in my head that are near and dear to me that are personal goals that i plan to achieve. if i don’t share them there’s no pressure, right? brilliant, i know!!

but i will share my list of good intentions. these are things i intend to do, but if i don’t then, oh well, Lord willing i can give it a go next year. they are so frivolous they won’t make or break me if they don’t happen, but it’d be nice if they do. so here goes.

1. be able to apply eye shadow in a way that i don’t look like i was just jumped by a gang of women in a dark alley. seriously, me and eye shadow do not get along. at all. it’s a combination of my technique and the colors i choose. for some reason i suck at choosing decent colors. and it’s not that i plan to wear eye shadow every day because i’m not a wear makeup everyday kinda chick, but i would like to know how to apply it correctly for those times when i want to bump my sexy up, you know? like on a date with the husband.

sidenote: i wear eye shadow so infrequently that once i had it on and dutch asked why i had dirt on my eye. go figure.

2. learn to make creme brulee. i love, love, love creme brulee. so much so that my husband bought me a “make your own creme brulee” kit years ago. i never used it. never attempted to use it. the torch, however, gets used pretty often whenever my husband decides to light a fire in the fireplace. i’d like to reclaim my torch for its original purpose.

3. touch my toes. nope, can’t do it. [enter your laugh here, go ahead.] so that means that i need to be getting my stretch on like every day, probably several times a day, to be able to master this feat. the feat of touching the feet.

see what i just did?

4. have chutzpah enough to venture into street photography. not because it’s the hip happening thing but because i love to take photos and i love people. i do. but i think it takes a certain amount of balls to just go out and start taking pictures of strangers. should i bring my vaseline in case they wanna fight me? i don’t know! these are the kinds of things that run across my mind when considering street photography. but i’mma do it.

5. take a zumba class. there’s no good reason why i haven’t done this yet. i’m probably the only woman in the whole united states of america who hasn’t done zumba yet. there are several places near where i live that offer really, really cheap classes and i’ve even had a friend ask me to go to class with her but i haven’t yet. mostly i’m afraid of not having enough wind and passing out in front of everybody. it could happen, you know.

6. learn to cook at least five new dishes really, really well. i hate cooking and my family is super picky so figuring out dinner is a huge pain in the butt. but i’d like to have some new dinner ideas to add to the mix that we’ll all just adore so much we’ll lick our plates afterwards and ask for seconds. and trust, five new dishes will be hard because dutch only likes about five things. show me five different ways to cook the five things he likes and you won’t be able to tell me i’m not wonder woman. and no, he’s not budging on his five things. i’ve tried.

7. be nicer. i know, i know…you think i’m great, right? you just couldn’t imagine me being mean. no way!! well, it’s not so much that i’m mean just for the sake of being mean. i just kinda shoot straight from the hip with my family and friends and well, that doesn’t always come across as love. especially when the person on the receiving end didn’t really ask for my advice, but i gave it anyway ’cause i though they were being a kooky kook. but no worries, i intend to shut my mouth before it goes there and let their kooky kook fly. that’s what i intend to do. i promise, it won’t be easy.

8. art journal. i have the books and some of the materials (you know, the markers and pens and stuff) to make this happen, but it just hasn’t. well, it sorta did, but i hated it, snatched out the pages and acted like it never happened. but i’ll restart this year. i think.

9. stop bookmarking and ogling at every cool and super duper fabulous blog i come across. and i come across tons! i’m sure you do too. you find them just by googling a topic, or seeing a tweet on twitter or a picture on instagram. but i’ve realized this past year that for me it just creates a bunch of noise and really blocks my creativity. you land on a site and reading through all the awesomeness and the next thing you know you’re comparing yourself to this person and telling yourself that that person is so much better than you at doing ab&c and then it just becomes a big mess in your head.

i’ve spent too much time lately being inspired by others instead of just doing. i used to do, now i’m an inspiration-gatherer. this must stop. like now.

10. grow my hair into a fabulous ponytail! of course i don’t have much say in the growth rate of my hair, but every once in a while i get the itch to have my hair long again. then it starts looking all wild and funky and i chop it off. this time i intend to stay the course through the wild and funky phase and let this mess grow. we’ll see how this goes.

what do you intend to do this year?

goodbye 2012!!

wishing you all a blessed and prosperous and joyful and fun and lively and humorous (so good that your bellyaches) and peaceful and loving new year!!


2012 was an interesting year for me. at times it sucked. and when it sucked, i mean, it really, really sucked. the worst part of it was losing my uncle tony. but i have peace with his passing knowing that he’s not in pain anymore or worried about his blood pressure or any other health issue he was dealing with.  but i sure do love him and miss hearing his voice. seeing his silly grin.


when i think about it there were quite a few good moments in 2012 too. it’s so easy to dwell on all the bad that occurs in your life and not have gratitude for all the good. i mean, dang, every day ain’t bad, right?  so the good: my relationship with my husband has grown by leaps and bounds, my child is healthy and happy and it’s been a blast following him in sports (basketball and football and now basketball again) this year. we went on a family vacation to ft. lauderdale this year, which hasn’t happened in like…forever! quite a few friends turned the big 4-0 and we celebrated a couple 6-0’s in the family too so there were a few parties here and there. and how can i forget?? my mama has found herself a “friend,” honey. i’m just as pleased as punch about that one!!

with all that said, i’m still ready to sweep ol’ 2012 out the door and usher in this new year. i’m praying it’s a good one!