Monday, November 29, 2010

Pray THE prayer

Are you bold enough to want what God wants or feel what he feels; to seek him with earnest, to pray a prayer and be okay with the outcome. We all have asked ourselves what is my purpose? What is it that God wants for MY life? But are we bold enough to go where we are called to go even if we don't want to go there? I ask myself these questions time and time again. Years ago I started praying "THE prayer" (as my friends know it) in full faith and trust in God to help a sista out. I was having a string of bad relationships.

I had made bad choice after bad choice in men and really wanted to change the pattern. I think this prayer came from a lack of trust in my choices, rather than a full commitment of faith to God. I was desperate. Hey, some of our most profound prayers come out of desperation. Back then when I was "dating" I would pray THE prayer "God, remove this person from my life if they are not supposed to be in it." I prayed this because I knew men were my weakness - like kryptonite. Amazingly, I would pray THE prayer, something would happen and bam,he would just disappear...Really, you think I'm playing. No sign of dissention and I'd pray and bam, poof, whatever...he would just be gone...stop calling...MIA. I would have ignored all the tell-tell signs. Kind of like Pee Wee on the winding road in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, just marching to my own tune to only find myself heart broken in the end; A heartache that could have been avoided.

It has been years since those days and now that I am "putting myself back on the market" (I laugh out loud every time I say that). I have dusted off that old prayer. It is scary in a sense. The scary part is praying THE prayer when everything is seemly ok. Are we willing to walk in God's Will for our lives? Continuously calling on him, not just when it is obvious we are out of alignment. I am reading a book right now, Choosing God's Best - amazing book by the way, and the focus is not just choosing someone who is good, but choosing God's absolute best for our lives. So in my well counseled, mature, grounded life praying THE prayer reminds me to seek God earnestly. Praying THE prayer was great in the beginning as an immature Christian or someone just starting out on their faith frontier, but I have analyzed my thoughts and realized as I have matured in my choices now may be a good time to mature in my prayer life as well.

The new prayer scares me more than the last. "God give me the wisdom to discern who I should allow in my life." Woo just typing that gives me chills. The old prayer, leaving it up to "chance" (well we all know its not chance) and letting God do his miraculous thing puts me more at ease, but growth is about stretching out of your comfort zone and into a NEW faith frontier.

Pray the THE prayer, " God remove this person from my life if they are not supposed to be in it." And/or "God give me the wisdom to discern who I should allow in my life." These prayers are not magic. They should be a reminder to seek first the kingdom...And THAT relationship is what answers life's questions and truly breeds wisdom and discernment...and helps eliminate a whole heck of alot of heartache in the process.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving is in the air....

Thanksgiving is in my tummy. Or at least that's what I was thinking before my moment of profound reflection. I have so much to be thankful for; starting with the air in my lungs, my health, my job, the best boss ever, my family and friends (old and new), my son, my new apartment, my resources to make it all happen, peace of mind and God's unexplainable joy, my sanity, my opportunities, what is and is to come, the obstacle I have over come and the ones I will over come, my renewed hope and unyielding faith.....

Over the last two years I have tried to take time out to be thankful everyday for something. It really brings your life back into perspective. Starting today be thankful for something everyday. Ask yourself a simple question at the end of your day "How was I blessed today? " or "What am I thankful for today?" can be the beginning of finding more joy in your life. Some days with a stank attitude my answer would be. "I am thankful for the eye sight to see this bill." or "I am thankful I have a car that can breakdown." or " I am thankful my tear ducts work. So that I can cry." Once I started that process I began to really find more things to be thankful for, and I found joy in the midst of the chaos. And now as I write this blog I am thankful for too many things to list here. Challenge yourself to be thankful everyday, and not just on Thanksgiving....

I am thankful for the ability to still be silly and young at heart...

We laughed so hard trying to take this picture and it felt sooooo good. I am thankful that I can laugh until my stomach aches.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Miss the Road While on the Ride.

