Motivation Monday

Are you dancing in the Rain?

It’s not Monday, but motivation is good any day- right?!

Do you find yourself dwelling on all the negative things you have encountered in life?

Are you allowing the storm to cloud your outcome, your growth?

http://www.google.com

 

We have to be willing to take control of our lives especially when things seem out of control! There will always be bad days;  you can also bet that you will experience a day worse than the bad once you had last week. Its about how you handle the unpleasant things & how you deal with the obstacle(s).

I know we would all like to pop out that easy button & just skip to all the joyous, fun, & easy times in life.

BUT in order for us to grow we need to sit through that storm; we need to embrace the rain, we need not to fear the thunder. In order for us to grow & blossom into who we are suppose to be we must dance in the rain!

 

Health & Fitness

10 day Smoothie Challenge

I recently participated in the JJ Smith’s Green Smoothie challenge. I honestly dont know why I do these things anymore.

I participated in the modified challenge/cleanse, so I only drank 2 smoothies a day & ate 1 healthy meal. You are allowed to snack on veggies and some fruits in between while practicing self control.

I was pretty nervous about the taste of the smoothies, but I actually enjoyed most of them & even walked away with a favorite flavor & runner up! 🙂

I didn’t drop a whahhpping 15 pounds or nothing amazing like that, but I am down 4 pounds…

That’s a start people!!

Aside from this week (because we are moving) I have been hitting the gym 2-4 times a week. I am either participating in class called XFit or  I am working out on my own, but using a lot of what I learned in XFit!

Its gonna be difficult missing the gym this week as well as coming off the cleanse. Once we get settled in I plan to give it one more go & see if I can loose 5 pounds instead of 4!! #goals haha 🙂

Anyone give it a try? If so, did you enjoy your results??

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Let Us Inspire, Love, and Support – The #GirlLove Challenge

I was recently nominated for the #GirlLove Challenge by  Yecheilyah over at “Pearls before Swine.” Thank you very very much for the nomination! 🙂

I always feel really honored when someone nominates me for a blog award! I feel this way because I do not believe that I break out of my shell and connect with many other bloggers on WordPress and my level or skill at writing could be much better. So to still be noticed and presented with any nomination feels really good. 🙂    This would be the 1st I have heard of #GirlLove nomination/challenge, but  I did read up a bit to get a better understanding of the movement; I must say I absolutely love it!

I have been out of High school for about 4 years & I see more hate among women now compared to high school. In high school I always excused what I saw as “young women” not fully conscience of their actions or stilling growing into their identity; I cant make up an excuse for what I see now. Simply, woman choose to break other woman down because they feel threatened or like another women is competition. It should never be that way! Woman are strong, fierce, smart Beings – could you imagine Our world if Women used those skills to praise, build and support one another? Could you imagine the new level respect women would receive and feel!?

Before I get carried away, I will list  the women I choose to nominate for the #Girllove Challenge:

30 Tho

When I first started my blog, I stumbled across hers &  it immediately caught my eye. Her intentions for writing her blog & her daring actions at standing out in life made me look at myself with a different set of eyes. Her post make me want to try things I’ve been reserved about!

My Name is Elizabeth

This is another blog I came across when I first started mine a little over a year ago. I was drawn to Elizabeth’s blog because of her personal, diverse post about culture & race. The subjects she chooses to talk about are sometimes very controversial, but she navigates her words and thoughts with such ease and honesty. She writes beautifully! Also when reading her BIO last year, I learned that she studied Psychology. This particularly interested me at that time because of a school decision I was dealing with!

Loud Thoughts Voiced Out

I located this blog in the community pool I believe sometime early last year. I find that a lot of her post are easy to relate to. They are either things I have felt, thought or dealt with before. I especially enjoy reading her random entries. Some of them are inspirational, funny, simple, & relevant. You cant help but feel like you know her a little more after reading a few!

***

I know the rules state to nominate 5 people, but unfortunately I don’t have 5 to nominate. (The women I have nominated may find it strange I nominated them, because of our lack of communication- so I apologize for that now.)

