The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Re-Cap

There was quite a bit of traveling involved in this extended weekend. On Thursday, our little family unit parted ways because my brother Josh was graduating Friday morning (in NW Indiana), but the hubby was in a childhood friend's wedding and had to be at the rehearsal dinner that night (in Michigan).

The graduation was really nice and Josh got Cum Laude distinction - we are so proud of him!







Saturday morning, the little one and I packed up and headed to my mother-in-law's house so that I could get to the wedding. Pumpkin hung out with the Hub's mom and his little cousin for the night. The hubby looked VERY handsome, and the accents on the dress I got for the occasion ended up matching his vest. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures together :-( It was a beautiful ceremony and reception. Congrats to the newly weds!








Thanking God for good memories with friends and family and all of our safe travels.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Music Monday



There are so many great versions of this song (like CeCe Winans), but I discovered this a few weeks ago via a friend's Facebook post and now it's on my list :-)

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout
The universe displayed;

When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,

My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Check Me Out Today on the "Fit Momma Fridays" Feature!

Please show us both some love by following me over to Fit Momma V's blog today and check out her new "Fit Momma Fridays" feature - it's yours truly :-)

Ya'll know I be up in the gym workin' on my fitness...LOL

Things My Toddler Says...

He keeps them coming ladies and gentlemen:

~"My bed!" Translation: Mommy, put the blanket on me!

~:pointing to snap on pants: "My belt!" Translation: Unbutton my pants!

~"Look Mommy!" :pause: "Look Mommy!"

~"I want choc-lit nilk" I want chocolate milk...

~"No puter Mommy" Get off the computer mommy...

~"Mooooom" Yea, he thinks he's grown now...hope he doesn't stop calling me mommy :tear:

~:one finger on lip very pensive: "Hmmm..."

~:in frustrated tone: "Chum on man! Chum on!!" Translation: Come on, man!


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Things My Toddler Does:

All week my debit card has been missing - I absentmindedly (<--this word looks really awkward but spellcheck is letting it roll...) left it on the coffee table so this is totally my fault - and I had a feeling who may have gotten a hold of it so I wasn't worried. But imagine my surprise yesterday while carrying my MacBook and squirming toddler to the car, when my computer slipped off of the passenger seat onto the parking lot asphalt and an orange debit card slipped out from the CD drive slot...


Nate gets the "Samuel L. Jackson Side Eye" for that one.

Chum on, Man....









Happy Friday Everyone! Or in the words of this hilarious autocorrect fail:
T-G-I-Fibromyalgia!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The silence of nap time is music to my motherly ears...haha

No, but for real...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Are You Interested In?



Pastor Cedric was talking on Sunday about how we devote our time and energies to our true interests. This is either something we feel we will benefit from or where we have placed value. With this is mind, if we are going to move the mountains in our lives - an authority that we have been given from God (Mark 11:22) - we need to develop a genuine curiosity, desire, and concentrated focus on what God says. And in order to know what God says, we need to go to His word. This will then ensure that we have faith and not doubt. We must "make a decision about some things" and not go back, because an unstable mind will not be able to test the reliability of God's Word.

These things are:
1. That the Word of God is the truth.
2. That the Word of God is a "Yes" for me and my life.
3. That God has the ability from heaven to influence my life on Earth.
4. That the Word of God works EVERY TIME.

I have been telling myself that I want to read my Bible everyday beyond the devotionals sent to my email inbox, so I finally signed up for some reading plans through YouVersion.

This concept of interests/attention can be applied to our relationships with people too. Are you present in the moments of your life when it is important? Do the people close to you feel like you care about them and value your time that you spend with them?

Kerry Shook is talking about this in his series. He said that the miracle is in the mundane moments of life. Like when you are at home, so we need to BE ALL THERE. We spend so much time impressing people who won't matter when it's all said and done, and we need to build up those relationships that do matter.

Hebrews 13:5 is an example of God's love for us and how love should be:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”


So what types of things are you interested in? Does this line up with what you find yourself spending the most time on?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Re-Cap








This weekend, the Hubs met up with some of his close friends in Chicago. Since that is about 45 minutes from my parentals, the little and I tagged along to visit with my family. The oldest of my three "little" brothers is home from Georgetown for the summer, so it was great to spend some QT with him - and with everyone else too :-D



It was a quiet and enjoyable weekend... I also got to go back to the church I pretty much grew up in for the first time since I had little Nate. The little one has been there before with my fam, but I hadn't had a chance to go back. It was so nice to see everyone again.

