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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Letters to Our Children-November

"If there is any grace left for me, Lord, give it to him..."
I remember praying this prayer, holding my belly about 6 months into our pregnancy. Things were rough for Dad and me and emotionally I was drained in every area of life but it was around this time I had this great desire to pray for and over you. I felt like I had done so many things that would take me out of favor with God and yet he still trusted me with this life, with this little human I just knew was going to be something special, so I asked if there was any favor, grace, mercy, ANYTHING left for me, that he shower you in it and then some...and that prayer hasn't changed.

There have been and there will be more times where you don't get why I'm so hard on you to give your best and never to be satisfied with just your ok but I pray that when you are older you see my heart in the speeches and lessons. I wish for you to be everything you were sent into this crazy world to be. I wish for you to always find the one thing to smile about like you do now and cry and little less.

You are a light in any room you walk into and I hope that only grows stronger. Your dinosaur stories are epic! And no one can hit the Nae Nae quite like you. I am amazed that we've been on this journey for 6 years already but everyday (even those killer ones) have been nothing short of INCREDIBLE! I cherish our goofy moments and I LIVE for your hugs and random "Mommy, I love you"s and when "we" bake and make a mess. I love dreaming our big dreams together, I'm still searching for my 1st Mama hat for your inauguration Mr. President :-)

So, my wish for you my sweet boy, is that you know without question no matter what you do, where you go, or what bumps you make along your own journey if there is anything left for me, it's all yours!

Loving you Forever and a Day,

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I meant for this post to actually be posted much earlier in the day but work life got all in the way of blogging life, so...better late than never??

I think so!

We had a pretty Fall weekend here last weekend, I don't mind 70*, sunny, Fall days AT ALL but the leaves in our yard were out of control! So it was time for the boy to get outside and do "man's work" which is anything he thinks his father would do that Mommy shouldn't do lol. Yes a lesson on chauvinism was had but seriously, if a man's in the house, I'm not doing yard work. ::shrug::

And a bonus just for good measure :-)

Are chores a part of your child's weekend/weekly routine? 
What are some of their responsibilities and are they getting paid (like someone boldly asked smh)?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

30 Things Series- Five Things I Am Passionate About

I'm picking up in my 30 Things My Children Should Know About Me series and this time we're covering the My 5 Passions. As I type I can only think of 3, but we'll see what comes to mind.

#1- YOU! My pride and joy, my entire reason some days. I've been crazy about you long before I ever met you. You and your siblings (if I ever get to meet them) have been on my mind since I was in junior high school and you are almost everything I thought you would be all along, of course you had to have your own personality, but I think it's perfect. Watching you grow and noticing all the small changes you're making in becoming a young man makes the dullest day bright again. Thank You for showing up for me, I pray I'm doing my part for you too. XOXO

#2- Giving Back: You're learning first hand how important helping others is to me. Some bumps in life made me a little bit guarded and cold in certain situations but my heart aches for those in pain or need in anyway and I always feel the need to give, even if it's to just show up. I hope that by watching what I do you get that strong urge too. Anytime you walk past a homeless person I'd love for you to remember that but for the grace of God that could be us too, so be a little giving. When one of your classmates is getting bullied for not having the hottest gear or not being able to afford the fancy lunch, I hope I get to tell you of the days I went on a "fast" because I didn't have enough money to buy food in college, so be a little graceful. Should there ever come a time when you can help someone up, think of the many people that did the same for you mother and try to be just a little compassionate. If ever there is a time that you can serve, SERVE, the blessings come back to you and yours tenfold, Mommy is living proof and I hope you respect that.

#3- My faith. I fell in love with God at a very young age and then later accepted Christ as my savior at the age of 10. As I get older and go through life, there are too many instances that ONLY God did it for me to believe He doesn't exist and that I'm not His. I will not force my faith on you but will show you all the others so you can decide for yourself, I just hope that in my walk I'm showing you the good in my relationship with God and I hope you get to know Him for yourself too.

#4- Photography. My cousin gave me my first film camera when I was your age (6 or 7). I can look back now and see she was trying to distract me from what was happening in my parents's marriage so everyday during Summer vacation we'd go to the park or the garden and snap pictures and I couldn't wait to see what would come back from the developers. Fast forward now, I've got the big guy hanging with me almost all the time and I know you get sick of me always pointing that camera in your face but documenting you is so important to me, yes even that yawn! Other than you, taking in everything around me and capturing what its all like now, in this moment has become such a passion for me because MY Brooklyn, is changing and I don't want anyone to forget the last of it's glory days. I hope I can do something with it all, one day...

