Despite the rainy start to the day, this Sunday couldn’t have been any better… My best friend and I pretty much moved around the couch for most of the afternoon, seeking out comfy positions.
Happy Founders Day to the Lovely Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc!
As I approach my 15th (whew, I’m old!) anniversary as and AKA, I can’t help but get excited about the awesome women in my life whom I call sorors!! We’ve been together for college homecomings, baby showers, weddings, parties, vacations, sleepovers and every life event in between. Though I have thousands of photos, here are some of my fav moments over the years…
I spent my Easter weekend in DC with my cousin Cheryl this year. She’s the amazing food genius behind The Neurotic Baker blog. I have the pleasure of helping her with a few of her creations and being the live-in taste tester for a weekend. I swear I almost moved in with her after she made the vanilla whoopie pies below. Enjoy the recap…
Brunch at DGS Delicatessen… The Potato Latkes and Crispy Pastrami were TO DIE FOR. The bottom pic is the DGS Reuben, which was good, but I wished I had ordered the pastrami sandwich because I just couldn’t get enough of it!
Spicy Tomato, Housemade Mozzarella, Hot Sausage,
After such a rough time in 2011 (my grandmother’s death, the car accident, and the 4.5 year “breakup”) I came into 2012 with very low expectations of doing anything beyond my regular physical therapy appointments and late nights at work trying to catch up… but deep down inside I had high hopes for an amazing year. As the final weeks of 2012 are winding down, I can say 2012 has been an absolutely unforgettable year and every time I thought things were heading downhill, I learned that there are new blessings around every corner. Even the dark ones.
My motto for the year is posted below. Its a reminder that nothing is bigger than what God can do. Keep on trucking, and keep on believing. A little faith can go a long way.
As I enter my second Christmas season without my grandmother, I can feel her presence all the time… and not just because I wear her necklace nearly every day. The memories live strong and the love is ever apparent. As I read about the crazy events that are going on around this world, my heart aches for the families that are being destroyed and children’s whose lives are being taken during what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year in a child’s life. It makes you want to hold your loved ones a little tighter and say “I love you” a little louder.
Every once in a while I gather all of the photos I meant to post into a single blog… here is your entertainment for the week with a summary of some of the year’s events so far…
Valentine’s Day/February Birthday celebrations with the girls at Benihana – the chef left me a message *smile*.
Took this pic of a page in the Macy’s ad and went to find it… In the end didn’t buy it. The model must be way taller than me.
My dad was in Chicago the weekend I took my license and took me on a father daughter movie date that night.
A manager posting this after repeatedly telling me to stop walking/running so fast in the office.
I made it to the United Center taping of the Oprah show. It was the BEST concert ever!!!! I had a blast!!
Spent the holidays with my favorite little cousins at Navy Pier.
Took a trip to Detroit and got to see my Papa’s growing urban garden, including the cantaloupe along the fence (its hanging in the bag in the 3rd pic above).
Oh, and I grew my hair out!!! This pic is from June/July when I first straightened it after a few months of wearing it curly.
When I get a chance, I’ll post the food pics… there were too many to include on this post!!
I got a new car a month ago and the little cousins insisted on breaking the backseat in properly… Having zero kids myself, it was a bit creepy to look in the backseat and see two kids looking back at me!!! LOL… But we had a good time, as always, and I even learned how to install a car seat 🙂
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I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks and just haven’t been able to work through it. Now is as bad a time as any other day has been, but I want to get it done. So… imagine you’re in a bland office space, sitting in a high-backed chair with arms, wearing your black rimmed reading glasses with legs crossed and arms folded over the knees… staring at me, sprawled across your chaise lounge, one arm over my forehead, the other dangling so that my hand just misses the carpet. Yes, you are my personal therapist and I am your overly dramatic, demanding client who called you on a Sunday evening for an emergency visit… let the story begin.
I took the Principles and Practice of Engineer (PE) license exam in April. I’ve dreamed of passing this exam for nearly a decade but initially didn’t meet the requirements, and eventually couldn’t muster up the courage, to sit for it. It was stressful, intimidating and full of pressure. Especially since it’s a HUGE (pretty much the only “certified”) requirement for my advancement at work. In other words, I need to pass. And preferably on the first try. I don’t get the results until late June, so until then I’m on pins and needles. I need ZERO fingers to count the number of Black women I’ve ever met who have PE licenses, so needless to say, this is WAY bigger than just getting two letters after my name.