Josh graduates from high school next week!!



Jordan is graduating from high school next year, so he is putting his football game tape together for schools:



I'm so proud of all my "little" boos!



Music Monday



So every time I hear this song, it is so on point. Thank God for blocking those things we know about and the things we don't.

Have a great day!


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There were dangers awaiting me
Destruction was sure to be
But thank God for Angels
That were shielding and protecting
And looking out for me
Thank You lord

The Devil had a plan to kill me, I know
But God intercepted his plan
And told the devil, no
God blocked it
He wouldn't let it be so
No He wouldn't let it be so

Haven't lived a perfect life
Seems I've done wrong more than I've done right
But thank God for compassion and forgiveness
That kept me from a terrible plight

You see, my life was spinning out of control
The fact that I'm still a live today
Ain't nothing, nothing but a miracle

God blocked it
He wouldn't let it be so
No, He wouldn't let it be so

For I've got work to do
work to do

God wouldn't let me die
Because He knew I had work to do

Oh yes

And I've got life to live
There are blessings
He want's to give
God blocked it,
He wouldn't let it be so
No, He wouldn't let it be so

God blocked it
He wouldn't let it be so

It was the lord
Nobody but Jesus

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grateful.

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein



It has been a fun and busy week for us. I have enjoyed every minute of it, so my blogging has been quite short and sporadic...which is fine with me, because I felt present and engaged in every moment. I have a little quiet time since my little one if napping, so I am going to kick off this weekend with a list of all the things I am thankful for :-)

- For my wonderful hard-working husband and son who love, love, love, and love...They fill even the dreariest days with sunshine and are one of the constant reminders that God loves me because He gave me my Nates :-)

- For the good health of all of our family and friends - something we should never take for granted.

- For family visits. We just said our goodbyes to one of my sisters-in-love and nephew who arrived on Tuesday. We had a blast...took the boys to the Children's Museum on Wednesday and Monkey Joe's on Thursday. Then the mommies had a post-bedtime date to go see Bridesmaids. The movie was pretty cute and very funny :-)





- For little Nate having such a fun week, playing non-stop, and then insisting ON HIS OWN that he take a nap around 12/12:30...this is awesome. Yesterday he said, "Mommy, I'm sleepy" and today, it was "I need bed" within minutes he was sleep LOL

- That we have food on our table and clothes on our backs. That God supplies ALL of our needs.

- For this lovely vacation I am having so far and the extra time I have to recharge.

- For the sun shining today and the weather shaping up to kick off a beautiful family-filled weekend.

I hope you all can take the time to think about all of the blessings (both big and small) in your life...



Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pomp & Circumstance


Keeping My Eye on The Prize....

This was copied from the School of Medicine news site:
Indiana University School of Medicine Graduates 303 Physicians Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS -- Four years of graduate study will be recognized with doctor of medicine degrees for 303 new physicians who will graduate Saturday from the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Saturday’s commencement will begin at 10 a.m. in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center.

With more than 1,300 students enrolled in the four-year program, the IU School of Medicine is the nation’s second largest public medical school exceeded by the University of Illinois School of Medicine with a total enrollment of 1,426.

Indiana University Executive Vice President and IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz, Ph.D., and D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean and Walter J. Daly Professor at the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president of university clinical affairs, will speak to the new graduates and present diplomas.

Following the formal hooding ceremony, Indiana’s newest physicians will repeat in unison the time-honored Physician’s Oath, promising, among other things, to practice their profession “with conscience and dignity” and always considering the health of their patients first and foremost.

The four years of medical school begins a physician’s educational journey into a medical career. Saturday’s graduates will begin residency training in their chosen specialties this summer. The length of that training varies depending on the specialty from two to seven years.

Just reading about Medical Doctorates being given to 303 IUSM students last Saturday makes my heart smile...One day it will be my turn!

Congrats to ALL the 2011 Grads!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Things My Toddler Says...


