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Love Under New Management!

mended-heartHey ya’ll! Rounding out this month of celebration with the talk of love. You already know that the village and I have these deep conversations about everything. Most recently the talk of love came up. With a village member getting married, honey we have to celebrate the love. I know that we as a village love each other, those are my sista girls, my brothers, I know that my children love me and that my family in general loves me, but sometimes you need to connect to a different type of love. The type of love that gives you butterflies in your stomach, hot flashes, cold sweats, that glow (not pregnancy). The type of love when you have found a connection with a significant other, that type of love. Almost all of us crave it and almost all of us put limits on it. How sad?!

I’ll admit I’d allow past situations, family, friends, social media, media in general to put limits on the way I was loving and how I was receiving love. People give us these rules about who we should and should not accept as far as love is concerned. They’ll tell you if he loves you he’ll do this, if she loves you she won’t do that. All the while they are actively accepting the very things they are telling you to deny. So you’re over here in dating hell because you can’t seem to find someone to meet all these prescribed components and they are at home getting that good old loving feeling. You turn into the bitter lady with 12 cats, permanent resting bitch face (Google it), mad at the world because you have accepted the opinions of others regarding your loving.

Now don’t get me wrong, not all the advice you will receive is bad or shouldn’t be taken into consideration. What I am saying is YOU, yes, YOU are the final factor in how you will give and receive love. It’s up to you to determine how your love grows, who you are willing to give it to and who you are willing to accept it from. Remember all these love test and videos and books from self-proclaimed experts are OPINIONS. You have the option of opting out of someone’s opinion. In my ‘opinion’ the best thing you can do while love finds you or you find it, is find yourself. Love on you!

So what did I do? I was like, I’m not loving nobody. I’m just going to date so I can get some free meals and drinks, see a couple shows, maybe some gifts, I was cool on what everybody was telling me to look for in order to find love. As I took time off from my search, I began to love on me, doing things for me, accepting me for who I really am. Then BAM one messed up date and I was like forget dating I’m just doing me. I was telling the story of the messed up date to someone and this guy overhead and was laughing. How rude?! But every day after that I saw this guy and we joked and laughed about things and got to know each other. Finally we meet up and the rest is history. Just kidding, we were both exiting love gone wrong and were looking for a good time (that’s some truth, we both we’re looking for a good time, lol). As we hung out more, I was told by my girls I started to have this glow, I smiled more, I was relaxed. I didn’t really recognize any change until the day I looked over at him and was like damn this is my dude. We laugh together, we annoy each other, we have deep convos about life, and we both are super silly. He wasn’t what everybody was telling me I should look for, but he was exactly what I needed. He filled in that gap that I had convinced myself was not one I was going to need to refill. I was excited and nervous at the same time. Do ya’ll know that feeling?

In my process though I had become a selfish lover. My love came with restrictions and if you messed up, I had the option of withholding my love. Let me tell you, that’s not way to love. I really had to pray and reflect on my selfish ways. I had to determine that no matter what, if I said I was going to love this man I could not place boundaries on it, it had to be free and clear. As much as we want the person we love to know our love language we have to remember that we are all imperfect people, learning this thing called love together. I had to re-organize my management style of love, I had to shred those old files I’d stored up in reference to love, in order to open to the new possibilities of someone loving me and me giving them love in return.

How are you giving and receiving love? Are you open to love not coming in the package you thought it would? Whether the love is for a lifetime or a season, appreciate it, acknowledge it, embrace and enjoy it. I know I am.

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Peace Be Still!

be-stillSo rounding out this month of celebration and all my random thoughts about life, getting ready to bring you hot mommies some hot mommy topics in the next month. But for my second to final know thyself post I wanted to talk about something momish, but can apply to all of our lives, but for me it’s from a mom perspective.

I was on the phone with my “uncle” the other day (one of my dad’s besties) and he was giving me a recipe for this Jamaican rum I have (by the way this rum is FIRE). He’d recently experienced some lost, his mom and then unexpectedly his sister, I was asking how he was after everything that had gone on and he said “Peace Be Still.” I laughed because I use the same phrase when life seems to be throwing multiple things my way and I don’t know what else to do or say. In that moment he didn’t have to say anything else, I knew exactly what he met by those words. We said good-bye and I started thinking about everything going on in my life. Life is busy and overwhelming and I am enjoying every minute of it. There’s so much to do, so little time, and then I’m adding more to do, my cup runneth over. I’m busy, to a point that sometimes I can’t do anything because I don’t know where to begin. Do you get like that? So occupied with the thought of what you have to do that you can’t do anything. I have a billion lists I keep to help me with those moments and even with all those lists sometimes that does not help the anxious feeling I get when I know what I have to do, but can’t figure out how to do it. In those moments I feel like life is getting the best of me and I am going to lose it.

