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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Hometown: Part 2

This weekend, I realized why I moved back to Virginia Beach, my crazy, silly, quirky family. I’ve been away chasing my dreams for the past eight years. I would come back periodically to visit, unwind, and collect myself. But, now I live just minutes away from my family. At first I thought they would cramp my style. You know how it is; mom calling all the time, sister nagging you, parents interjecting their opinion on your life choices. I can’t say I haven’t gotten a little of that. But, I’ve realized it’s perfectly ok.
               This weekend after a day of much needed girl time, I spent Saturday evening with my family. It was nothing extravagant. Come to think of we aren’t really extravagant people. My best childhood memories are simple; watching family home videos, eating breakfast together, and sometimes pranking each other. Yea we are a silly bunch.

                My mom, dad, sister and I went grocery shopping at Sam’s Club. We love a bargain. She pushed her giant Sam’s club cart up and down the warehouse aisles, and I could barely keep up. I forgot my mother walks like she is always on a mission.
                “Oh my God, mom why are you walking so fast?” I said trying my best to keep up with her.

                “You are so young girl, why are you lagging behind?,” she said. 
                “Mom, I like to stroll. Stroll mom, I’m a stroll kind of chick.”

Honest goodness my mother turned around and said, “Girl ain’t nobody got time for strolling.”
              This is my mother, always on the move, never resting, she always has a project.  My Dad is perusing the electronic aisle. I am secretly hoping he is shopping for the lab top I put on my Christmas list. Fingers crossed. He comes back and forth to the shopping cart periodically dropping almonds, water, and fruit in the basket. My Dad is always trying to be healthy. I think it’s where I get my eating habits from. Sometimes I stumble and order fries, ketchup and value size the tea. But, most of the time I am inclined to reach for healthier items; hummus, salad, baked chicken. As a Navy man my Dad is always trying to stay in shape. I remember as a kid he would wake up at 3:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to exercise before work. I think this is why I’m always trying to stay active.

I am trying to be budget conscience so before I place my items in the basket I access the price.
                 “Umm, seven dollars for a huge thing of mouthwash? I’m not doing that, “ I said.

                My mom smiles, “Well that is what you get when you come to a bulk store.”
                I decide I will find a CVS coupon and buy a smaller bottle. By the time we reach the check out line our cart is overflowing with my food, dad’s food, and the family’s food. I tell my mom I will pay her in cash the next day. She nods.

                “Hey, I’ll get pizza for dinner tonight,” I said.
                My mother never asks me to repay her for groceries. I want to say, “Mom how much do I owe you?”
                But, I know she really wants to do this for me without me drawing attention to it so I remain quiet on the ride to my condo. We separate groceries and my speedy Gonzalez mother hauls three bags inside and drops them on my kitchen floor. Again, why are we rushing?
             Afterwards we all go back to my parents place to chill. I realize I haven’t chilled with my family in three months. I've been busy chasing assignments, dating, and trying to lose weight.

            My dad goes into his home office off the kitchen. Inside his walls are covered with our accomplishments.  Me and my brother’s college diplomas hang on the wall. My first head shot I gave him for Christmas is prominently in front of his desk. My sister’s drawings are hanging on a cork board. A picture of me and Aunt Doris is hanging up behind his desk. My mom’s nursing degree is also on the wall. My dad is extremely proud of us. I never doubt that. He may not always say it with his words but I know in my heart my dad works to help us achieve our dreams. If it weren’t for him helping me in college I know I wouldn’t be doing my dream job. He always wanted me to have more than he did. And, honestly at 29 I do have more than he did when he was in 20’s. I own a condo, I drive the car I love, and I almost never go without. Dad you’ve done well.

                My mom makes me a glass of sangria, and I curl up in dad’s huge, brown recliner in his office, strategically placed in front of the television. I never realized how comfortable this chair is.  After a few sips of sangria, and about 10 minutes of watching old Dateline episodes with my dad, I am asleep. When I wake up I feel so extremely rested, motivated, and recharged. There is a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter in the air. Mom is making cookies. How did she know I wanted cookies. With my mom’s peanut butter and chocolate cookies, sangria, and my iPad I get to work. I am my mother’s daughter, I am constantly working even when I know I should be taking a break. I try to be the queen of multitasking. There is a documentary about the D.C. Snipers on. I am watching t.v. , checking emails, and talking to my dad about how crazy the sniper cases were. Once the documentary is over, I figure it is time to go. As I’m about to leave dad picks up the remote and changes the channel. The picture turns to snowy, white air mess.
                “Hmm, I wonder what happen?” he said.

                “Did you try restarting the t.v. that works at my place,” I said.