Since he and I will be able to spend a lot more time together...I have a feeling that he is going to have an abundance of hilarious things to say. And I figure every once in a while I am going to share them with you....

10. :Pointing to CHIN: "Ouch mommy, I hurt my CHIM!"

9. "Look mommy a toucan!" (he was pointing to a bird on TV and he was right)

8. "I want pizzas"
Translation: I want a slice of pizza.

7. :After giving him the look to let him know he's in trouble:
"No trouble mommy, no trouble..."

6. Thanks Mommy, Your Auusome!
Translation: Auusome = Awesome

5. If I am sitting next to him, and have the nerve to get distracted by something, he grabs my face and says:
"Look at me... Mommy, look at me"

4. "Sha baa Da!" Translation: Shut up Da...
o_O This is TOTALLY my fault and SOOO embarrassing because when the hubs and I are joking around I always end up telling him to shut up...so now Nate is trying too :-/ He hasn't done it in public yet...

3. :Holding Up Hand: Good Job Mommy/Da! High Five! High Five!

2. I'm told...
Translation: Told = Cold

1. (after Big Nate brings me and the lil one slurpees to the car)
Me: Thanks Baby.
Lil Nate: Hey Da...
Big Nate: Yes, Nae
Lil Nate: Thanks Baby.


Hope this brought a smile to your Monday morning...

Have a great Day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mommy Glam Series

Stormie Omartin has a number of books about effective prayer as a woman, wife, and mother. In her most recent book that I have read, she talks about how God wants a woman to take care of herself because it makes you a better wife and mother. Which was very insightful for me because this year, I stopped feeling guilty about wanting to do some of the things I did to keep it glam before I embarked on motherhood and medical school - all things in moderation, of course....

I am sure I am not alone when I say that many times I feel like I can go days without giving much thought to my appearance. I am distracted by so many other things I have on my plate. That being said, I don't know what I would do without being able to pull my hair into a ponytail, or wear UGGs and leggings. At times I can get down on myself because I feel I don't look as trendy and "kept up" like my other 20-something girlfriends - there is this joke that you can tell when a young woman is "trying to get chose" by a man from the way she takes time to figure out what to wear and how to accessorize. And then there's me...LOL

I am the one wearing flats when my peers have on the newest platform heels. Or I am in a less form-flattering top, when said girls are wearing the vibrantly colored dress that catches everyone's eye... Don't get me wrong, I can be trendy when I am on dates with the hubby, but the day-to-day stuff is usually a bit more drab...

So in order to take better care of me, I have started with these things:

1. New hairstyles - I have been practicing straightening my own hair and also trying a new natural look


2. Eyeshadow quads (This one was my first purchase last fall called "Notoriety" by MAC) - it is a easy way to mix up just having a single color on your eyelids, and it is all in one place (with directions) so you don't have to put too much thought into how to apply it - outside of what color palate you decide to work with... And you don't have to go the MAC route - I got a great smokey eye kit at Target... The Hubs doesn't like for my make-up to look overdone, but I don't want to look like I rolled out of bed when we are just hanging out around the house either, so I am looking for a simple, natural look...


3. A new pair of versatile heels - My favorite pair of shoes right now (below) I found for $19.99 at Burlington. They go with dressy days and jeans. Versatility for mothers is a #WIN


4. Working out (tried my hand at yoga and now circuit training via my Jillian 30minute DVD), getting more sleep (occasionally), and eating better


That's all for now, but I will continue to update you on my Mommy Glam strategies :-)

What have you done to take care of yourself?

When the Kid is Away, the Parents Will Play...



Our Natey was out of town for the weekend and the Hubs and I finally celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Yes, we are a month late, but I didn't want to have to take any books, notes, etc related to M1 year with me, so I petitioned for a post-semester vacay...


Anyway, we stayed this weekend at Oak Ridge Manor Bed & Breakfast in Creal Springs, Illinois. It is about a four hour drive from Indianapolis, and close to SIU Carbondale. The "town" is REALLY small, but VERY beautiful. The bed and breakfast is one of the most beautiful and comfortable places we have ever stayed. It is a 6300 square foot mansion that sits on 98 acres of land with stables, a pool, and beautiful gardens and trails...Our room was a huge jacuzzi suite and very comfortable! Although I love living close to a big city, it was so re-invigorating to be driving in mountains, untouched forest, streams, and miles and miles of farmland - it was the stuff movies are made of. It definitely made me feel so close to God surround by such beautiful scenes in nature....



