Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Through Her Eyes!

Good Morning! I am feeling good after this long weekend. I must say, it was filled with good times, good people, and some relaxation. It was also enough time for kids to drive me crazy! One in particular... Kai! I love my baby, but she can be a nerve wrecker sometimes. I have to admit, that I sometimes lose my patience with her (no judgement, I'm trying to work on it). I'm just so hard on her, too hard on her at times. But I am working on doing better at being more understanding. I have to remind myself, she is only 11 and it is my job to navigate her through this world. She doesn't know everything and isn't always going to do the right thing, but it's my responsibility to help her, guide her, support her, nurture her... love her. It's my job, but it's my first time mothering an 11 year old Kai, and I am not going to do it perfectly. Sometimes I mess up...

Just this weekend, she had a moment where she required some discipline. This isn't a rare moment in our home, she's a wild child. But she seemed as though she felt the discipline was undeserved. After I did reprimand her, she began to cry. Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is a rare occurrence! That girl never cries. And instead of practicing grace and compassion, I felt annoyed. "Like, really? You are the one acting up and driving me crazy, so why are you crying? I should be the one crying!" I continued to scold her, demand she stop crying and pretty much threatened to give her a real reason to cry. I felt like a crazy person and I'm sure my behavior did nothing to help the way she was already feeling. Did she do something wrong? Did she deserve the reprimand? Yes! Did I take it way too far though? Did I forget to offer her some grace and show her mercy? Did I feel horrible after? Absolutely YES!

I felt beyond horrible after, especially after I have been praying for her to be more emotional. She is a wall of closed up emotions, she is angry instead of sad, mad instead of hurt... just never in touch with her true emotion. And the moment she cried, I forgot my own prayer for her and instead became upset. Of course I didn't think the moment warranted a cry, but who am I to say? I am sure my disappointment with her and my tongue lashing was enough to hurt her feelings (I have a mouth that could make a grown man cry and a stare that can paralyze), even if she was wrong and deserved it. But as her mother, I should have given her a break. I should've allowed her to feel what she felt, without any punishment or judgement... especially as much as I cry when my feelings are hurt. No, I did not hurt her physically but I remember my own words as a child. "You hurt my feelings." And that can feel just as bad, if not worse than any physical pain. No my rough around the edges daughter, wouldn't say that, but I should have known (better). And I should have responded to her better. Lord, help me to see the situation through her eyes. She is just a little Tamika :)  and in that situation, I would have wanted grace. I should have given her the same. I pray there is a next time and I have a second chance. I pray I did not cause her to feel like her crying was wrong. I pray that she forgives me for not being more understanding. I pray I did not permanently crush her beautiful spirit. I did apologize to her. I want her to know mommies aren't perfect either, but I can admit when I am wrong and ask for forgiveness. But I think I want to apologize again and have a little talk with her. I love her so much and I just want to be "in the army" when it comes to mothering her... (the best I can be, get it?) lol. Pray for me as I do this thing called life... it is NOT easy. She is such a little blessing and I just want to return the favor:
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her (Proverbs 31:28).

I hope everyone takes a little something from this post. Parenting isn't always going to be a smooth easy, bump and pot hole free ride... especially as they get older, but I hope no one feels alone in their journey. And as long as we don't get into any major head on collisions, I think we'll all be ok. Keep your GPS close and stay the course. Maybe we should carpool :)
Enjoy the rest of this short work week and hug your kids for me when you get home.

That's my peace!
Love, Tam

Friday, February 17, 2012


TGIF!!! I have been waiting for this day all week! How is everyone doing? I am my usual Friday self... tired but glad the weekend is here. I don't have any plans this weekend, but I've had a busy week... a sick daughter, work overload, Valentine's Day, more work, baking, living, work, loving, more work! It's just been a lot of work this week and I'm glad it is FINALLY FRIDAY. I guess it's been a little while since I've posted anything, so maybe I have a few updates...

the brownies!
with leftover frosting from Jules's bday cake
For Valentine's Day, I tried to show the people in my house just how much they mean to me and how much I love them. I baked a few desserts, took some time to cut out red paper hearts and posted them all over their bathroom mirror. Idk where the idea came from, but I'm glad it came to me because they LOVED IT! Matter of fact, they don't even want to take it down! :) 10 points Tam! I took off Monday this week , to stay home and take care of my ailing daughter but it also made for great baking time! I made red velvet heart cake and cupcakes and the most DELICIOUS brownies I've ever had... all of which were heart shaped in honor of Valentine's Day! Here a few pics from the day:

my girls' bathroom mirror


 Yummy, right? lol. This week was also my amazing sister's birthday!!! She is so awesome... there are no words! For her birthday (I think I told you about this...), she asked for a super, major birthday cake. It's called the "All-the-Stops" Chocolate cake , I didn't think I was going to be able to pull it off. I am so proud of my finished product and I had so much fun making it happen. I woke up at the crack of the morning (especially for a Saturday), drove to McDonald's to get the cup of coffee the cake called for, came back home and got to work! It took me all of about 3 hours + (would have been less, but it took forever for the icing to reach the right consistency), but here is my finished product:

