The House Built On L♡VE & Shenanigans

The In's and Out's of Family Life in Charlottesville, VA

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40… and I’m feeling good♬♬♪


Turning 40 on the 20th of July was the most amazing birthday experience of my life. Not necessarily because I got to spend it in Jamaica with my beloved family, or that my experience there was quite epic! But more so because I felt and still feel an awakening, a growing sense of unbridled potential, and a renewed source of energy and creative power.

I feel as if I’ve connected with an awareness of my mind, body, and soul’s synergy, and deep down I feel more at peace with myself than I have ever felt before.

During the couple of weeks leading up to my birthday, I engaged in some self-reflection, and as a result, I created 40 lessons that I’ve learned in 40 years.

This was not an easy task!

How often does one stop to really think about the things they feel they’ve learned over the years? Some lessons were easy to incorporate into my daily life, and some were very painful.  Many mistakes had to be repeated several times over in order to get it through this thick skull of mine, and I’m still a work in progress.


So, here are my 40 Lessons in 40 years:

1. Being comfortable with saying no, even when it’s tough. Too many past years spent giving away that power.
2. Drama is no longer luring, it’s merely repetitive and gets old fast ( like the old saying, save the drama for your
3. Accepting responsibility. Keep doing what you ‘re doing, keep getting what you’re getting!
4. Happiness is a choice
5. Trusting myself and my intuition. So what if I’m wrong, I learned something.
6. Simplicity reigns supreme. The more simple, the less complicated.
7. “I’m Sorry” doesn’t fix Everything.
8. Being ok without a “Thank You.”
9. I believe in 2nd, 3rd, 4th,10, or even 100 chances. Keep trying until you get It right.
10. Things don’t have to be perfect.

11. Able to reflect on accomplishments and failures, and redirect focus.
12. Looking at mistakes differently. You don’t win all of the time. And that’s ok
13. Better able to understand many lessons thus far ( not all, that ‘s a whole nother post, lol) and make them
work for me .
14. The preciousness of time. It’s amazing how fast time seems to fly. But the real deal is understanding how
to slow it down ( living in the present), which I am still learning how to master.
15. People pleasing does not serve me. I’ve learned to be ok if someone does not like me.
16. Friends are important. Wish i had more.
17. Total shift in the idea of beauty which entails wholeness, vulnerability, and grace, which I aspire
to. When I comment that someone is beautiful, rarely is the comment based upon physical beauty, although
most times that’s present. (direct quote from the movie Color Purple, “If you ugly on the inside,
you ugly on the outside.”
18. Fear only begets more fear.
19. I don’t have to be my story (if you only knew). To God be the Glory.
20. No longer think about the past in ” shoulda, coulda’s.” I focus on what I “can.”

21. Asking for what I want, instead of toe tapping around the subject.
22. Along the same lines, learning how to ask for help and understanding that it ‘s ok (tough lesson
for me).
23. Acknowledging and expressing appreciation to those who have made a moment, my day, or even
life better.
24. That nasty thing called PRIDE. Recognize it. Lose It. Still a struggle
sometimes, but at least I can recognize it most times and make a conscious choice.
25. No such thing as being taken advantage of if you’re giving from the heart and without
26. Holding onto grudges and malice only hurts YOU. I can honestly say I can’t think of a single person
whom I have any ill-will towards.
27. Owning that your body IS your temple. Don’t want it to be too late before learning this one.
It ‘s the only body you ‘ll ever have. Treat it kindly and with respect.
28. People learn to treat you by the way you treat yourself.
29. Once you’ve “found yourself ” you can then work on creating yourself
30. Sometimes you have to loose in order to win.

31. To live my life being the person I want to be and doing the things I want to do is my definition of a successful life.
32. Discovering our purpose in life usually lies within those things that motivates us and brings us joy. A certain level
of self awareness is necessary, which complicates the issue.                                                                              33. Prayer changes things.
34. Can’t expect a Gallon from Pint sized people. You have to meet people where they are.
35. “Just Win Today.” Currently, my favorite motto that Marc taught me.  Sometimes you can’t see the forest, for all the trees.  Don’t worry about anything else, other than what’s right in front of you.

36. My family is one of my greatest blessings and purposes. They teach me there’s a greater depth to Love than I have ever known.

37. We are deserving of ALL things good.

38. The places in our personality where we tend to deviate from love are not our faults, but our wounds. God does not want to punish us, but heal us. And this is how we should view the wounds of others (Marriane Williamson).

39. Look not to the seen but to the unseen. For what we see is merely the effect. The cause is created by our conscious & unconscious thought, beliefs, and faith. If we
think lack, poverty, and limitation, then that’s what we’ll manifest. Likewise, if we think abundance and positivity,    that ‘s what we’ll manifest. It all begins with our thoughts.

40. Age ain’t nothing but a number! You are as young as you feel you are!

I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing 40 years, enjoying both the sweet things life has to offer and also feeling the strength of resilience of enduring the challenges. I am ready to embrace this next 40 plus years of my life and the many more lessons that I have yet to learn.  I look forward to the continual discovery of all life has to offer.


New York Is Alright With Me!



A couple weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of spending some much needed big girl time in New York City with my couSiS (cousin/sister) Julie, and our very young and super hip aunt Cherelle.  This visit was long overdue!

Let me tell you, it was one hysterically gut busting, good eatin’,  smorgasbord-for-the-senses-good time!

Having only been to the “Big Apple” once before with my in-laws several years ago when Marley Bear was just a baby, I really wasn’t able to get the full flava of the city.
This time was very different.

I was completely immersed in that iconic NY culture, so much so, that well…I pretty much felt like a born-again New Yorker.

But you have to be in good shape, both mentally and physically, to live in the big city.  I’m pretty sure we walked nearly 15 city miles, and caught no less than 10 brain-twisting trips on the subway daily. Plus we increased our carbon footprint by discarding no fewer than five fliers, pamphlets, and brochures per block for shows and various activities.  After awhile, I even learned how to not accept them… politely.

And how about all of my preconceived notions about New Yorkers? Loud, arrogant, gruff, rude, and inconsiderate – armed with their thick accents, coney dogs and pizza slices!  Heck, I thought half of those city slickers were intent on picking my pocket or swindling me outta my travelers checks.

I was expecting to see a parade of drug addled, sideshow freaky people (well, we did see a few of those, but hey, no judgement) who planned on accosting me at every turn while I walked, eyes down and shoulders hunched, clutching my purse for dear life.



Instead, I discovered very helpful, friendly, hospitable, seemingly honest folks, who contributed to an amazing and  flavorful trip.

Julie even lost her credit card, but it was returned to her the next day.  How’s that for busting the stereotype of the impatient, wise-guy borough dweller!

Heck, we even scored free breakfast our last day there at Cherelle’s cute little neighborhood coffee shop.

Not to mention, all the things that the big city has to offer. Our itinerary over the course of two days included a lot, but my favorites included:


This trip was such a fun and eye-opening event, that we’ve decided to make it an annual affair!

We felt like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.

Until the next time ladies…

And speaking of Charlotte…Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Charlottesville, the husbands where dutifully holding down the fort like good daddy’s should…a couple of regular ol’ Good Fellas.

Big Eddie, Lil Eddie, and Langston came up from North Carolina to keep Marc and the girls company while we were living it up in Gotham.  Instead of Three Men and a Baby, there were Two Men and Five Babies.  But no surprise, they held it down like they do!

Thanks gentlemen for helping to making this trip possible.  Get ready to do it all again next year.

Keep your burp cloths handy!


The Real Good Fellas


Introducing…Lil Eddie!


Delaney…the little helper.