Giving thanks in every season💕

In every season give thanks – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This season of my life has been hard.

I have been challenged by loss and grief.

Waking up to my First thanksgiving without my father physically present on earth is TOUGH!

To say I miss you is such an understatement 💔

Arrival hugs the day before thanksgiving day 2021

I no longer have the casual opportunity to physically express my gratitude to him with my words, a hug,a plate of yummy thanksgiving cooking, or jocular conversations shared on a thanksgiving morning family walk on the trail to Stacy Parks.

Arrival hugs the day before thanksgiving day 2021
Thanksgiving day family walk 2021
Thanksgiving day 2021

My thoughts wonder deeply into an existential plane… What does your view from heaven look like now? Are you gathered in heaven with your parents and other family members enjoying great laughs with the communion of saints? Is food even a thing in heaven?

Now your image mostly exists in my mind and my heart. Your eyes always so full of love and I only imagine that this love is intensified from heaven now .

Therefore your love goes on.. even in death.

I am choosing to give thanks to God for this love and all the manifestations of that love in my life .

You see , because my Dad loved so freely, he also accepted and gave so freely this love.

My dad’s love and acceptance of my DH , despite our cultural differences, while some Naija parents would have given a side eye to an interracial marriage and therefore blocked blessings – he did not, and not only welcomed my DH with open arms but supported our union true and true.

Thanksgiving day 2021

This gift of love and acceptance has therefore abounded exponentially in my life in so many angles.

Kids table Thanksgiving Day 2021

Wherever I look I can see the manifestation of love in my life .

I see it in you my DH, I see it in my children, I see in my mother and siblings, I see it in my wonderful Oma and Opa and extended family and in laws, I see it in my Dedes and my Dadas, I see it in my cousins and their children, i see it in my dog Teddy, I see it in my sweet friends , I see it in my HOLLA group, I see it in my WOW group , I see it in my work and the ability to provide mental health services to those in need, I see it in the opportunity to be living in a beautiful country with my roots extended from the great continent of Africa.

Hanging out on thanksgiving day 2021

I see it in you ,my readers and I am grateful.

So yes, it’s a bittersweet thanksgiving , however I can still see so clearly the many reasons to give thanks.

I hope that you can look around you and your own unique circumstances and see reasons to be THANKFUL♥️🙏🏾

❤️

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences .

Click on the “follow” icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts via email and not miss out !💕

*DH ( darling husband)

*Dedes( Uncles ) Dadas(Aunties)

Alaska Calling

“ A girl like you should see the mountains” – those were the words he said to me while on our long telephone conversation .

You see we had just starting dating ,after our chance meeting at Ohare airport but we were separated by distance for the next several months until graduation. He was doing a sub internship in Alaska and I remained at my school in St Louis.

Not withstanding our busy schedules and the time zone differences, we made time for our evening long distance phone calls. This was before the days of cellular phones popularity , and he had let me borrow his bright green telephone with the longest rippled cords I had ever seen . The long cord allowed me flexibility to be able to walk around my townhouse while we chatted the night away.

We conversed about any and everything! This is one of the beauties of a new relationship. Each conversation is magical and everything is so brand new and intriguing. It’s a wonder we both were able to keep up with our personal daily obligations!

It was also during the Lenten season and as Catholics, it is commonplace to choose “ a Lenten obligation “- that year I decided on the challenge to say my rosary nightly. This was a complicated by my more natural inclination and enthusiasm to converse with my favorite human nightly .

I had shared my Lenten quest with him , and he decided he’d join me in praying the rosary nightly. I didn’t quite expect this , although I wholeheartedly welcomed his offer to join my nightly prayers.

Praying the rosary (a beautiful meditative prayer by the way, typically takes about twenty mins and is filled with many spiritual rewards . Most nights , we started strong and finished together.