As if that weren’t stressful enough, my grandmother fell ill during my final study weeks and passed the following week. For some people, this is a sad thing. For me, this was utterly devastating. My Granny was one of my BEST FRIENDS for my whole life. We were two of a kind, if that could be possible in any way. We talked about everything under the sun and it was always entertaining to hear her perspective. She was my shopping buddy and most of the items I posted here over the years were purchased with her approval (and occasionally with her credit card, LOL). She was my Senior Fashionista Advisor, enjoying plenty of televised fashion shows and Nordstroms ad books in her retirement, always reporting back to me about who wore what and how I should try that trend for myself. I was her personal shopper, making sure she was one of the sharpest dressed ladies in the church. She turned me on to Coach and Dooney and Bourke in high school; I turned her on to Marc by Marc Jacobs handbags and MAC makeup in her final years (to show her sense of humor, she had just promised me a new bag for my wedding shower… only problem was, there’s no wedding in site).
The space she occupies in my heart is huge. Her passing is something I am still learning to deal with, but her memory has kept my family and I close and comforted. I have days where I wish I could simply lay my head on her lap while we watched Real Housewives, or replay that regular moment when I would first walk into the house after driving to see her and feel my lips kiss her soft cheeks again. She had a feisty personality and when people say “You act just like your Granny” (usually said in regards to my snappy tone or spoiled attitude), I simply smile because that is the greatest compliment a granddaughter could receive.
I did mention that there were UPs – one of my oldest and truest friends ever just got engaged (in the most adorable and unconventionally romantic way), while another is a couple of months away from having her first baby (which will be the first kid in our crew so we’re all very excited). I also got to attend the HUGE Oprah taping at the United Center in Chicago, which was better than the Grammy, Oscars and Tony award shows combined (blog to come later… can’t reveal the surprises now)!
I’m still going through more up and down in other areas of life and really I just feel like I’m ready for 2012 already…. As if January 1st really means a clean slate or something, LOL. Really, I guess I’m just ready for a break from life. I find myself staring into space often. Imagining what it would be like to be in a “neutral” phase or even trying to visualize what my “ideal” phase looks like. In the end, I know that God makes those decisions anyway, so my best bet is to just say a prayer, buckle up and remember to smile for the roller coaster cameras. I’ll be back on the ground holding that elephant ear in no time!
(P.S. Thanks to all my family and friends who provided support, hugs, cards, and advice in the past months… you don’t know how much your thoughts truly mean to me.)
With love, Cherish
My New Year’s Eve celebration have ranged from wild hotel parties to late night church services to being boo’ed up on the couch with a movie. But in my (not so) many years as an adult, I’ve never had a New Year’s Eve celebration that involved little kids. Enter 2010.
I decided to use the plethora of flight vouchers I had earned during the year and spend the holidays with my family. For Christmas, I headed east to Detroit and for the New Year I headed west to Minneapolis where my sistercousin Gabbi, her husband and their two WONDERFUL kids (ages 2 and 5) were finishing their holiday vacation with lots of fun and tons of love. It was definitely different, but it really reminded me not only how wonderful my family is, but also how much fun kids can really be.
The 2 year old is truly a SUPER model. This chick has “diva” written ALL OVER HER. I don’t have a clue where it comes from, but she loves to walk in heels, carry big purses, sing/perform and go outside. In Minnesota. In January. And I think its just because she likes to dress up in her cute winter coat and hat. She also likes to take pictures. Of herself. I don’t even know how she figured it out but there were about 25 self-taken photos of her face in my Blackberry by the time I left. The last pic is a drama queen moment… which she is known for. Its actually quite entertaining. She’s like a little Mariah Carey in the making. Oh,and she made me a Fresh Beat Band fan too. LOL
I did a little shopping and found her this cute Calvin Klein Jeans girls’ outfit on clearance at Macy’s (much cheaper than shown here). It was adorable on her!
The 5 year old is a kid GENIUS and sports analyst/fanatic. I’ve never seen a kid WANT to watch so much ESPN – all day long if he could! He absolutely loves all sports and can tell you the score/time/coach/top players/bracket for pretty much every game coming on – both college and pro (see pic below where he is cheering on Wisconsin). He was a champ and made it all the way to midnight, although he did get a nap in… but we won’t count it against him. I like to cuddle with him and I always stock up on hugs and kisses since I don’t get to see him as often as I did when I lived in Minnesota and was his “nanny”. I love the 3rd pic where you can see our freckles 🙂
It was such a fun, peaceful, relaxing weekend, I didn’t want to leave… and I’m already looking forward to going back! I miss them a lot *sad face*
Oh,and you might notice that I CUT MY HAIR! I went with bangs, which I hadn’t had since I was about…. oh, 10 or 12, maybe? When I cut them in Sharon’s bathroom with her safety scissors and got yelled at by my parents and made up some lie about my hair falling out. LOL…. oh to be young again! So my item of the day, almost exactly 3 years after the last time I posted this item of the day – A HAIRCUT!!! And once again, the beautiful work was done by none other than Mr Brian Graham himself. Check him out at Brian Graham Salon or check out their Facebook page… if you’re going to be in Minnesota, save up some money, pay him a visit and post a pic for us to see!