...chocolatey deliciousness!!!
Grant it, it doesn't look exactly like the pic on bettycrocker.com, but it was delightful and I am proud of it. It is the first cake I've made as an adult... and the first, from scratch cake I've made EVER! I'm telling you, you wish you had a piece of this!!! :)

I know what I do need to accomplish this weekend... the library! One, Kai has a project. Two, I need to get my mind right and pick up a copy of the BYOB club book, The Five Languages of Apology. I am slippin' forreals!!! I feel like I am way behind schedule on starting the book. I was inspired to read this after I read The Five Love Languages, that book was super helpful and effective. And now, I am hoping to continue the effectiveness of that book and read the next one on apologies. If I am honest, I initially wanted to read this book to discover what my own apology language was so that I could effectively express to someone else how I hear and fully accept an apology... how selfish, right? But now, I really do want to be able to understand how others may need to be apologized to in order for them to fully acknowledge my apology and recognize it as genuine and valuable. I hope you all join me in reading this and even take the time to convene and discuss it over with me for BYOB (Bring Your Own Book, THEE book club). The date to discuss this read has not yet been decided, but I'm looking at dates in early to mid March, hope to see you there!

What else? Working out has been a serious fail! Hello? what happened to all my accountability partners??? It's not you guys' fault though, life just gets kinda hectic, I've been lazy, busy, sleepy... all excuses! I just have not been in the mood. First, it was because I purposefully took a week off since I had my hair straightened. I was NOT about to let that $$ go to waste, then Kai got sick, then I was just so out of the habit... it's probably been 2 weeks now. I should be ashamed! I really thought the idea of being a thin, sexy bride would have been motivation enough. Well... clearly, it isn't! I plan to back on track. I still have time to knock some pounds off, right? Hopefully. While I'm on this topic... I was listening to the radio this week. (Steve Harvey show, 96.3) And Nicole Ari Parker, from Soul Food the TV show was on promoting her new product. The Save Your Do  gymwrap, it's a bandanna/headband made for black women that's supposed to maintain our hairstyles while we work out! Imagine that! the answers to all my problems... so I'm going to try this "magic" product out and let you all know if, in fact, it really works. I am not hopeful, but i figure it's worth a try for a mere $29.99 plus s&h!!! They are trying to get over on us! Highway robbery, but maybe it really works and then it'd be priceless. The answers to all black women's problems...

I just wanted to update you guys on a few things... still in wedding planning mode, you can track me and my Wedding Ideas by following me on Pinterest. Other than that, I don't have very much wedding plans to update you on. According to my awesomely amazing Aunt Lisa, the wedding is a go! We'll see how it goes... look for your invitations in the mail, hahahaha.

That's my peace! Love, Tam

this is just a sneak peak into Tam World because I love you guys... my Vday present to the J!
He has a fascination with red shoes.
I am usually anti-red, but I think red may be my color for a minute! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ask Jerry?

