Tag Archives: Birthday

Happy Birthday, Baby Bean!!

This picture was taken about 24yrs ago.

JaLisa (about age 2; nearly 3) 93′-94′

I was in high school and had gone to a slumber hangout and took JaLisa with me. She always wanted to go with me EVERYWHERE and was never shy; cautious of new people but never shy.
As a child JaLisa was loud, ridiculous, funny, compassionate, loud, talkative, smart, friendly, generous, kind-hearted, spoiled, loud, imaginative, thoughtful, resilient, courageous, loud…
Here we are all these years later and she is still all of those things. She’s lived through a lot; more than most women her age and she’s still standing.

From birth I watched her scoot, crawl, walk and run. There was stumbling and falling but she got up and kept going.

From adolescence to adulthood, I watched her go through the same process from scoot to crawl to walk to run. Sometimes, things got out of order but Tomi & I, her grandparents and the rest of her ‘village’ were there to help guide, dress wounds from the falls, counsel and keep her moving ever forward.

And today, she enters her 27th year. She’s out there moving through life…from a scoot to a crawl to a walk and then a run. She stumbles and falls and we’re still here to guide her; kiss the boo-boos and hug the hurt and tears away. She needs to lean on us less, as is God’s design. More independence; less hand-holding. It’s like I blinked and my Baby Bean became a woman and I wasn’t ready.

Happy birthday to my Baby JaBisa Jell-no Bean!!

Black Girl Joy!!

Weighing In: One Year Post Surgery

I know! I know! I’ve been missing in action lately (about 2 months) but I’ve got a good excuse; I’ve been busy living life. Work has been CRAZY busy, my wife and I both had birthdays and I put together a stellar birthday weekend with lots of travelling, we bought a house (we signed papers last Thursday and get the keys Monday after work) and I’m helping one of our daughters with wedding planning.

WNBA game, Mariner's game, Seattle Pride, and I wore a formal gown to work. My friends/co-workers glammed up my desk!!
Birthday weekend shenanigans!!
 I am one busy lady!!! I wanted to make sure to write on the anniversary of my surgery though.

Left: July 2016 Right: July 2017

I had my Lap Band surgery on July 29th, 2016. I was almost 500lbs. I had severe chronic back pain and sciatica, lymphedema of the legs, difficulty with movement and breathing and was always just generally uncomfortable. I didn’t get that way overnight. I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was as n emotional eater and developed an addiction; food was my drug of choice.

Fast forward 365 days…I am down -90lbs and holding. I have been at this current weight for about a month which is A-OK with me. The weight loss with the band has been slow and steady; about 2-3lbs loss per week on average. I’ve learned to have a different relationship with food for sure. Mental health counseling and medication helps me with finding healthier ways to process emotions, anxiety and depression. I’m able to eat about a shot glass amount of food at a sitting so what I choose to eat is super important; nothing too starchy or too fibrous. I also have to be cognizant of how quickly I eat; I have to make sure everything is chewed REALLY well. Because my stomach has limited space, gas or sort back up from eating too quickly can’t be expelled by a burp; I am literally unable.

This journey has been frustrating, scary and quite indelicate at times; for me and for my wife. She deserves an award. I had to learn to eat for sustenance and not allow my ‘eyes to be bigger than my stomach’; literally and figuratively. I had to learn that there are going to be things that I will never eat again and embrace that. Pancakes, waffles, bread…just a few of the things I used to love that I simply can’t have since the surgery. I also have to avoid other favorites like bananas and pineapples, asparagus and broccoli; anything too high in sugar or too stringy/fibrous. Totally worth it though. If i have the unfortunate incidence of food getting stuck on the way down or getting an air bubble trapped while eating, I get one of two results. If I’m lucky, I can stand and walk or put my arms over my head or drink a little bit of a warm beverage and coax it on through. What often happens (here’s the indelicate part) is that it gets stuck and my body forces it back out the way it came. Sounds simple right? Well, because the size of my working tummy is greatly reduced, it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable and excruciating things I’ve experienced.

Looking back would I make the decision to have the procedure again? Absolutely!! I have been able to completely discontinue 4 medications. I no longer have pain and swelling in my muscles and joints. I find that I am a lot more adventurous because I can walk and move for longer periods of time without having to rest. We’ve been on hikes and to festivals and sporting events; I’m experiencing a lot more of my life as opposed to being an observer. I’m able to buy clothes of the rack which I’ve been too big to do for years. It feels AMAZING to be able to walk into the store and try things on. Most importantly, I’m starting to have more days where I feel good in my skin. Not every day but most days and that is a good feeling.