Do you have moments like the ones I have above? The most minuscule thing (Being Nanekia….) can set them off. It’s in those moments when I’ve use the phrase “Peace Be Still!” I’m not using it for any certain thing or person, but for myself. It’s not the things or people around me I need to calm, it’s simply me, I need to calm down. I need to be still and center myself and seek out some peace. More often than not we as moms have a hard time doing this. Our children need us, our significant others need us, we have to work, half the time we can’t even use the restroom in peace because there is a need. Our own personal needs and the needs of others combined with a host of others things life can throw at us can interrupt our peace. Peace, Peace, where are you?!

Mommies (you others too), it’s IMPERATIVE, that you find your peaceful moments. STOP worrying about appearing to be perfect, nice hair, nice clothes, kids with perfect posture, making it to the PTA meeting after your 12 hour shift, gourmet cooking, or short order cooking, just STOP. If those things are important to you then prioritize them and if you can do it then YAY, but if you can’t and it’s causing you to slowly or quickly lose your peace, then you need to prioritize your peace above those things that are stealing it. In those moments where you don’t find your peace you can do more damage than when you decide to make your peace a priority. Don’t risk that damage, “Peace Be Still!”

 

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Being Nanekia…A Snake in the Garden

snake-3A little over a month ago I sent out a snap shot of a post I was thinking about to my crew. There were mixed emotions of the review, some thought it was too dark, others were like YAS (YAS, takes yes to the next level), and then no opinion either way. I respect my crew they have some of the brightest minds, but ultimately when I write/post it’s from the heart so here it is my view of the snakes in your and my garden.

A month ago I was watching the discovery channel and they were discussing predators and of course snakes came up. They were discussing how vicious snakes are even when facing death. Most people think you can kill a snake by cutting off its head, but in actuality cutting off a snakes head can make it more vicious, more dangerous, more eager to get even with who’s trying to kill it or whatever lies in its path. In that moment when the snake realizes this may be its last chance to seek vengeance, it exerts all its final energy in getting revenge. They explained that the snake knows death is near and it will have one last opportunity to hurt, kill, or destroy whatever it feels has hurt it. My eyes were huge I had to find out more, so I searched on You Tube and there I saw it, a decapitated snake fighting like crazy to bite whatever was near, it was insane to watch. Where am I going with this? Check below.

Some of us have snakes in our garden. We invited them in because at the time we were cool. Life happens, feelings change and relationships fall apart and that’s okay, but not for a snake. The truth of the matter is this person(s) was a snake all a long, just took sometime for you to figure it out. So what do we do when we find out, we cut the person off, we stop speaking, we don’t hang out, we try, if we are adulating to gently break away. We tell other people we not messing with that person, you break up. But as you can see snakes don’t take that so well. So they use whatever ammo they have to bring you down. If you shared secrets, expect it to be exposed, if you did something embarrassing, everyone is going to find out, even if nothing bad or traumatic ever happened around them, they will find a way to use whatever info they believe they have against you. You’ll be hurt, but remember the nature of the snake when it feels threaten or destroyed it strikes back with a vengeance. It’s sad, but, true there are people out there who you would hope wish you well but actually mean you no good. So what do you do?

Remember, you, my friend are a powerful force. That snake is not attacking you because you are timid and afraid. People are drawn to your greatness, your confidence, your drive, just you. That can cause jealousy to rear it’s ugly head and have your snake wondering what’s so special about you. And you, like me, most of the time, you’re just being uniquely you, the only way you know how to be. So, how do you handle a snake, you may not like my answer, but here it is…You pray for your snake! Anybody who can hold that much hate in their heart, after you all have parted ways, said your good-byes, and wished each other well, needs prayer. There is a disconnect between them and their greatness, so if they can’t have it why should you?. Personally I’m just happy being me, never really wanted to be anybody else. I always accept that what is for me is for me and that what is meant for someone else is meant for them. But, you will find some people can’t accept that, you can have the same thing and they will still want yours or you can’t have what they don’t have. It’s so sad, but so very true, there are things in your beautiful garden that are jealous of you.

So, Snake Conqueror, you have the tools in your arsenal to weed out these snakes.
1. Pray daily for the snakes to be revealed to you and to those you love.
2. Once you find the snake, pray for them, call them by name, and ask God to allow grace, mercy, love, joy, and peace to come into their heart.
3. Keep your distance, like my grandma use to say, the Lord commands me to love you, he said nothing about like. Not everyone is meant for the inner circle.
4. Keep being you, successful, brave, outgoing, a conqueror
5. Allow people to have their season in your life and when it’s time to part ways, let go.