#5-Wow didn't think I'd come up with five, but here we are and it's definitely a tie between trying new foods and music. My tastebuds are always seeking the next great bite so recipes and new restaurants are always bookmarked somewhere for me. Not a day goes by that I don't a) pray, b) kiss you a million times, and c) listen to music! I'm passionate about Hip Hop, not the foolishness you'll have to grow up listening to, but REAL Hip Hop and R&B and of course Reggae. Gospel and Jazz run a close third and fourth. I'm leaving you my Jay Z collection whenever the time comes, don't sell unless absolutely necessary I'll come back and ask WHY?!?! lol

What passions do you wish to share with your little ones?

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Truth About Needing a Mommy Mental Health Day

Mommy needs a break!

Something's been off with my energies lately, completely exhausted by 6p, completely knocked out by 9, jolted awake by nothing by 2:30a with no hope of falling back asleep until about 4:30a, and then the alarms go off at 5:20a. SIGH

My father in law was buried yesterday and it's on my mind very heavy today.

I'm a creative, which means if I'm not stimulated and inspired my vibes sucks!

This weather is drab, and cold, and draining and I don't want to do homework and answer a million and one questions. HANGS HEAD.

I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to feel however they feel, to sit in and feel your emotions unapologetically. An issue only comes up when we either a) ignore our spirit's need to stop and wrap that Super-Mom cape tighter and "conquer" our worlds or b) stay in those feelings too long and become useful to no one. Here's the one issue in needing a mental day while you're a single mom, there's no one to easily pass the responsibilities of your day to so you must improvise.

1-FIND A WAY! Just like when you have 15 minutes to get ready and out the door and your child reminds you they don't have lunch and you storm through those cabinets and make something to impress the lunch room and still make it to work on time-there's always a way. I've found that at those 2am wake up calls my spirit is unsettled about something and needs my attention so I get up. One night I tried prayer, another night I sat still in the darkness of my room, and by morning I wasn't 100% but definitely not dragging. So I did no social media, I barely answered my phone, and I'm trying to get to the bottom of why when things are finally falling into place I'm feeling so scattered.

2-REMIND YOURSELF THIS TOO SHALL PASS! Every way you're feeling is real because your body is responding to something, what you're feeling might not be. That problem that seems insurmountable, the next move that seems bigger than your abilities, that person you can't get through to, it's not true! It's your story but it's not true! You've got this, I've got this-it's all about reminding ourselves when we go through the waves. This isn't my first round with the mean reds and it probably won't be my last but each round teaches me more about myself so I've got to ride this thing out and see what the end's gonna be.

3-KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In truth, you've got to figure your stuff out and no one can do this for you. FACTS! While all of your decisions rest with you, there are thousands more feeling and dealing with everything you're feeling and dealing with and then some. They can come through and so can you! Draw from the strong around you, even if in silence (I sure am), encourage  yourself to avoid going in too deep into those feelings, and eat something GOOD (Talenti anyone??)

The truth about needing a Mommy Health Day is: WE ALL NEED ONE every once in a while and that's O.K.!

Take your day and come out of it with insight and maybe even a solution. See you on the other side!

In the meantime, this commercial seems like every part of my life right now, ENJOY :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Perfect Day for Apple Picking at the Alstede Farm

Checking off one of our Fall To-Do items Chunks and I chose a perfect day to head out to Jersey for our day of apple picking. This year we decided to try something a little closer to home and coming in at 1 and a half hours from NYC, Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ sounded perfect. The website promises several varieties of apples and other fruits and veggies for picking but with our experience that meant, apples and a few tomatoes, we were shocked to find that Alstede totally undersold themselves, this place is HUGE! The excitement started from the parking lot as we entered past the petting  zoo and pony rides.

Then it was time to get to picking! We loaded up on a hayride through the orchard to the fields that were ready for picking. I had my eyes wide open for the Galas but Chunks noticed the peaches first, so we hopped off not expecting much but once again, totally pleasantly surprised!

There were so many varieties of raspberries, blueberries, peppers, and eggplants that looked like pumpkins! �� Alstede Farms is beautiful! I'm always amazed that quiet, "country" life exists so close to the busy of NYC life.

The day started of with a little of a Fall chill but once we got to picking the sun warmed things up, making a good trip even sweeter. 

Once our load got too heavy to carry we knew we were done. My copilot was such a gentleman and insisted on pulling our batch in, thank God the tractor came back around to relieve him of his duties though.

After check out Chunks rushed right over to the animals and jumped the hay bales! Let me tell you I wanted to tear up a little because a year ago he would NEVER attempt this, but here we are and he never even looked back at me until he made it to the top! 

We got a few snacks from their yummy market which was so warm and inviting and got back on the road. It was the perfect day and I think we've found our go-to spot.  

There is an entrance fee in addition to what you pick but you can choose the all inclusive pass or one just for picking but it is so worth it. If you are anywhere in the area looking for an apple picking place, definitely check out Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ.

Have you gone apple picking yet? Do you do a separate trip for pumpkins or two birds one stone?