This has been one of the most amazing years of my life!!!

Happy Birthday To Me: My Month In Review

What a crazy, busy month this has been. I am just now able to stop for a breath.
I had two of my little cousins graduate highschool this month.

Devontae and Alexis...they're dads are brothers.

At the graduation party I got to spend time with friends and family which was great. Because we live 4+ hours away, we don’t get to see family as often as we’d like.

My cousin Jewel
My baby, my mama & me
Tiny cousins-Jayla, Daysha & Layla
Rachael (mom) & Lexi
Layla & I perfecting our selfie game

My newest baby cousin was born.

Meet Baby Giselle

Then, there was my wife’s birthday! She got her motorcycle endorsement for her birthday.


Then, my birthday came! I am serious when I say that I think it should be a national holiday. I look forward to it every year; the higher the number, the bigger the blessing.


This is 39!

There were so many birthday activities and I was so full of joy! First, my friends Mel & Lee did a birthday karaoke shindig for me a few other of my cancerian friends. Shenanigans were abundant!


Me & Nat Pack! Her birthday is the day before mine.

MJ doing her thing

Aleena Bobeena!

Jennifer & Roman came to hang out with me

We had quite a time considering it was a Thursday night.

Friday night, my honey took me to are Floetry; one of my favorite duos. It was their reunion tour and I was so here for it!


I was too excited and too into dancing and singing along to get many good pics but we had a blast!
The next day, we went on a steam train adventure with the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the rail and lumber history of the west aide of our state.

Me with the conductors.
Tomi & the conductors
Playing tourist

We had such a great weekend and a great month! I can hardly wait until next year.

Queen Of My Heart

Today is a very special day! Its my Mama’s birthday!
My mother…
I could go on forever about my mother. She is my favorite girl. When I was a girl, she always made sure to create fantastic memories with me and to show me that the world was bigger than my neighborhood.


She is a breast cancer survivor. She’s strong in ways that I’m not even sure she realizes.

Out on the town

She’s not afraid to be silly. She’s young at heart…

Mother's Day 2010

She loves me unconditionally. Really. There have been some times when I’m sure I was pretty hard to deal with and she has loved me through it all.

Mother's Day 2011

She’s absolutely gorgeous!




And I bet if you asked my daughter, she’d say she’s the best grandma ever. Since I was a 14yr old mom, she was definitely instrumental in making sure I got my mom skills together.
Like I said, I could go on and on about my mother. Mostly, I just want her to know that I love her the mostest. Happy birthday, Mommy!

Today is also my brother’s birthday


and my youngest nephew’s birthday

He was my sister's gift to my mom 3 yrs ago

10 Things I’m Loving Right Now


It’s only Monday and it has already been a trying week. Sheesh!
Truth be told, the whole month of March has been pretty hard on me; I really had to dig to find 10 things for this post. I just had to work a little to remember that in spite of it all, I am truly blessed. Something that helped me was recalling a song that we used to sing when I was on the praise team at church (back when I use to go).
The song simply says…
‘As I look back over my life, I can see how Your love has guided me. Even though I’ve done wrong, You never left me alone; You forgave me, and still You kept on blessing’. So, here we go!
1.) God-I know that not everyone believes but I do. My faith helps me through the tough times.


2.) Work!-I am soooo thankful to be employed; even though my job stresses me out sometimes.


3.) Family-The one I was born into as well as those I’ve added by choice.
4.) My Parents-I got to spend another birthday (hers) with my mommy and they just celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary.



5.) Tomi-we had our 6 month wedding anniversary. Still the best day ever!


6.) Entrepreneurial Endeavors-I have become an ordained minister and am now waiting for my business license. I am going to perform weddings!

7.) Music-I love creating playlists for the different aspects of my life. I appreciate the way music helps you feel your feelings; good bad or indifferent.
8.) Hayley-Shih Tzu cuddles are the best after a long, hard day.


9.) Positive Self-Image
I appreciate all the positive body imagery I come across on my journey to improve my body.




10.) Life-It’s crazy, stressful, happy, sad, tumultuous, rewarding and countless other descriptive words. Most importantly, its mine! I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


Playing Catch-Up!