On Friday afternoon, we checked in and then went to a popular BBQ restaurant. I had a beef brisket sandwich, and the Hubby (being the brave man he is) decided on the Champions feast. It was a hearty selection of FIVE different meats.


Along with the natural beauty, Southern Illinois is most famous for all of its unique vineyards and a number of winery trails. So, Saturday, after a gourmet breakfast provided by the B&B, we went on a wine tasting tour - which was really cool because we learned about the wine making process, saw huge fields of grape vines, find out what types of wines we prefer, and got to eat a lot of good food! We even made some new couple friends, also staying at our B&B, that have been married a year also and are from St. Louis. We ended up meeting up with them at the start of our tour and we hung out the rest of the day...It was VERY fun :-D After the winery tour, the hubby and I had dinner at a nice Asian bistro where we both had a version of soft shell crab - I had it in my sushi, and he had it as a main course.



This morning, we woke up to another deliciously prepared breakfast, and got ready to hit the road. Although we both wished we could have stayed longer, we are so thankful that we got the opportunity to get away for a great weekend and we are definitely planning on coming back - maybe next time with a group of friends!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My New SAHM Life...


So yesterday was the first day being home with the little one for summer and I must say that it went off without a hitch! I decided that the best way to go about things with a toddler is with some order and a flexible schedule. I must say that keeping a toddler occupied AND a house in order is much harder than just going to the library to study (I couldn't even get a blog post in)...but it's a lot more fun :-)

6:30AM Wake-up: Before Hubby leaves for work so we can say "bye".
We haven't executed the 6:30 wake-up yet (an early morning investment for some early evening QT with the hubby), but it's only been two days so give me a break. We'll get there...

Breakfast

School-like Activities: Yesterday it was helping him to recognize his name (and Elmo's name since he is such a fan...lol), what to say when someone asks how old he is, coloring, and we did 15 minutes of "Your Baby Can Read" - my mom bought it for us when he was like 5months old, but I haven't ever stuck with it, so maybe we can get him reading Dickens by August (Joking...lol)

Backyard Playtime (weather permitting, yesterday was lovely so it was)

Lunch

***Naptime*** shooting for a target sleep time @ 12PM (I was so excited yesterday when it worked!)

Wake-up around 2PM

Playtime/Help Mommy get ready to start dinner time until Daddy gets home


I was able to get a 30minute Jillian Michaels workout in during his nap (and tried to clean, plan meals, and our activities for this week) and when "Da" got home, I was able to go to the gym - I had to work out extra hard because being at home = lots of snacking :-/

Okay, well I think we are going to try and get to story time at the Library today. Parents, let me know if you have any other summer vacation activity suggestions, because...

Have a great day!
P.S. I know it's not Mother's Day anymore but I forgot to post this and I still want to (plus it's still relevant) - my blog, my rules... :-)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!



Today, Pastor Ramsey talked about not only what it means to be a woman who is fearfully and wonderfully made but, also, what it means to be a great mother. He focused on Deborah in the book of Judges (Chapters 4-5) and how "she had it going on" because she exemplified a good mother:

1. She settles differences - all mothers know (especially those of more than one child) that being able to settle differences is important. Deborah knew the Word of the Lord and judged based upon what lined up with God's plan for His people.

2. She challenges those around her to be better than they are.

3. She encourages others to trust in the Lord.

4. She reproaches the slackers.

5. She lets others get credit for things that she may have done behind the scenes - this is because she realizes that she does not do things for man, but unto the Lord
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If you haven't done so already, make sure you take the time out to tell the mother or mother figure(s) in your life how much they mean to you. And keep those who may have lost their mothers in your thoughts and prayers too...

Happy Mother's Day!!! xoxo

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Week Tribute Part III

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. ~Marion C. Garretty

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I'm going to wrap up my Mother's Day tribute series with these outstanding moms...

My cousin is one of the most resilient women I know. Like me, she found herself pregnant in undergrad - although it was during her junior year - and graduated on time with a degree in finance #BOSS. No matter what comes her way, I have seen her hold her head up high doing the absolute best she can to not only care for her daughter - but also, always doing what she can to help her mom and sister. We have always been close (we're a month apart in age - below is a picture of us with her dad), but every since she became a mom, I have began to look up to her because I have never known someone so young to have such strength.