I waited so long before this post because I thought I was waiting for some epiphany or something so profound to pop in my mind that I would be compelled to check in with my blog. Obviously that didn't happen. The something profound part happened. Actually several profound moments have happened since I last wrote, but the "being" compelled part; didn't quite catch up with me.

I will tackle this backwards since most of you know Jordan is gone. Out of sight, but by far not out of mind. It actually took a week for my mind to catch up with itself, and honestly I don't think it is quite there yet. The last several months have been a whirlwind of bliss.

Immediately following Jordan's San Jose going away party we went to Costa Rica. Just the two of us. It was nice. We took in the country with the perfect amount of adventure and relaxation. From zip lining through the rain forest to swimming along a tree lined coast. There was even a day we went to sleep about 7pm only to stay up flipping between movies with and without subtitles. I was so determined to get him out of the country before he started to college and after careful consideration we landed in Costa Rica, the "Rich Coast". We learned about living fences, rice is a major crop, Hyundai is the most popular car, and in one day you can watch the sunrise on one coast and the sunset on the other. We stayed in an amazing hotel that made us feel as though we were palace heirs. I swear it seemed we were the only guests. We had a blast.

I really mastered being present over these last couple of months, determined to take in every moment with Jordan. For so long when he was younger my mind would take a ride of its own and miss the road in front of it. My dad and I talked about this the other day. You know when you can drive all the way home and have no idea how you got there. You can't recall the road that was in front of you. Most of the time this can happens when on a cell phone (with headset of of course- for my California folks). My main objective was to not miss the road in front of me. The pace of Costa Rica helped usher me into achievement.

When we got home it was only 3 weeks until D-Day. It seems as though it took forever for my child to pack. I tried to play the perfect balance of guiding and letting him make his own decisions. It only drove me partially crazy.

The weekend I dropped him of at school was very surreal. We drove around the campus just exploring. We were both dog tired from the red eye. I usually fall asleep immediately on flights, but not this time. I think I may have been too excited. We had breakfast at Pamela's then made it back to the hotel and crashed for 4 hours, only to get up and go eat at Primanti Bros. for dinner. I was stuffed. The next day, since we bought NOTHING at home, we shopped shopped and shopped some more for all the nick knacks and do dads you need for your college dorm. We spent hours. It was so much fun and thank God Target and Bed Bath and Beyond were within a block of each other, especially when he...OK we decided the trash can at BB&B was better then the one from target and it was half the cost. That was so funny. One of the major highlights of the day was dinner. He met up with a few friends he met on Facebook and then along came parents. Joe Mama's was the perfect place for dinner and it was probably a good thing they put us in the basement. The kids we louder then loud. I guess that happens when you get a bunch of actors together. They were on one side of a long table getting acquainted in the most animated way as the parents had therapy over pasta and pizza at the other end. It was such a great experience. Around 9:30 the kids left to explore the campus while the parents stayed and talked speculating what tomorrow will be like. We kept saying we had to leave. We inched our way to the main floor, we stood there talking , finally we inched our way outside and continued our conversations. We were so happy to find others who were experiencing exactly the same thing at the same time. Almost like a security blanket of new friends. Jordan met me back at the hotel and we got in the car to go pick up my dad. I had reinforcements flying in.

The big day. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach not knowing what to expect. I kept wondering when the bomb would drop and tears would come flooding out of my face. I swallowed the lump in my throat. We took our time getting dressed and skipped breakfast because we started a little behind schedule. It was as if every movement was in slow motion. We drove 2 min to the campus and followed the signs that ushered the many cars into the appropriate line that led to the appropriate dorm. I student in a red shirt pointed us in the direction where we were to park. "Stop at the balloons" along the curb in front of the dorm while we unloaded the car the student helpers took the items faster than we could put them down. Jordan walked across the way to grab his id/room key I followed him and my dad stayed with the car. It all happened so fast. The next thing I know I was standing at the car, no Jordan, no bags, no boxes and my reinforcement had been whisked away to help load the dorm room. I barely heard the man give me directions to the parking lot.