Be you, Be great!

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Weighing-In

weigh-in
If you follow me on Instagram then you know that someone in my village is getting married. I’m so excited and happy, can’t wait to be a part of this very special day. Finally one of us is getting married, lol. My crew and I live life out loud, we don’t hold back, and we like what we like, particularly when it comes to food. We have had food themed ladies nights for as long as I can remember. Food brings us together, it opens the door for many a conversation, food comforts, and food just makes us happy. With the wedding approaching (we have some time, like 10 months) the entire crew has decided to get our lives right and get fit. Have you all seen the wedding squad goals pictures, we are determined to not be the umpa lumpa wedding squads. So what do you do when you need to get your life right, you take all your coins, and you join a gym. At least that’s what I did. Now 4 sizes later, I’m feeling like I can conquer the world.

Each week I have set-up different goals for myself to reach, not necessarily weight related. So far I’ve lapped the track 24 times (football field), lifted my own body weight, completed 2 miles on the elliptical in under 10 minutes (the elliptical and I hated each other in the beginning), doubled what I am able to lift/squat with my legs (my arms ain’t ready yet), completed a 4 mile park trail in the rain (this right here should top all, I looked a hot mess, but I did it), by the way I did the trail running at least half the way which is a miracle seeing as how I don’t run, for anything, ever. These goals have helped me see that if I put my mind to it I can do anything.

So there was a goal I didn’t even set, but I’m adding it to my accomplishments, while in Nordstrom Rack I pass a pair of jeans on sale, size 13, I’m like Nik don’t disappoint yourself just leave them, but I can’t refuse a good sale, so I picked them up. I was shopping with that One Handsome Dad so of course we were in the store for a while, which gave me ample time to contemplate putting them back because of course I couldn’t fit them. I bought them anyway. We get home I immediately head for the bedroom, mentally preparing myself for them not to fit. Both legs in I shimmy them, but then I start to notice I don’t have to do the shimmy or the jump, ladies know what I’m talking about, they are sliding right on up, then I notice I don’t have to lay down and do the squeeze to button them, I can button them while standing. WAIT A MINUTE!!!! OMG THEY FIT!!!!!! I have not worn a size 13 since I was 13, and these actually had a tiny bit of room. I am so excited! (Side note- if you see me wearing these jeans often, deal with it, I’ve dropped 4 sizes for Pete’s sake)

I’m excited on where this fitness journey will take me and will update you guys with the good and the bad as I countdown to WED DAY! If you are looking for inspiration on your own journey, follow my social media, FB: Just One Hot Mom, IG: justonehotmom, and Twitter: just1hotmom. Good Luck!

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They Love Me, They Love Me Not!

fist-bump-1Do recall when you first brought your child home, that feeling of euphoria because you two were so in love. You could kiss them all day long, touch their little hands and smell, the smell of a new baby is intoxicating. In that moment you two know that you were meant for each other, you belong together. The love you share is undeniable and you both know it. I love those days, the days when mom is the child’s whole world. We may joke about not knowing any other name but mommy or how many times our kids can scream mommy and want nothing, but those early days, years are the best, because that initial love is a love like no other.

I enjoy these moments with Anissa now, every morning before I leave to go to work she reminds me that she needs some suga, I can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks. She wants to be around me, she loves her mama. The other night I realized that those sweet little arms find their way around my neck around midnight. The squeeze was so tight I woke up for fear of an attacker (I’d just watched American Horror Story), but it was her, she was comfortable and I was choking. Who cares, I felt all the love in that little embrace. My son, Jamiel is that same way still. He loves his mama. He still gives me hugs without me having to tackle him, he checks in on me at night, and if for a moment he thinks I’m struggling he is my knight in shining armor, always ready to assist. These are joyous times, times I will cherish forever, because one day all this euphoric love will turn into something else, something we parents dread….The Adult Child!!!!!