                Dad spends about 15 minutes trouble shooting this t.v. mess and I can tell he is getting frustrated. I decide to leave the room so he can figure the TV problem.

                “That’s it I’m calling Cox cable,” he says.

                I shake my head. My dad for the most part is a patient man, but when he get frustrated it’s another story. And, for some reason my brother always find his frustration funny. Wrong, I know.  I walk back in the room, to see dad holding the television remote in one hand and the phone in the other hand.

                “What do you want me to do read out all the buttons on the remote?” dad says.
                I am laughing as I write this. My dad’s frustration is hilarious. I can’t even contain my laughter right now. I must tell my brother what is going on. I go down to the extra room off the house we call “the man room” It’s a huge space with a bar, refrigerator, and a television. It was once my dad’s man cave until my brother moved back.

                “Jimmy you have to hear dad on the phone with the Cox people.”
                 I explain to my brother what is going on and he bursts into laughter too. I walk back to my dad’s office, and the television is working again.

                “Can you believe she wanted me to read the numbers on the remote,” dad says.
                “Dad, that poor Cox lady is probably so irritated right now.”

                “Yea, she probably is but they work 24 hours,” he says.

                My dad is hilarious. It’s getting late so I pack up all  my stuff to leave. I walk in the living room to see my mother asleep on the couch and my nine pound Chorkie nestled next to her.
                “Goliath, come on it’s time to go home,” I say.

                He lifts his little head, and then turns it to my mother.
                “Come on Goliath, let’s go,” I repeat.

                He does not move. Even my dog finds comfort at my parents place. I can’t even get hurt about it.  I understand why he loves my family. They are actually kind of cool. Sometimes they drive me crazy, but most of the time I adore them.




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why I love the new Kimye Music Video - Bound 2

Ellen premiered Kayne West music video 'Bound 2' you on her show.

Watch it and then read.

Full disclosure I don't like Kayne West's attitude. I think he is overly arrogant, and full of himself. I didn't buy this his last CD because I thought it was a overreach --- I mean calling yourself Yezzus come on dude.... But, I am in love with this song.

It's obviously a love letter to Kim. In the song Kayne talks about how they met, how he waited for her to stop playing around with all those other guys. Listen to the verse,  'How you gonna be mad on vacation.' He's saying Kim, 'How is it that you have everything handed to you, a man on your side and you still aren't happy. It's because you weren't in love with these men.' To me it is incredibly endearing song. Notice Kayne is tough in public but raw and sensitive in his music. Listen to 'Roses' about the passing of his grandmother. That man has heart. It is only in his music that he can express these types of feelings. For some reason he just can't translated that humility into real life. So I get you Kayne.

I love hearing how Kim actually opened up to Kayne. If you're a pop queen like me you know Kim and Kayne have been friends for years. It is obviously that their friendship bloomed into a romance. And, falling in love with your best friend is one of the best things ever. Trust me ladies... if you haven't fallen in love with your best friend then keeping looking honey cause it's magical. So with all these other guys Kris Humpries, that guy she dated from the Cowboys (I seriously don't recall his name) , Reggie Bush; these are men Kim obviously dated before she knew herself. Before she knew that love was more than just a handsome man and some good loving. There is not doubt in my mind her past men were great lovers (inappropriate I know). But with Kayne I think this is the one man she can let her hair down with. I mean listen how she looks to him in this video. It's not just that she is almost naked. She is bare, raw , and open with this man. That is what her nudity in this video signifies. And, I think it is beautiful. it takes a lot to be that vulnerable with someone.

God I love this song---- before you judge Kim for showing off her fabulous body listen deeply to this song. Watch the way she gazes at him. It's so romantic. Before you say, 'Kayne you're so vain.' Listen to this song. Hear how he's professing his love for her, the mother of his only child.

I'm not saying this song means they are going to last--- but I am saying this song shows they are truly, madly deeply in love right now. I am officially team Kimye now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Enough

I have an over active mind. Thoughts, reminders, deadlines whizz past me so fast I can barely linger in moments for too long. While I’m applying my makeup I’m thinking about how I will look on air. I am worried about the impending bills stacking up on my kitchen table.  When I get to work I am ball of anxiety. I worry what the competition has. I wonder if they got the interview I wanted. I’m thinking so much I am forgetting to engage.

                I worry the pudge I call a stomach will never get smaller no matter how hard I diet. I worry my hair is going to mess up before my live shot. I worry my paycheck will only cover my expenses and nothing else.

                A few weeks ago my pastor from Lynchburg sent me a text message. I had it on my heart to call him, but never got around to it. Then I woke up and saw this on my phone, Matt 6:33. Nothing more nothing. It’s a scripture about giving it all to God, releasing worry.