As I drove to the lot and made my way back to the dorm I was alone and it was quite. "This is it" I thought to myself. Wow! By the time I got back to the dorm they were heading out. Jordan took me in for a quick look through, because we had to go the the student union for orientation packets, the boxes we had shipped and maybe food. My brain raced one hundred miles an hour. Does he have enough stuff? Did we remember this, did we remember that? Did I put enough money in his spending account? At this point my father begins to tell me I need to eat. I think he saw me swaying like I had vertigo. He was my voice of reason for the day. Making sure I kept my head on straight. Every where we went someone was saying "Are you Jordan?" Facebook, boy! The Theatre school orientation calmed my mind. He is going to be well taken care of.

We made another Target/BB&B run and stopped for dinner, before the drop. I can't even remember the place we ate, but it was good and we had a great dinner. The three of us reflected about the day and expressed our excitement about the future. I went to the restroom and just stood there looking at myself in the mirror. "This is it, wow" I just took a moment to take it all in. It also gave my dad some time to have a man to man talk.

Its about 6:30. The campus has calmed down from earlier the balloons are beginning to deflate and the street is quiet. I only see two families saying their good-byes. The mothers' faces are red and tears are streaming. I step out and have my dad snap a photo or two. He then steps back and sits in the car. Jordan and I stand there looking at each other, smiling. "This is it". I hug him a couple more times, just to take in the moment. And before I can give him my speech I rehearsed multiple times in my head he speaks. "Mother I challenge you to find yourself without me. This is a time when the lives of parents and kids are parallel. We each are setting out to find ourselves. This is good." All I good say is "You are absolutely right, I will. I want you to know I love you. No matter what mistakes you make, because you will make some. And you know how much I love you, but God loves you tenfold, beyond what you can ever imagine... Okay" dad says his good bye and Jordan asks a man to take a photo of us in front of his door with none other then his Polaroid camera. And that WAS it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Looking my future in the face.

It feels as though I am on the outside looking in. For years my thoughts have been overwhelmed with the future. For the first time ever I feel as though I am meeting my future; right here- right now I feel as though I am looking my future square in the face. It is such a challenge to describe because it is no longer the future it is the present. For the life of me I cannot focus on anything but the here and now. My mind tries to make plans, but is stopped in its tracks to take in these moments. These very moments people often wish they could get back, I am cherishing with every fiber of my being. In just a few short weeks JD is off to college. Many people ask me How am I feeling or am I going to cry? All I can think about it what I feel this very moment...Utter Joy.... Presence is priceless.

Jordan's Party Pics

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Remodeling the nest - T-minus 54 days

I used to watch birds fly outside my window with grass and twigs in their beaks. I true sign of nesting. They were ready to hatch those eggs and make a nice cozy home for their little offspring.

I am watching my friends and co-workers go through the same thing. They are dating, getting married, getting pregnant..nesting. Interestingly enough I feel like I'm nesting, but I am clearly doing the opposite. We have t-minus 54 days until JD leaves the nest. I think I'm cool. Every book and anyone who I talk to is under the impression I'm not supposed to be okay. Very interesting. Everyone looks at me weird or like they are sad for me. That look really isn't cute. I am so excited, for both of us. Not to say I may not have a breakdown or two,but I'm excited.

I am learning to let go, to let him make decisions on his own, to not nag too much.

Last week I flew to Kansas City at the last minute because Jordan and Sam had made it to the finals. Most of my facebook family knows that I was in 4 states in 24 hours, JD and Sam are 4th in the nation in Duo, (they are 20 minutes in) and I couldn't be more proud. Also in the midst of this crazy whirlwind we missed his episode of Pretty Little Liars. You can catch him in minute 28. :)

One thing for sure it seems like I am trying to fit EVERYTHING in before he leaves. These next 54 days are going to fly by. We drive up the coast to San Jose on the 4th of July because that is the only weekend in the next 8 weekends we can make it so my parents can give him a going away party. So I figured we would drive up the coast.