I don’t recall the moment my oldest, Symone, turned into a three headed, fire breathing, blue fur, green nail monster. I remember a time when she always wanted to be with me. We hung out, we talked, we laughed, and we enjoyed and loved on each other. Now I know my daughter loves me and will defend me to no end but, that love at first sight feeling is GONE (lol). Now there is this creature who’s fighting daily for its independence yet still needs me to rescue it. If you follow me then you witnessed it before in, Mommy, I’m Grown!, this creature grabs my heart yanks it out of my chest, tosses it, and is having target practice on a regular basis. Okay I’ll admit I’m being VERY dramatic (VERY), but if you’re at this stage in the relationship with your children I think you can understand. At some point you are no longer the main attraction to them. Other things creep in like friends, other adults, hobbies, significant others, and whatever else is trending, you are no longer the hot topic in their life. That great love affair that started fizzles. *tear*

What is a mom to do? So far I’m adapting to raising an adult. We are never truly done raising our children. I may no longer be the center of her world, but I know that at the end of the day when the creature is quiet, she falls back in love with me. Here’s a tip, our children change, time changes, trends change, be open to the possibilities of things, be positive, and embrace the new way your child is learning to love. Everything won’t always be rose colored, but I promise if you remain open you will see some rainbows.

How are you handling your child seeking their independence? Do you feel like the love is gone? Leave a comment their maybe someone out there in your predicament needing some emotional strength.

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Sister, Sister…To Thine Own Self Be True

A few weeks ago my sister and I embarked on a little sister get away. We do this every now and then, just she and I, open road, or massage table, and just hang out the two of us. If anyone knows us, then they know that this relationship has had its ups and downs. My sister in the reason I started dying my hair, she is the reason my patience is thin, but she’s also the reason I am committed to being the person that I am, to being true to who I know in my heart I want to be. So sit back and read this sisterly advice I am about to give. It’s the same advice I gave my sister so I’m sharing it with you.

My sister calls me Leslie, has for a number of years, yet my name is not Leslie, my middle name is not Leslie, I have no clue why she started doing this or why I choose to answer (by the way Leslie has a nickname, Les), I tell you this just so you understand how weird she can be (kidding). On this day she called me by my real name, her question, “It really doesn’t bother you what other people think?” She goes on to say how sometimes she wish she could just let stuff roll off her, how easy it would be not to care or give a second thought to someone’s opinion. I touched a little bit on this in the previous post. I had to think a little bit, because sometimes I give off vibes that I am not aware of, it’s just who I am, part of the things that make up me. As I sat there and she kept talking, I zoned out for a bit, I’m sure she probably said something profound, but I had to think of an answer that would help she and I. Did I care what people thought and my not caring was a front or did I really not give two flat tires and it is what it is? In all honesty I wasn’t aware that this was my attitude. I really just try to be true to myself and live my life according to those rules.

Here’s the answer: It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I don’t want to spend my entire existence worried. Am I a good mother, am I a good person, do people think I’m pretty, do people like me, am I fat, am I smart, am I good enough, if I do this will people be disappointed, etc. There are so many things to worry about, that I have over the last few years spent time purposefully not allowing those worries to creep in. There was a time, not too long ago, where I focused on everyone’s thoughts except my own. I gave their opinions validation and set my own feelings to the side. I was miserable, but so what at least I was making everyone around me happy. Then one morning I woke up, I looked in the mirror and I didn’t notice myself. I was there but I was just a shell housing this personality that I didn’t agree with. I decided I no longer wanted to be just a vessel that I wanted to matter, I wanted to matter to me. Every day since that revelation, I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and I’ve made a promise, to be the best version of me I can be, To not get so wrapped up in my own thoughts or the thoughts of others, but to appreciate me, to be honest with myself, to have difficult conversations with myself, to love me. So it’s not that I don’t care, it’s just I’m happy being me. I am my biggest competitor and also my biggest cheerleader, I know when I’m making progress and when I’m being lazy, I know when my intentions are right and when they are wrong. It’s not just me, we all know this about ourselves, it’s just some choose not to recognize it. My goal is to impress me daily, to support myself, to realize I am a force to be reckoned with. I still listen when other people give their opinion, it’s just now, and it’s weighted differently. I appreciate all the love and support, the warnings and the guiding, but at the end of the day I have to be true to who I know I am.

Who are you? What do you stand for? Have you allowed others thoughts to form who you are? Are you happy with that person? No matter what be true to you.

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The HOTTEST MOM!!!

nanekia 1Every month I acknowledge a mom who I and others consider to be a “Hot Mom.” Trust and believe these are some of the hottest mom out here. Hustlers, healers, workout gurus, stay at home, corporate ladder climbing, young, old, new school, old school, there have been a variety. I see the beauty, intellect, and greatness in them all. Today I woke up, I looked in the mirror and I thought, damn! You’re pretty hot yourself. So it’s September, it’s the anniversary of the blog, it’s only right that I claim my own hotness. For the month of September, congratulations, I, Nanekia, am the HOTTEST MOM!

What it means to be a hot mom? To me we all are hot in our own way, we set our own standard for hotness and exude whatever it may be. So, let me tell you 5 things that make me “Your Royal Hotness!”