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My Auntie is one of the sweetest women I have had the pleasure of knowing. She married my uncle (who is one of my favorites) and she is not only a great wife and mother, but also a wonderful friend. She was one of my closest confidants and biggest supporters throughout my pregnancy and she has continued to be there for me whenever I needed to vent about the stresses of motherhood and anything else. I love her so much; plus she has some of the most adorable kids on the planet...

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When I think about all of the ways the media portrays the relationship between a married woman and her in-laws, I can't help but think how I hit the jackpot. The hubby's family are some of the sweetest and caring people that you will ever meet.

Both the Hub's mommy and grandma (whom we refer to as GG now - she is one of the trendiest great-grandma's I know) are pillars of strength for their family. It is through their legacy of love that they have instilled in their children that molded my husband into the wonderful man he is today. I feel so blessed by them and extremely grateful.





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My "sisters-in-love" and I all became mothers within a year of each other.

The hubby's big sis just recently graduated from nursing school - working night shifts AND then taking care of a toddler during the day. That is nothing short of A-MAZ-ING. She and I have gotten really close over the past few years, and I feel like she is the best sister I never had.

The hubby's big brother's wife is another great mother. She decided this year to follow her career dreams and pursue her passion - something we can all learn from. I have watched her lean on her faith, and it has definitely inspired me to look to God to move my life in ways I couldn't have imagined.

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Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful mothers I have the honor know!

xoxox

Friday, May 6, 2011

What One Year As a Medical Student Has Taught Me

Now that I am not a baby med student anymore, here are some of the biggest lessons learned:


10. "Pass = M.D." Do you know if your doctor got "Honors" on all of his/her exams? Didn't think so...Granted, I did go really hard first semester, by second semester I realized that even if I didn't Honor the test that I spent hours studying for, it was not grounds for a nervous breakdown.

9. Plexiglass from Home Depot + drill + handy husband = homemade dry erase board

8. Sometimes you just have to take the day off to see a movie, take a nap, and be normal. And no, it won't set you back 5 years...

7. The things you will learn about in class this year resemble the cases on an episode of "House" (i.e. rare diagnoses you probably won't see). And when someone asks you about their cough or fever? :insert blank stare: o_O

6. Conversations about bodily functions and/or fluids are appropriate at any time of day - as well as during meals.

5. The best way to find out if you really know the material is to teach it to someone else...

4. Mnemonics are so necessary in every class...It's amazing how much you trick your brain into remembering because you tacked it onto a bunch of words that have absolutely nothing to do with medicine. One of my favs for the Citric Acid Cycle:
"Can I Keep Selling Sex For Money, Officer?":
Citrate
Isocitrate
alpha Ketogluterate
Succinyl CoA
Succinate
Fumerate
Malate
Oxaloacetate



3. Reward yourself! Even for the little things like making it to class on a Friday morning and actually paying attention so you don't have to watch it again...lol



2. Medicine requires you to always keep learning. I remember hearing during the first week of class "By the time you graduate 2/3rds of what you will have learned will be irrelevant, and replaced with more cutting-edge information..."

1. Even during those days when it seems like the world is going to end because something didn't go as you had planned with school, life still goes on. As long as you have been blessed with another day, you have something to be thankful for.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Week Tribute Part II

"Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever." ~Author Unknown

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My Grammy is a beautiful spirit - inside and out.



Grammy, ("Lou" - short for "Louise" as I affectionately call her), is a continuous example of selflessness. She thrives on finding ways to help others, even when she is facing challenges herself. Whether it is helping to organize a well-digging mission in Africa or a clothing drive for young mothers in Detroit, it amazes me how even today I have never seen her dwell on the setbacks that life has brought her way. Instead, she is a strong woman of her faith that teaches me that I should be honest about who I am, not be afraid to listen to how I feel, and most importantly, never stop loving people no matter what.