Also I follow many other women bloggers who are amazing writers, composers, artist and more.

All of these women inspire me in one way or another; whether its related to blogging/writing, school or real life experiences.

Here’s what you do for the #GirlLove Challenge:

  1. Tell your followers who inspire you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis. 
  2. Tell your followers who inspire you in real life, a woman you always interact with.
  3. Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your #GirlLove post!

 

Even if you do not blog, make video post, or anything related to social media,please take the time to show your love and support for another Woman. #GirlLove

 

 

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The Cabin

Creative writing is still very difficult for me, but I appreciate these challenges. Writing Challenge #2, click HERE to participate!

Every morning around this time of the year, for about 4 weeks, I would wake up to the most beautiful smell: Pumpkin Marshmallow. The sweet-smelling aroma swiftly engulfed the cramped cabin where my family and I stayed during the Holidays. The scent was not overbearing, it provided just the right amount of warmth needed for those chilly November mornings! The sound of pots and pans raddling and clanking in the kitchen was just a little reminder that Thanksgiving was around the corner.

 

Mother loved Thanksgiving; it was the only time of the year that all the family came to town and enjoyed each other’s company. The holiday visit usually lasted about 2 weeks; once the it ended everyone quickly returned to their busy eventful lives in the big city! Everyone tried to stay in touch the first few weeks after Thanksgiving, but generally that didn’t last! It would go back to just being Mother, Dad, and the twins after the Holidays. The twins are Lily and Kyle; my family adopted them when they were about 6 months old. They are actually blood cousins, but according to documentation and family bond they are my younger siblings! In total Mother and Father shared 6 children: the Twins, Mark, Cassie, Paula and Myself!

 

I usually came to town a few days early to help with the Thanksgiving preparations. The week leading up to Thanksgiving we were required to get everything in the house impeccable, as Mother and Father prepped the food. Mother wanted floors and walls scrubbed spotless,  Fall decorations flowing throughout the house and the fireplace equip to burn chips of wood all week long. The house remained very busy and smelled delightful, between scented candles and home cooked greatness. As each day passed everyone’s excitement grew greater. The anticipation became almost unbearable the day before Thanksgiving Eve. This was also the day for the final touches on the menu and last minute cleaning sprees!

 

On the day before Thanksgiving, Family would start to arrive at all times of the day. Some would bring dishes of dessert and others would bring the liquid inspiration, not that anyone needed it. The men would gather in the den to watch sports while trying to smoke Cuban Cigars on the hush; Father would open windows hoping to air out the smell but it never worked! Aunt Francis would bring Christmas sweaters that she was able to weave together on her own. She was very good at what she did, but those sweaters were not always appealing. Every year she would request a picture of everyone in their sweater and it eventually became a Christmas card. Then there was Cousin Billy and Cousin Frank, they are brothers and I believe my 2nd or 3rd cousins; they always seemed to have a “new date” or “new friend” every Thanksgiving. It’s like those two were allergic to settling down.

 

Each year it seemed like our family grew; everyone was branching out and starting families within our already large Family. The cabin was always so full of laughter and love during these days. We all would sit and talk for hours about former memories and share outrageously embarrassing stories. Mother would always find a way to sneak in her photo albums; she mainly went for the same one every year. This photo album as outlined in the shiniest silver you would have even seen & if it was tilted in the correct position the reflection of light would allow the pages to shimmer. It was a very beautiful album. The album contained baby photos of my siblings and myself. Every year we created new traditions and even revisited old ones. Every year we argued, laughed till we cried and cried until we laughed.

 

*……..*

 

It has been a long while since I experienced a Thanksgiving so full of joy. Once Father became sick the holidays became dull and the laughter was no longer present.

 

He fought his battle as long as he could; but after 2 years of fighting it was understandable that he was tired. Mother took his passing very hard; she began to give up on life herself it seemed. The Twins moved out and off to college right before Fathers passing, so it was just Mother- alone. I asked Mother to stay with me because she didn’t need to be alone, but she felt closer to him at the cabin.