However, there were also nights that my tired self was lured to sleep with the repetitious prayers, only to be awakened by the louder voice on the other end, announcing that “ we “ were done praying the rosary and it was indeed bedtime. You mean, you just let me “ finish “ the rosary and hopefully getting some credit for keeping “my” Lenten obligation for the day, all while catching some zzzs?.. wow! thank you!

I was starting to fall more and more in love with him!.

On a recent trip out west, I was exploring the google maps of the states as we drove our now family of six across many state lines. I remarked at just how far across the world Alaska seemed on the map. You see, incidentally I did take him up on his invitation for me to see the mountains of Alaska – over a weekend!

The truth is that I had Nooo idea that I had just agreed to travel almost half way around the world just for a weekend🤨

He was living and working in a remote part of Alaska , which also meant that he had to drive 8 hrs just to come pick me up from the Anchorage airport . Our reunion and time together was magical albeit too short , but totally worth it . We whale watched, hiked, listened to music, saw more wild life such as mountain goats , visited ski slopes and cliffs, dined and it all was pure bliss!

We packed a lot into barley 48hrs together and my only wish was that I could have seen the heavenly magical dance of the Aurora borealis too.

Almost 20 yrs later , and with our growing family, I would still make this “ crazy” decision to travel across the world to see mountains with you because you’re right … “ a girl like me should see the mountains…with you♥️

What “ crazy” gestures have you made for love – both young and old love?

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

Where does YOUR heart need to BURN with LOVE?

I encountered these words during my morning meditation and prayers on the Hallow App today, and I must say it kinda burned!

These inquisitive words were invasive, as if searching for my own vulnerabilities. The inquiry also appeared to imply that this would not be an easy process, I mean BURNS tend to hurt right?

So I wasn’t sure I especially loved the inquiry, however I valued and welcomed the challenge to at least explore further …

You see, I also don’t particularly love roller coaster rides simply because it requires relinquishing ALL my control and trusting . Trusting that the mechanics of this piece of giant metal that promises thrill and excitement will also land me SAFELY on solid ground.

I still DO get on rollercoaster rides from time to time with my family , and I am always glad I did, once the ride IS over lol.

I value that I challenged my fears and insecurities and allowed myself to become vulnerable and therefore more free.

This is what this chance encounter with these words is doing to my heart.

It is like the invitation of a shiny rollercoaster inviting me to take a chance, take a leap into the most vulnerable parts of my heart and explore.

Where does my heart need to BURN with LOVE?

I don’t know about you but I could find at least a few places where this needs to happen in order to cultivate a more enriched soil for my soul’s growth.

How about you my dear reader , Where does YOUR heart need to BURN with LOVE?

Is it in forgiveness? AND forgetting ( A work in progress for me)

Is it in generosity and charity?

Is it in kindness?

Is it in patience?

Is it in alms giving?

Is it in impulsivity and self control ?

Is it in courage to find and USE the gifts we are given?

The list can go on and on…

Ultimately, I am grateful for this chance provocative thought and welcome the challenge of where the exploration takes me.

Much like those thrilling rollercoaster rides with the kids and DH* , I look forward to conquering my fears , landing safely AND looking back to be glad I challenged myself.

I DID THAT! Thank you Disney’ s Everest or Six Flags’ Mr Freeze 😏😅

I hope you too choose to get on your own version of your rollercoaster and be triumphant in conquering vulnerabilities!

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH ( Darling husband)

Multitasking🤪

Remember that show – SpeedDating where folks try to make a good impression on a potential partner in just a few mins? Well that’s what zoom parent teacher conference SORTA feels like .

Except you ,as the parents aren’t there for your own benefits.. well not technically.

You’re there to hear REAL quick whether your kid is a good egg or a bad egg lol (shout out to all my Willy Wonka fans who got the reference 😃)

I must say, the whole thing is one messy confusing production! Don’t get me wrong I love the convenience of my DH *just finishing his run and plopping on the couch to zoom into conference, while I attempt to zoom in from the nail shop.. because you know , why not do THAT multi tasking right?

Now I am not new to this rodeo of zoom parent teacher conference, thanks to covid😏.