Then two weeks later we have our family reunion in Las Vegas. Then we are going to Costa Rica. Two weeks after that we are off to Pittsburgh.


Taking in every moment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A roller coaster ride of a weekend.

As the time approaches us quickly for moments to absorb they pass us too fast like a thief in the night or better yet a freight train without breaks . For months graduation was quickly apporaching, at times it seemed as though it couldn't get here fast enough.

This weekend the train left the staion full speed ahead. In the midst of the planning and being slightly overwhelmed I almost let it zip by, but instead I grabbed on to that train and held on tight with my eyes wide open.

This weekend I was a nervous wreck. I couldnt think straight. I was forgetting things. My emotions are flying inside me like the biggest and fastest roller coaster at six flags. You know the one you anticipate riding and then almost change your mind when you are waiting in line? But you tough it out and hop on only to be whipped around up and down back and forth all while lauging and screaming at the top of your lungs. Well , I think that is where I am. Excitement beats out the fear, laughter holds back the tears and when it comes to a hault you are so exhilerated you are sad it is over. You get of that ride searching for the next.

Well the ride is over. The graduation came and went. However we did not leave the theme park yet...NEXT!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A surprise that made me cry tears of joy and relief....

Nearly two years ago my son had a photo displayed at the Museum of Tolerance here in Los Angeles. When the exhibit was over they displayed it in his school. Just last year he had one displayed at the Japanese Museum downtown. The center of the picture was the most beautiful cherry blossom tree. We framed that one and gave it to my parents for Christmas. It is absolutely beautiful. He's an amazing artist.

Well today I come home and his very first photo is there with a belated Mothers Day card. It said "Happy Mothers Day" (on the out side) "from someone who thinks your doing an amazing job" (on the inside). I was choked up just reading that. I'm thinking great he noticed. Then I proceeded to read the long sentimental dissertation inside. It was as if I was outside of my body witnessing every lesson I instilled in him unfold through the words right in front of my eyes. In his own words he expressed the answers to my greatest questions "Did anything I do or say sink in and what does my kid think of me?"

And I sobbed tears of joy and relief. I will forever remember this moment. I'm sure he will too. The day his mother cried all over his shirt.

I am so proud. Parents nothing we do for our kids is in vain.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nostalgic Moments

So much is spinning and swirling inside of my mind. Not sure if there is anyone out there who may understand when you have several emotions that make up one emotion that you can't necessarily pinpoint the exact emotion. That's were I am. Jordan has nine more days left of school. That's great. Graduation is two weekends away. He turns eighteen next Saturday. I remember when I turned 18 and it just seemed like I instantly became an adult. Does anyone have any advice on how to be a parent to an 18 year old. :) Even though I have been lost in my thoughts I am still trying to take in the moments.

Yesterday we were up until 2:30 watching aVeronica Mars marathon. I know that show is random, but we were taking in the moment. Dang that show was good. I never even thought twice about it when it was on. We laughed together. About 3 episodes in I heard myself and realized I had been asking him a question about the show every 5 mins. It was funny. Surprisingly he wasn't telling me to stop talking like usual.

Last weekend I came home from doing his graduation invitations and I was talking to him and he said "stop being nostalgic." The interesting thing about that statement was that I wasn't talking about anything in particular he said it was the way I was looking at him. I just laughed and tried to play it off like I wasn't. Let's just say the kid was reading the subtext. So crazy every time I would coach him before an audition I would say "what are your thoughts behind the words." He was definitely in my thoughts behind my words.

Jordan has been petitioned by an advisor at school to exhibit a piece of art work. I know what doen't this kid do. Well, Saturday I come out of the room to a very nostalgic moment and I recorded it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I went and saw one of my best friends tonight (and her daughter) who I hadn't seen (valley girl voice) "in like forever." It was so refreshing. While at dinner she said "I haven't read you blog lately" I said "Girlllll, its because I havent posted anything." (or something like that, hee, hee). Here's to you Jill:

Its has been so long. I don't know where to start. How about where we left off. College apps?