But don't let her small stature, stylish blond hair, and pretty green eyes fool you (isn't she a fox?). Grammy is a woman of strong will and mind. I remember when I was about 7 years old asking why she always called me "Danielle" (my middle name), and the explanation I received was that when I was born, she was hoping that my parents would name me "Elizabeth". When they decided on "Jasmine" in the hospital, I guess as an act of protest she decided to call me by my middle name "Danielle" or just "Princess" ...LOL

One of my favorite memories with Grammy (other than when she calls me on my birthday to tell me the story about the day I was born) was when all of the grandchildren (my brothers and I + our cousin from Memphis) would spend the summer at my grandparents' house. Grammy would make sure we were always doing something fun, were always full of food, and at Vacation Bible School :-)



Even though we haven't spent a summer there in years, today she and I are like old girlfriends when we get together chatting about family events, friends, and everything in between. There is so much comfort in her voice, and being at her house makes me feel like I have found my way home.

I know that one of the reasons I was blessed with such and awesome mother, is because I have an awesome Grammy.

Happy Mother's Day Grammy! I love you! xoxox

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And...I'm Out Ya'll...

Guess who is officially one-fourth of a doctor?

Guess who doesn't have another class until August?

Guess who is feeling like the winning-est, winner on Win-Win street?...






Now excuse me, I would love to stay and chat, but it's time for me to enjoy my SUMMER VACATION!!!



Ciao!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Week Tribute Part I

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
- Abraham Lincoln



Anyone who knows me beyond this blog knows that my mom and I are very close. So, of course, when I start paying tribute to some of the amazing moms in my life she is first on my list!



Most of our parents tell us that we do not understand how much they love us until we have our own children, and that is so true.

I was trying to figure out what all to include in this post, and I got overwhelmed, because when I think about all that my mom has been through and accomplished: supporting our family as a businesswoman while my dad was in medical school and residency, encouraging, organizing, and helping my dad to build his own practice, serving as business manager of their business, and now going back to school to take on a career in project management - In addition to putting everything she has/had into raising four children into caring, intelligent, successful, and confident young adults...



Yeah, I was kind of beeping my own horn there, but you know what I am trying to do...

Oh, and did I mention my mom is BEAUTIFUL? I'm trying to step my game up...Everyone thinks we are sisters when we are out together - and it's NOT because I look old... #BlessedwithGREATgenes

In my two years of being a mother, I have realized that for the past almost 24 years I have been blessed with one of the most wonderful examples of motherhood.

(Disclaimer: My mom is a movie buff and Mommy Dearest is one of our favorite movies to quote - she didn't ever do the "No more wire hangers!" thing...LOL)

Yes, my mom and I don't see eye to eye on everything, and things get a little crazy at times, but at the end of the day I feel like if I am half the woman she is then I am doing alright.


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Here are just some of the things I have learned from my mom that I hope to pass on to my own children:

~"You are the head and not the tail. You are above and not beneath" (Deuteronomy 28:13): We were told that we were winners everyday growing up because God said so. And before we got out the car to go to school, she made sure we said it too. We always would complain about the affirmations book she would make us read on the way to school, but now I have it in my house for when little Nate gets bigger :-) lol

~Family takes care of each other: No matter what my three brothers and I were disagreeing about, she always reminded us that we are supposed to always take care of each other and have each others' backs...

~Don't wait to tell people that you love and appreciate them: My mom is the originator of our going around the table and sharing "Why (insert name here) is special.." tradition on every birthday, and "What we are thankful for..." on the holidays...

~Don't be afraid to show people who you are - unapologetically AND with confidence: Growing up in a predominantly Caucasian community, many times we were the only African Americans in the school, on the team, in the neighborhood, etc. But my mom constantly told us we could be proud of our differences, embrace who we are, and never be ashamed of where we came from. Most of the schools we went to did not observe MLK day as a holiday, so she would keep us home to do reports on MLK or go to the celebration at the DuSable Museum. When I got to middle school, she was single handedly responsible for creating a Black History Month exhibit that they asked her to continue even after we graduated.

~It's your responsibility to thrive where you are planted: Whether we were living in Chicago during my dad's residency with VERY few resources, or in the small Indiana town I grew up in, she always was looking for ways to make sure we made the most of what our environment had to offer and made the best of all situations.

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I am so proud to call her my mother, and thankful to have her in my life.

Happy Mother's Day! I love you, Mommy Dearest xoxo

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