1. I LOVE MY KIDS! Most would say that this should be a given, but I don’t see it that way. We can each go through the motions and obligations of what we are supposed to do for our children. I charge myself each day to really get to know them, the people they want to be and the people they are. There’s an open door policy in my home we can talk about anything, I may not always agree, but the door is always open. Also I pray with them daily and instruct them on how to pray, I don’t tell them what or who they should pray for, but I guide their petitions. I tell my kids I love them every day and I try to show it, even when it comes to discipline, I want them to always know it’s out of love. I hug them, as often as I can. Love as most of us know is an action, which mean you have to do something, I can show then, I can tell them and I can hug them. This has become an issue with the oldest, but I don’t care I sneak hug her as much as I can. When she moves out (prayerfully), I’ll purchase a body pillow with my face on it so that she can know I’ll always be there with a hug.

2. I realize I am more than a mom, which makes me a better mom. This requires you to have some personality. Although I love my children immensely, I love me too. I make an active effort to nurture and take care of me, mind, body, and spirit.

3. Opinions are just that, opinions. I realized you can’t make everybody happy, like you or understand you. As great as I am, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and I’m cool with that. My sister asked me recently how I cannot care about what people think?! My response, it’s not that I don’t care, I just choose not to allow their opinion good or bad to consume who I am as a person right now or who I am becoming (we are all constantly developing). You can listen to someone agree or disagree and still be you. It’s a wonderful freeing feeling. I know who I am, my values, I won’t allow any B.S. to be planted in this soil over here.

4. I am beautiful no matter what they say (singing, which is not my talent). I look in the mirror and I like what I see. There was a time, long ago when I would be trying to alter all this cuteness, but I am truly blessed to love the reflection I see. Mentally the joy I get from my own thoughts may seem a little coo coo for cocoa cocoa puffs, but I’ have some of the best conversations from exploring my own beautiful mind. Spiritually I feel engulfed by the burning flame of my God. It’s a beautiful thing to know and love Him and know that He loves me.

5. CONFIDENCE!!! In case you didn’t get that from the other 4 things. I BELIEVE IN ME, I LOVE ME, I LIKE ME! (There is a huge difference between liking and loving yourself.) This confidence has allowed me to be genuinely happy when those around me are winning because I know that what is for them is for them and what is for me is for me and so there’s no need to fret that someone or something has stopped me or stolen things from me. I’m confident that there’s enough good energy in the universe for us all.

There you have it! I AM YOUR HOT MOM OF THE MONTH! What makes you a hot mom or a handsome dad? I’d like to know.

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What A Difference A Year Makes?

I can’t believe that my baby turned one today. It’s been an amazing journey trying to figure out this blogging thing. Am I doing it right, will people read it, do people care about what I have to say? Those were some of my initial questions, because let’s face it, audiences are hard, especially when you can sit behind a computer and let your opinion flow. I remember, I was nervous as I set-up the site, as I wrote the first post. I wanted everything to be perfect. I selected the pictures, re-read the post a 1000 times, and then had my sister read it 1000 more. Why would I torture myself? Then I looked in the mirror and remembered who the hell I was. Hey y’all my name is Nanekia, writer, blogger, grand diva of knowing a lot of sh*t, and on top of all of that I just so happen to be Just One Hot Mom!

I didn’t just sit down at the computer or had my pen and pad out one day, I took a whole year to map out, plan , what it is I wanted my voice, my blog, my baby to say. Giving birth to my writing was a hard, joyous, frustrating, epic process. I admire all bloggers, vloggers, small business owners, performers, it takes a lot to become transparent, to allow people to feel who you are. I don’t know about others, but when I put my thoughts out there, there is passion, fire, me behind what I am writing. It can be an exhausting, yet freeing journey to expose yourself to your audience. I pride myself on being transparent, open, and willing to have a conversation on just about anything. In the last year I’ve been blessed to be able to open myself up (I’m not shy at all), but to really explore who I am and all the hats I wear.
There’s more to come. More blood, more sweat, more tears, but also, more joy, more peace, more laughs, more favor. So cheers to all you Hot Mommies and the villages that allow us to set our souls on fire!

A special thank you to my parents (Jamal/Christine), my sister (Esha), my children (Symone/Jamiel/Anissa), Chef, my chicas (Erika/Vinessa/Laniece/Sabrina/Angela), glam & camera squad (Marisa/Jessica), anyone who participated in my special moments this year. YOU ARE THE HOTTEST!!!!

Check out the previous post: 3B Convo: Brains, Bullies, Bullets