Well the last 3 weeks have been insane. It found myself being anxious about JD's decision, who would offer him what, who would accept him, where would he decide to go, will he be happy about his decision, how much is it going to cost me, I need to plan his graduation, oh, we need to prepare for prom, how much work will I miss over these next three months? ...

oh yeah I was supposed to be writing about college apps. Let's see JD got accepted into... this is a total recap if you've been following: Rutgers, FSU, Howard University, DePaul (partial scholarship) Boston University (more than partial scholarship), Tufts (more than partial)NYU(zip, zilch, nada - ok 6K but pennies compared to the rest), Notre Dame (gave him acceptance and a full ride on his trip out there..uber exciting), and Carnegie Mellon.

Once we got the full-ride to Notre Dame "we got into bidding wars with the rest" - well not really I've always just wanted to have a reason to say that. Well we did call NYU to appeal the award and ask for more dough. It didn't work out the way I planned... they did give us a thousand more dollars though :) JD was crushed. It was really disappointing considering NYU was his first choice. He fell in love with New York last summer on our visit.

Plan B: okay people it's always good to have a plan B... He had an acceptance and a full ride to a school that was in the middle of nowhere, whose theatre program is virtually none existent. Worst case scenario my child is going to Notre Dame(ND). I know that sounds crazy, "worst case scenario." Anyway we had to take a step and evaluate the situation. Back in January he additioned for 5 theatre schools and was accepted into all of them. Out of all the schools we believed Carnegie Mellon to be the best and at the time they were giving him a pretty hefty scholarship,but not quite what we needed. We faxed the school NDs offer and in less than 24 hours they matched it. So the Verdict is CARNEGIE MELLON HE GOES.

Me on the other hand, hum....: I got kind of sentimental when I faxed his decision and the deposit in. Nothing major. I didn't cry. I just thought. Wow, this is official. "What am I going to do with my life?" That seems to be my mantra lately. So far I know... I'm going to finish school, which still excites me. A year and eight months ago I decided to put acting on hold so I could focus on Jordan and get a job that would finance his senior year. The 2 year anniversay is 4 months away. Kidn of scary. I ask myself what does this mean. Getting a paycheck every week has been such a blessing,but in my mind. There has to be more... 4 days ago I decided to start and adventure. I'm calling it a reshaping adventure "Natasha's Reshaping Revolution" I am reshaping my mind, my health and my finances. Best case scenario I will earning six figures by the end of the year, be able to quit my job, travel the world, see my kid without having to save up for months. Worst case scenario I will be able to supplement my income and make a few extra thousand dollars a month. Either way we slice it I think this may help me with my question: "What am I going to do with my life?"

I realized for the last 18 years I have been helping someone realize their goals and dreams, and no matter how hard the struggle of single motherhood has been the results are rewarding. Thats what I am going to do with my life, continue helping people realize their goals and dreams. Its fun. You ought to try it sometime.

Natasha Reshaping Revolution

add my new facebook fan page: Natasha's Reshapign Revolution

**dislosure: please over look typos and silly talk. Its 2 in the morning. I'm just too excited to sleep.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More letters from colleges

Tonight my sister and kidney twin came over and my roommate was home. Checkout the video of Jordan opening his letters from De Paul University in Chicago and Howard University in D.C.

(My brother brought this to my attention, in his words: "If you're at work, stay close to your volume. Hint: there's ALOT of screaming")

This weekend will be interesting. JD is off to Notre Dame. I'm so excited for him. It will be a good chance for me to imagine what it's like when he's off to college. Not like I haven't done that before. Last summer he went to Colorado for 10 days. That was an experience for both of us. When he was younger he used to go to my parents for the entire summer, spring break and Christmas break. The only difference was that he was coming home. I think maybe one of my fears is that he will go away and not want to come home. I know that's silly. Or is it? It will be what it will be. God has blessed me with the honor of raising an amazing young man. I remember when he was younger I asked him "Do you belong to me?" and he said "No God's just letting you babysit." Well my babysitting duties are coming to an end. It's not like I'm being fired. I will be changing positions; More like guidance counselor, friend, and I will always be mom or "mother".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kansas City Here We Come!!