Good afternoon gang! I wasn't going to post anything today, but life happened and it gave me a topic. It's just a regular Tuesday, I'm sitting at my desk and Kai calls me. "Mommy, can I sit on our porch and do homework with Savannah and Amber?"
This question seems simple enough to answer, right? It is a nice day, she's simply wants to do homework with two of her friends (that I have met). They are both nice, well behaved young ladies that get good grades themselves... it's simple. But my answer: ???????? "Ask Jerry!" lol
This isn't where you thought this was going, was it? haha. Thought I was gonna say something about pedophiles, or worry whether she will be ok outside while I'm not home, or concern of them copying or anything like that... nope! My problems are bigger than that (not really, but kinda). As this scenario is playing out, my initial answer was,  "Sure Kai, go ahead." Then I may have gone on about behaving herself, and knowing the rules, and... blah blah. Just the regular parental guidance I give, so she can't say I didn't say not to. But no, "ask Jerry." He is off work today, maybe he was home, maybe he wasn't... idk. But I have to take into consideration his opinion and instead of being the middle man, I sent her straight to the source. This is all in an effort to effectively and purposefully establish the chain of command. Now, I am new at this. I am not from a blended family. When my mom and dad divorced, yes my mom moved on (kinda) but she never remarried, nor did I ever have to establish a real relationship with a "new father". I am about to admit something (shocking)... I don't know what I'm doing!!! I don't know if I am going about this the right way, I don't know if I am contributing to raising a healthy, well adjusted child or if I am (for lack of better term)... drastically mucking her up for life!
There are plenty of happy daughter/step father relationships out there, but how? What did they do different. I only hear of the ones where the daughters are rebellious and unhappy. I don't want that for my daughter. I don't want to just let her fall by the wayside feeling like she was treated unfair or unloved. I want my Kai, just as she is, for the rest of her life. I want to know I did right by her! And then again, I don't want her thinking she has it so good that Jerry doesn't need to be respected. I don't want her thinking "my mommy always has my back so I can do or say whatever I want to Jerry. He's not my daddy." And knowing her like I do, she is not far from this attitude. Oh! don't get me wrong, they get along and have their own thing but sometimes she can get out of line and I have to check her! But... I don't want to have to forever, I want the love and respect to just be there. And I need to know how I do it. I pray about this everyday. I know God is hearing me, but is there more I can/ should be doing? Some book I should be reading? That's why we need "Tam Talk", someone knows how to help me get through this but where is the platform to speak on it?
This weekend, Kai wanted to know if a friend could come over. In my mind, my answer is yes. But actual my answer: "ask Jerry". And she accepts this with no problem, but is it overkill? (does she accept it so readily because Jerry tends to always say yes? What if he said no? Would she have a conniption?) Should I be asking Jerry for her? Should I just be giving my answer without Jerry consultation all the time? *sighs* Just so many questions. Maybe there is no right way, maybe my proactive awareness is a good first step, maybe prayer and love will cover it. I just don't want to mess up! I am really concerned, can you tell? Things appear all good right now, but I don't want to be caught up on how it seems, I don't want to be at the point where it's beyond fixing. I want help before I NEED the help and it's too late.
I am going to attempt to form a panel and get some answers! Are you currently blending a family, are you the product of a blended family, the friend of a member of a blended family, do you have a blender? lol Do you have any thought on this at all? HELP! There should really be a help group for this... do I hear a topic for Tam Talk?

That's my peace!

Love, Tam

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Where You Been?

Happy February, Happy Black History Month, Happy Thursday!

I've missed you, where you been? Oh! Where I been? Just living and working... like a Hebrew slave. LOL! No really, Idk what's been going on with me but I have been real MIA. I hate to say it, but its hard to blog when everything is going so AWESOMELY! I have nothing to complain about, nothing to vent on, no worries... I've got Jesus, my J, good kids, a happy family, supportive friends... and ON and ON! Life is just grand. I mean, I have had my moments of... blah, but nothing to lose my head over. Some wedding stresses here and there, but I'll take that cause guess what? I'm about to be married! Even better than that, I'm marrying the love of my life :) and it doesn't get any better than that.
what else? I have been procrastinating the heck out of deciding on the next BYOB club book... so much pressure! I don't know what I want to read. The Five Languages of Apology are at the top of my list, but I feel like I may be the only one (other than Jules) interested in that. I don't want to be a selfish book club leader. What is everyone else reading?

I have not baked anything in awhile. Jules did give me a cake challenge for her birthday, doesn't she know I don't do cake?! That's her thing, she's the one that got the stand mixer for Christmas, all I got was a cupcake calendar (that I re gifted to her!) I was thinking about making these football brownies in honor of the Superbowl this weekend. I talked myself out of having something at the house, I just don't feel like it. Thinking, planning, cooking and then cleaning up after.. just too much! So, idk what I'm gonna do for the big game on Sunday... sit on my couch and watch on my own screen (eating my football brownies)? Sounds like a plan! haha.

Valentine's Day is coming up! I love LOVE! I don't need flowers or a gift (although they are nice and much appreciated) but I don't need any of that, I get Valentine's Day everyday in my house. I do believe the day is over commercialized, hyped up and leaves a bunch of ladies feeling depressed and disappointed... it's just one day boo! I love you, God loves you, love yourself and let it go! I always get something for my girls. I want them to know they don't need to be expecting some Valentine from some dirty little boy, mommy loves you more than any of them ever could! I don't want to hear nothing about none of you sitting in the house cause you can't find a date for Valentine's Day. You hear me? And I'm not just saying this because I already have mine! This is "24/7, Jerry or not" Tamika! I know all about love and it is NOT because of J (sorry babe), but... I know who first loved me. Not my mama, Lord knows not my daddy... God did! And he loves you all too. In honor of Valentine's Day this month, I am going to give you some LOVE straight from the source:

Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, if the idea of the Valentine's Day season get you to feeling blue, remember that God is LOVE and he wants you to be his Valentine.
 I think that may be it for today! I hope to share some LOVE with you up until Valentine's Day, a little something something to get you through. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day, almost to the weekend! Whoop whoop!!!

That's my peace!
Love, Tam