 

Days would go by before she returned any of my calls. Each time I talked to her she sounded more lost than before. I wanted to help her but I didn’t know if I could. She lost her life partner, the man she loved since the 8th grade. How could I possibly provide her with the right words and support to get her through this?

 

Each day grew harder; instead of healing I felt my Mother was withering away. Eventually she refused to leave the cabin at all. She refused to eat and take care of herself in any way. So I finally decided to move back with her. This decision shocked many of my friends; they didn’t understand why my older siblings did not volunteer to take care of our Mother. I tried to explain that everyone had children and families their own; to pick up everything and move thousands of miles would be unfair and unrealistic for them. However, it was just me. I lived alone. I dropped out of college shortly after father was diagnosed.  All I did was work a dead-end job and attend night clubs!  I felt as if my life was going nowhere fast and I needed to be with my Mother! I needed to add purpose and substance to my life again.

 

I did not realize until I packed up and moved with my Mother that I was also still in pain. I had not completely come to terms with my Father departing this earth when he did. I ignored what I was feeling for a long time.That was no longer an option when I moved back to the cabin.

 

My mother had not left the cabin for many months; she felt closer to Father there and I could understand that. We shared so many good memories in that place.

 

My 1st night back was uneasy; I heard my Fathers voice bouncing off the walls! I could feel his presence. I knew it was my emotions and completely in my head, but it felt so real! The smell of his cologne lingered through the cabin that night. I thought Mother may have sprayed it, so I walked down the hallway to her room. She was in a deep sleep. It looked as if the sleeping pills I gave her did the trick. As I looked around the room I didn’t see any of Fathers belongings. It looked like the room they shared and been wiped clean that he was ever there. I did not understand how Mother could get rid of all his things but still sulk in grief for his passing.

 

I grabbed for the handle on the door to exit my Mothers room, as I tried twisting the handle the door seemed jammed. I tried my best to wiggle it open as quietly as possible; I didn’t want to wake Mother. As I tried pulling the door handle for a 4th time I felt a cold chill down my spine; I spun around quickly and caught a glimpse of this dull grayish light. I shut my eyes quickly; I kept telling myself I was tired and just needed to get some sleep. My gut was saying something different! I turned back to the jammed door and heard a unclear whisper. I could not make out what was said. I thought it was my mother so I called out to her, but there was no reply. I assumed she was talking in her sleep.  As I redirect my attention back to the door I heard that faint whisper again, but this time I can make out what was said.

“You cannot leave me! We are a family! I will never let you go!”

In that moment I understood why Mother would never leave this cabin.

He would not let her!

Michelle A. 11/23/15

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The Man in the Captain Uniform

I cannot remember the last time I participated in a writing challenge; If I had to guess it was probably in my junior year of high school. I decided to try out the righting challenge presented by Ronavan writes.

I am beyond rusty, but I like the challenge and think I will use this to brush up on my “skills”

Here goes my short story attempt:

 

She stood at the window. Her face consumed with this look of sadness; Her eyes  empty. She watched! She waved! She endlessly pounded on the glass!

And she received no response!

She watched as the man continued to walk, never turning around to acknowledge her, never turning around to wave back to her. She continued to watch the man in the highly decorated Captain uniform slowly walk away; his stiff, unchanging walk, she could never forget. She watch until she could not longer see him and then she watched some more. She did not cry; she was to strong for that. She did not ask questions, because she already knew the answers! She simply watched.

Even at the young age of 6 the young girl understood that the man in the Captain uniform was a hero and he had to leave. She understood that no amount of crying would change that.

But what she did not know is that man in the Captain uniform could not wave goodbye without breaking down. As he drove away and seen that little girl in the rear view mirror , his eyes became full, watery and began to burn; he had to let out what he was feeling. He did not want to leave his precious little girl, but he loved his country and made an oath. He feared she would never understand or forgive him for leaving.

But he should not worry for she is strong! She is strong for for her mother and younger brothers. She makes sure they know that Daddy will be home soon, with hugs, kisses and stories.

The man in the captain uniform is a Hero, but so is HIS little girl.