Today was a long day full of emotions. I just got home from JD's depate tournament. Absolutely amazing. He and Sam shut it down. I was coming home to blog about it when I received the email below from my sister. I did one read through and thought. "That's exactly what I want to say...and then some." Enjoy the video. You will see photos at the end of the blog. Happy reading.

Guest Blogger: Orianna Griffin

Jordan did it again!!!!!!! On Saturday, March 13 Jordan qualified for the National debate competition in Kansas City, Missouri!!!!!!!! The qualifying tournament was held at San Marino High School in San Marino (town next to Pasadena).

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category earned a trip to Nationals.

Jordan earned 1st place in the Humorous Interpretive category!!!!!! Jordan's debate teammate Sam earned 2nd place in the Dramatic Interpretive category. . .And, Jordan and Sam earned 2nd place in the Duo category. That means they qualified in three categories...H.I., D.I., and Duo. Unfortunately, Nationals does not let you compete in two categories so Jordan gave up his spot in H.I and Sam gave up his spot in D.I, and they will be competing in the Duo category in Kansas City.

The National Forensics League's National Competition will be held Sunday, June 13 - Friday, June 18 Thomas, Tasha, and I plan to take a redeye out of L.A. on Wednesday, so we can spend all day Thursday and Friday at the competition, then sightsee on Saturday and Sunday. It will be fun. . . wanna come?

Did you know Kansas City was home to more outdoor water fountains than any other city in the U.S.? It began its tradition of fountains for practical reasons: Water was a major factor in the growth of Kansas City. Kansas City was founded in 1821 when Missouri became a state, and from the very beginning, water fountains were a defining feature of the city. The first water fountain was part of a larger plan for the design of Kansas City. It was the stated aspiration of the early city leaders to create a beautiful city whose boulevards would rival Paris and whose outdoor water fountains would rival Rome.

Also, it's been said that jazz was born in New Orleans, and it grew up in Kansas City. A trip to Kansas City would not be complete without a trip to the American Jazz Museum

Now, the piece de resistance . . . Kansas City Barbecue!!!!! Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use. Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, cole slaw, and other soul food staples. Yum!!! Yum!!! Will it be Gates Barbecue? or Arthur Bryant's? or both?!

Okay everybody...let's make it happen!!! Kansas City here we come!



Friday, March 12, 2010

Carnegie Mellon .....check

Just about everyday someone asks me "Have you heard any word yet?" And I have been saying the same blanket answer since December, "Not yet. They will start to send out the letters after March 15th. So I'm thinking we should hear from all of them by the beginning of April." I have that down. I literally say that same response every time.

The time is ticking. I said I was going to stop and enjoy the moment - live in the present while he is here. Which for the most part I have been doing very well, but for the past week I couldn't help myself. I have been a little anxious. "What is my mission in life?" I asked myself. Yes, for those of you who read my first blog I didn't understand the Empty Nesters who asked that question. I can't say I even understand them now, but I did ask myself that question the other day. It's very interesting. I'm not sad or depressed. If I had to choose an emotion I would say I maybe feeling a little pensive and excited as usual, but mostly pensive. If that is really an emotion. "What will my life mean?" I have been saying for so long. "Let me get my son off to school, I'm gonna hang out with my son, we've been so busy with this college stuff." Well right now there's no more college stuff. Just the wait. Admissions Apps are done. Financial aid apps are done. Auditions are done. Now we just wait. And now I think. I actually have time to think.