Nonetheless, Parent teacher conferences pre Covid used to be so much more deliberate.. you drove to the school, you waited outside the classroom till it was your turn, then you got to sit n YOUR child’s little desk and had an in person conversation about your child’s performance with an undivided attention from their teacher till your time was up. Then you left the classroom only to find carefully laid out pencils and pens outside the door , for you to write a note for your special student…sigh sounds so lovely🥰

The truth is I had infact managed to do a version of a virtual parent teacher conference even pre pandemic when I was traveling in Africa . This meant DH * keeping me on his speaker phone while he moved from class to class meeting with teachers, spending the first few mins explaining why he had his phone on speaker so his wifey who was out of the country could follow along the conference.

I wasn’t doing the moving around BUT I was starting to feel dizzy , trying to keep track of which teacher’s class we just landed in🥺

Honestly I still don’t know how to rate the success or lack thereof, of the zoom parent teacher conference.. I mean, was IT accomplished?.,,heck yea!

Was it too ambitious for us to schedule conference for our 3 middle schoolers all in one evening( the only option available this time by the way), each for 5 mins?….. Perhaps 🤔

p/s: thank Goodness our 5th grader was on a separate day phew)

Anyways….

Did we only have 5 mins to hear both the teachers AND our kid’s personal narrative aka PowerPoint presentation on the highlights of their experience in those classes.. Sure we did!🤗

Were we at times arriving too early to sit in some teacher’s zoom waiting room unsure if we got the time mixed up ?.. heck yah!

All the while with DH texting me to let me know he had to go on to the next while I finished up with whatever “long winded” teacher, since we didn’t want to miss the next conference time slot.

Were there times ,at the beginning of the zoom where I had NO clue which teacher we were meeting and/or which of my kids we were starting to discuss… Sure nuff🤪

At one point , I logged in only to be waved goodbye by the teacher nicely because “ our time was up” and the teacher had to let in another eager perhaps just as confused parent , in from the waiting room.. leaving me going .. Wait what? Huh?.. oh okay then, nice seeing you again 🤪

Oh and if you delayed pressing the “ leave meeting “ button , then you may find yourself in the waiting room with another stranger aka parent… Awkward 🎵😬

I mean, it was probably too zealous and optimistic, to think I could pull off a zoom parent teacher conference while the nail technician was holding my hands hostage, as I tried to mute my phone microphone, in between conversations so I didn’t have to explain why the teacher was , all of a sudden hearing Vietnamese being spoken loudly around me. Honestly, I don’t think my new nail tech appreciated all the fuss around me, and I wasn’t really feeling his lack of relaxation vibe at all as he yanked my hands to reposition them for his purposes 😏 . I even debated whether to tip him or not afterwards..don’t worry I did too him,after all my hectic evening was NOT his fault.

Ultimately, I made the choice to take my daughters to get their nails done AND have zoom parent teacher conference all in the same hour. Both were accomplished fairly well, but I must say it was NOT the most relaxing experience at all.

The content of the conferences were fine and I am very proud of my offsprings . However, the processes around the zooming and “the nice to meet you but you gots to leave the meeting now” was all wayy too much for me . I don’t think my cortisol ( stress) hormones appreciated all that FUSS at all 😏.

Unfortunately, I didn’t immediately recognize and name my emotions of stress and frustration that evening, once I got home and still had to start packing for springbreak trip.

I have mused about the fast pace of life in America and the necessity that we slow down to catch our breaths. This experience was a good reminder for me. I am now able to look back at some of the comedic aspects of that evening, and laugh (yes) AT myself for taking on so much .

I also believe in lessons learned and so I know there are NO more multi tasking nail “ spa” experience with a stressful zoom parent teacher conference again for this momma!

Of course if you can’t relate since you only have your one kid that you get to devote all your attention to , without guilt, then more power to you 🙌🏽

However. I am curious whether you too have had an interesting multi tasking zoom experience in your life and how you handled it?

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

*DH ( darling husband)