**Disclaimer** I was not compensated for this post we just had a really great experience. Would this smile lie to you??

Monday, September 21, 2015


loving- VIOLA!! Did you guys watch the Emmys?? Thank God for Twitter because I almost forgot it was coming on until I saw all the hashtags and retweets. I was excited for John Hamm's and glad to see Tracey Morgan back and cracking jokes but when Ms Viola took the stage and quoted Harriet Tubman!! RESPECT!
In my mind, I see a line, and over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no-how. I can’t seem to get over that line.
I love that she uses her platform, EVERY TIME!


reading- Dear Mary by Sarah Jakes Roberts. It's a series of letters written to Mary, the mother of Jesus from the heart of a 21st century mom. I'm loving how the same worries, issues, and complications we all feel are just our pain can easily be seen in the story of Jesus from the heart of his mother when Sarah puts it in perspective. Even before I decided to so a give-away for this I knew I was buying this and I'm glad I did!

feeling- EXCITED!! Today I start a new job and I am so ready to embrace a new adventure after three weeks of catching my breath and letting the weight of my last job go. Onward, Upward!

working on- my photo-book for my photography project 52FIVE! I was proud of myself for sticking with it so I wanted to commemorate the images and memory in a special way. Now to do just that before the year ends... Speaking on projects I'm working on a few more smaller projects before I attempt a 365, again. For October I'm only shooting with a 35mm prime lens since I've become obsessed with my 50mm, time to see things a little wider :-)

watching- Fixer Upper! Chip and Joanna are so hilarious and just great at what they do. I don't know if I'd mine all the dogs and chickens running around somewhere, they just make it all look dreamy! 

wanting- Two things really, I'm saving up for a big trip next year but if a fairy god-mother would like to send me two plane tickets that would be great but right now I'm really wanting a new lens, of course. The Sigma Art 35mm has my eye and it would make my new project easier!

So that's what's going on on our side this month, what are you guys up to?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sarah Jakes Roberts New Release Dear Mary Giveaway!

HAPPY FRIDAY!! We've made it through another week and I'm hoping that this weekend, after all the kids extra curricular activities, you guys get a chance to relax and sneak in some me time. Personally, once Chunks is off to sleep I indulge with a glass of something grown and dive into a good read.

A little over a year ago, I was battling how I was going to balance motherhood, a divorce, explaining all that led to the breakdown of our marriage to my little guy, and if I'm honest my frustration with God. I was the good girl! I did most things the right way, I wasn't fast, I didn't just meet some random dude and get knocked up, WHY DID THIS HAPPEN!?! Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in trying to recapture all our broken pieces we don't realize that we're cutting our own selves trying to scramble it together. 

One night, I stumbled on Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes and my eyes were opened to a whole new way of seeing my situation and seeing God in the midst of my story. Definite eye opener! Her testimony, her way with words, and her heart for rebuilding the hurt places in the lives of other women were captivating. Her story alone is incredible. After that I was an avid follower of Sarah's on social media and as she went on tour to promote the book, I fell in love with her style, her storytelling, just how relatable she was, and each chapter spoke my truth.

I was excited to hear about her new book, Dear Mary and even found myself in Barnes and Noble asking for it a week too early, yeah I was hype! Once I finally got my own copy, just reading through the first few chapters captivated me and I knew I wanted to share her message with all of you. In my struggle to just "handle" it all I'm constantly second guessing myself, "Am I doing this right?" or "Should I sign him up for this, let him try that" and one of her passages spoke to me and I'm sure a lot of you all, 
"We must recognize that we have been divinely appointed to raise the children God has given us. No level of judgement, anxiety, or frustration should rob us of the knowledge that we are equipped to handle the challenge of rearing the children society may not know how to accept." ~Sarah Jakes Roberts, Dear Mary
A few posts ago, I shared how a mom plays a role in the Father-Child dynamic and at a time that I needed to be reminded of my own advice I read Sarah's words,
"One of the daunting challenges of parenting is the inability to govern the role of your co-parent." ~Sarah Jakes Roberts, Dear Mary
I felt like, YES! Someone feels me! I've had this book with me for about a week now and my journal is overflowing with new thoughts just based on her perspective. Isn't that what a good book is supposed to do?

I am so very honored to have teamed up with Sarah for this giveaway and I hope that whoever wins will be as blessed as I was.


Sarah Jakes Roberts and her team are graciously offering one (1) New York State of Mom reader a copy of her new book, Dear Mary-Lessons From the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom. To enter sign up for the new NewYorkStateofMom Newsletter below where you will also find out about the giveaway bonus! This is the only mandatory entry. The bonus is a good one, but you've got to sign up to find out about it! Leave a comment below that you're all signed up!

For a second entry, "like" NewYorkStateofMom on Facebook. Leave a separate comment below letting me know you've done so. 

For a third entry, follow NewYorkStateofMom on Instagram. Leave a comment below confirming you've done so as well.

This giveaway will end on Sunday, September 27 at 11:59pm EST, at which point one winner will be chosen via 

Good luck and happy reading! 


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