Just last week I was having a conversation with my sister and my kidney twin, and they told us you want to look for the big envelopes. I had no idea what they were talking about. I thought acceptance or no acceptance it would all come in a letter envelope and then acceptance would follow up with details in a larger envelope. They proceeded to tell me "No you want to get the big envelope." I think I kind of didn't want to know that. Yesterday we got a small letter from Duke and before I saw which department it was from my heart dropped. "Oh my gosh! this must be a rejection letter."(if that's what its even called). Then I realized it was financial aid just telling us some logistical information. I don't know why my heart dropped. He did apply to 15 schools and I can't expect him to get into all of them, but for some strange reason I want him to get accepted to every last one of them. Is that the psycho mother in me?

Interestingly enough his first acceptance from Rutgers came via email. He got a small letter from Notre Dame inviting him to an all expense paid weekend to check out the school (I think that's an acceptance) even though he is not officially accepted yet. And today.....

Carnegie Mellon called to say he was accepted into there theatre department. He auditioned for them a few weeks ago and out of hundreds of kids who auditioned nationwide he was one out of 9 men they accepted into the program. Wow, 3 down 12 to go.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the winner is...

I should have blogged about this a week ago. Shoulda coulda woulda - sometimes life just gets so crazy and throws you off your routine. Last weekend JD had a debate tournament that he had no intentions of let me go to. I asked did he want moral support and he said "No" Yep that's it. Just "No." So I made plans to catch a movie and relax, but when I got out of church I had a couple of text messages "I picket fenced semi final round...1 1 1" and "Awards start at 2:30 cal state long beach".

For those of you who don't know speech and debate lingo that meas all of his judges gave him the top ranking of a 1. Which the night before he came home pissed off, because two judges gave him a 1 and another judge give him a 7 (meaning he was the worst in that round - according to that judge)

At this stage in the game my plans changed in an instant. I text my sister and brother-in-law and they headed that direction as well. He was feeling really good about the tournament at this point. It's always a hurry up an wait situation. I guess its just preparing him to be on a movie set. We arrived at 2:15 and the awards didn't start until about 4:45. Which is okay, it gave us a little bounding time.

The anticitpation

The runners up

And the winner is....

He qualfied to go to the state competition.

**I promise I'm going to get better quality video soon. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My boy put his foot in this gravy - Biscuits smothered in musroom gravy w/mango saugage

Okay ya'll this boy put his foot in this gravy. No joke. Made me want to slap my momma (sorry mom).

Oooooh wee I'm gonna to miss that boys cooking. Isn't that what the kids say about their mothers when they go off to college. I like to consider myself a master chef. I pride myself in telling people I can cook like my 80 year old grandmother (when I'm not rushing). I also have a contemporary, somewhat healthy, cuisine approach to cooking as well.

When Jordan was growing up I took pride in cooking dinner while he did his homework.
For a minute we had a little routine going. I would put on little Billie Holiday and make him an appetizer; exotic cheese with fruit and nuts. The funny thing about that is we would go to whole foods and sample the cheeses. We would act like we were cheese connoisseurs, talking like the grey poupon guy "what do you think?. I like this one, but there something more smooth about the other. What do you think? Which one do you like best?" When we found one we liked we I would have them cut about a third of the block off so I was only paying $2 or $3 for this extravagant cheese. Amazing, the things we do so our kids can have experiences. I think he liked his little appetizer cheese plates. Sometimes I would have a glass of wine while I cooked dinner and he would sit there nibbling and doing homework until dinner was ready. Yes we sat there together, no TV, the two of us eating dinner and discussing our day. That dinner table was our anchor in the midst of my crazy life.

Well today while I was still at work I text Jordan. "Um I want those smothered biscuits." I swear my son is a master chef. We went grocery shopping on Sunday and we are standing in front of the sausages and he says "I want the mango. Ummmm smothered biscuits with gravy." Like he just envisioned this whole dish standing right there in the grocery store. Cooking is his passion. When I came in the door tonight I smelled something brewing. I didn't get a chance to investigate, because the restroom was calling me. The drive home is long enough and I drink tons of water during the day. Then I continue with my normal routine: take of the jewelry, change my clothes and I hear "Its ready!". I knew exactly what he meant. I couldn't change fast enough.