Matthew 6:33 “Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink ? or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.   I read the scripture, and I thought to myself, ‘Lord I can’t do this. I can’t make people like me. I can’t fix things at work. I can’t pay all these bills. I need you. I give it all to you.’                Since I said that prayer I’ve had more than enough. In fact I’ve had just enough to make it this past two weeks. And, I’m thinking why do I try to take on the world by myself when my Heavenly Father says He will carry my burdens?  My Heavenly Father is a provider, a healer, a comforter. Why do I worry?                This verse started to work in my life immediately. I told God I needed some motivation to get healthy again. He brought my hair stylist into my life whose all about fitness because of her wedding. When I work out with her it doesn’t feel like exercise. We talk, laugh, and before long I’ve killed a whole hour. She was the jumpstart I needed. I’ve been working out every other day, and I’ve already lost five pounds. Normally I’m an emotionally eater. But, all I have a taste for is water and fruit, healthy stuff.

                I told God I wanted to fall in love again. The very man I was trying to push away took care of me, and comforted me in ways I didn’t think were possible. I had this freak allergic reaction and my right eye was swollen shut two weeks ago. He was not the least bit grossed out. He raced to the store to get me Benadryl, and then took me to the doctor. He even made me laugh about it when I felt so ugly. He encouraged me to write, and pushed me to work harder at work. He cooks for me, and lets me be when I need to work. He has shown me so many new things these past two months. Horse racing, martini bars, filet mignon. He asks for nothing in return, just my company. I seriously think it brings him joy to make me smile. To see me get all excited over Crème Brule. I am glad that God kept Him close by.   I told God I wanted more friendships. This week people I haven’t talked to in ages have called me, texted me, and asked to share my time. I haven’t had a down or slow day all week. I had lunch, coffee with girlfriends. And, I realized I’m a good friend. All the people I had to leave behind to start this walk with Christ, it was all for this.

                I told God I need help with my finances. No one ever showed me in high school how to balance a check book or how to budget. This week God told me to sit down and spread everything out . He showed me I made more than enough to cover my bills. I didn’t see it at first. When I paid for everything; I was left will only a little bit after all the bills. Then God really showed out. When I needed gas this week I discovered I had just enough money for a full tank. When I needed lunch one day this week, my stylist offered me some filling healthy food while I was getting my hair done. I love coffee but I’m realizing my Starbucks habit is not good for my budget.  God finally showed me how to make French press coffee and I’m so in love with caffeine again. I wanted to go out and my awesome boyfriend took me to see a really silly movie. And, it was all I needed.

                My God is amazing. So if you are ever worried or wondering how you’re going to make it. Remember Matthew 6:33. It takes more than reading it though. It takes surrender,  knowing that God is in control. When you give Him the wheel the journey doesn’t seem as difficult to navigate.

I’ll end with my favorite verse one that my pastor in Lynchburg (He’s a really great guy) gave me the first time I came to his service. I live for this verse. It comforts and guides me.

Psalms 37:4 ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the Desires of you heart. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dear Aunt Doris

I'm thinking of my Aunt Doris. This time two years ago I was counting down the days to spend a weekend with my her and Uncle. I made the trip to Mississippi in December. She would be gone by the summer. I didn't know then but it would be the last weekend I had with her. I wrote this with that time in mind.

Dear Aunt Doris,

Next to my mother you are the most important woman in my life. I use present tense because as long as I know you are in heaven I know you are still with me.

I wish I had more time to tell you what you meant to me, to show you how much I loved you, to know you. I wanted you to see the brave woman I've become. I wanted you to see the loving mother and wife I want to be, and child of God you knew I could be.

If only I known December would be our last time together. I would have sat with you, talked to you, opened up to you.

But, when I think about it I've had a lifetime of love and lessons with you.

When I was younger I adored your silky, black, long hair. I envied your light skin and feminine ways. But it was the way you carried yourself that taught me the meaning of confidence.  It taught me real beauty had nothing to do with what God blessed you with on the outside.

I used to love visiting your house in the summer. It was seemed like you were always doing something interesting: going to church, making gumbo, or reading scripture. Watching you I learned the making of a real home was the love living inside its four walls.

It always seemed like you had this direct line to God, and you called on Him often.  When you spoke about Him it was like you were talking about a friend, a comforter, a provider, a healer. God is someone you know personally. You taught me I could have a line to God too if I wanted. When I finally connected to our Heavenly Father you were the first person I wanted to tell.

I'm o.k. Aunt Doris. I've had a lifetime of memories with you. I'm glad you're home.

I promise I won't let my sadness keep me from living. I promise to keep making you proud. I promise to make the most of this life God has given me. I promise to keeping dialing on God when life gets rough. I love you Aunt Doris