It feels like it has been FOREVER since I’ve written and I am feeling the need. I feel like I need to play catch-up!
Wedding planning is at a stand-still. This is not a bad thing. We are just at a point where most of what needs to be done will have to wait until closer to the wedding date. I am having a hard time being idle as it pertains to the wedding but I have a couple of crafting projects that will keep me busy.
My little cousin got married a couple months ago and that was amazing. I sang at the wedding and I was very honored to be a part of the love fest.
I got my hair braided and got to spend the day with my cousin/ best friend. It’s been years since she’s done my hair and since we’ve had a chance to hang out and enjoy her sobriety. We had a blast hanging out with my mom for the day.
My honey was involved in a hit-and-run accident the other day. I am feeling very…human. It’s easy to go through your day-to-day routine with a type of complacency; like you’re always gonna be ok. Then something happens and presents you with your mortality, I mean really puts it in your face, and forces you to realize you need to live and be thankful for each day you are blessed to see.


Happy Birthday To Me (A Time Of Reflection)


On June 27th, I celebrated my 36th birthday! Some people have an issue with sharing how old they are but I celebrate
every year that the Lord has blessed me to see so I don’t care who knows. In my time on this earth so far, I have been a daughter (a pretty great one according to my parents), a mother (according to my children, I’m pretty awesome at that as well), a wife and a friend. These are all things that I take pride in being and am glad to have been blessed with the opportunity.
As I get older, I find that I am more emotional and prone to tears. I was watching a commercial the other day that made me well up. Sheesh! I have also found that I am more appreciative; I try not to take anything for granted. I am very blessed and I thank God everyday or the things and people he has brought into my life whether it’s for a lifetime or only for a season.
It seems as though the years are coming faster and faster as I grow older. I am just trying to remember to slow down and take the time to enjoy every opportunity as it comes. I am gaining new family member; I got a few new baby cousins and a nephew in the last year. Though I don’t get to see many of my friends and family as often as I would like, I do my best to maintain those relationships because, at the end of the day, there is nothing like the love that you get from people who love you simply because they can. I send that kind of love out into the universe because I know what it is to receive that kind of love.
I think that the most important lesson I am learning as I grow older is that it is important to take the time out to have fun. Everyone’s fun is going to look different but I try to always take time to do the things that make me happy.

I’m Going Down…

All Smiles!

Another -3.4lbs gone and another -1.25in. I am feeling pretty good about things for this week. It was definitely a hard earned loss. I have been sick all week and I was definitely aware of the things I am not able to have. Let me clarify that statement by saying that I haven’t been feeling deprived, just aware.
Tomi and I did some calculating and based on my current rate of losing, I should be down -50+lbs by my birthday. The only sad part for me is the boon shrinkage. I am gonna need new bras soon.

So Thankful (10 Things I’m Loving – Birthday Edition)


Thank you, God, for blessing me to see another year. As I get older, my scope changes and I am so thankful for that. I appreciate the way my heart has changed and my mind has matured. I am thankful for everything in my life, the good and the not so good, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
1. So thankful for another year for me (June 27) and another year for Tomi (June 22). I am super happy that we got to share the year with one another; our love and friendship grows stronger with each year.
2. Work – Thankful to be employed and that I really like the work I do. Thankful that my employment, and Tomi’s allows us to have the things we want and need.
3. Friends & Family – Thankful to be surrounded by people who.understand that we may not talk to or see one another regularly but that I am always here and that it’s all love between us. Thanks for all that you are to me.
4. Social Networks – I appreciate what they are to me; a way to stay connected with friends, family and business contacts.
5. My Little Country Home – I am so happy to come home everyday. I feel peaceful in my space with the ones that I love. While it is not yet everything I want it to be, I see and feel what it can and will be. I love our home.
6. Music – I appreciate that no matter where I am in life or what I am doing, there is AMAZING music to provide the soundtrack. I love creating playlists to go along with things I do (prepare for my day, clean house, make love, feel sad, praise God) and to represent different people in my life.
7. Creativity – I am thankful to have singing, writing, crafting and all the other ways that God has given me to express the things that I feel and experience. Without these outlets, my brain and my heart might overflow.
8. A Spirit Of Positively – I try to put positive things out into the world; the things I think and say. All of my life experiences may not be positive, but I can choose how I respond to my life situations and I try to always choose positivity.
9. Affirmations – Everyday, in everyday, I am getting better.
10. Ability & Desire – The ability & desire to love, to laugh, to spread joy & positivity and to live every day that I am blessed to see to its fullest.

Just me being me.