I could not stop talking while I ate. It was amazing. Something happened a couple of years ago. If I had to sum it in one word I would say "Food Network" - okay that's two words. Food network got into my child and he got in the kitchen. It gradually happened where he would cook on the weekends. Then occasionally during the week and then last year I noticed he cooked more meals then I did. After college he wants to go to culinary school in Europe and open his own restaurant. I know he will do it. I honestly don't think there is anything he can't do. No really I'm not just saying that because it is my child. He's good at anything he tries. It really pisses his peers off sometimes. Really a few weeks ago we were cleaning out the storage and he picked up my guitar and started playing it, and it sounded good. I thought a brotha was about to start singing. I don't even know if he's even picked up a guitar before. I know that was a side bar. Anyway

JD takes his cooking serious. For years he has been complaining how the cafeteria cooks are not clean they handle the money with the same hand as the food, etc, etc. Sometimes they wear gloves. He's the president of his school and the head of the School's Student court. Last week I saw a petition on the table and today I saw the bi-laws of the court. My child is taking the cafeteria to school court. Isn't that something. (Stay tuned for his guest blog) So yes I'm going to miss my chef when he's gone.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A traditional Swedish dessert in LA and more...

It was so amazing to get a taste of Sweden right here in Los Angeles. Its called semla. Some of you may know one of the many inspirations to my blog is my friend Ingrid in Sweden. Last week she posted a blog about this most fabulous Swedish dessert - Semla. She makes everything sound so good I had to try it myself. She so eloquently describe this delectable treat so I will let her tell it.

"Originally, semla was a plain bread bun eaten in a bowl of milk, as as a last festive food to enjoy before Lent. Today, however, it makes its first appearance just after Christmas and lasts until Easter. It is a cardamon-spiced wheat bun, its center scooped out and filled with heavenly almond paste, then topped with real whipped cream. The 'lid' is the top of the bun sprinkled with powder sugar."

That is exactly what I got when I went to Berolina's in Glendale. It felt as though I was transported to a European bakery. There were even two woman behind us speaking french. I noticed they ordered semla as well.

semlor (plural for semla) :)

The pastries were awesome. They had fresh bread and tons of cookies and desserts

One of my best friends, Chrystee, went with me it was a nice outing. Jordan opted to sleep in
and surprisingly he didn't want me to bring him anything back. Chrystee ordered a fruit tart.

I proceeded to eat this pastry just the way Ingrid described in her blog. First of all when I order the semla the lady brought it to me on a plate and I told her I wanted it with the warm milk. She seemed surprised but put it in a bowl and brought me steamed milk. The almond filling was a bit strong yet delectable. However once I poured the warm milk in the bowl all the flavors combined to form the perfect balance.
Um Um Um. The most exciting part was the adventure. Here's one for you Ingrid. :)

This day was interesting; JD and I were on our separate paths. He had a school dance and I had another close friend of mine invite me to a girls night out. I think since we are well into our 30's or I should say since I am the evening consisted of dinner at Aunt Kizzy's in Marina Del Rey. Um um. dinner was great. - Amazing food, great company and amazing conversation. Lets just say I will be working out everyday this week. :)

However, that evening, JD and I ended up watching "A Cabin in the Sky" starring Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Louise Armstrong and many more thespians. I love watching movies with him. He has all the movie trivia that makes the movie ten times more interesting. We loved it. We couldn't stop laughing at the guys who were supposed to be from hell. Their horns were made out of their Afros.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Notre Dame here he comes!!!

Our first video blog. Since I already posted today I figured I would switch it up (Thanks for the suggestion bro). I was just too excited to wait.

Have you ever HEARD your eyes blink?

I’m having flash backs this morning as I drive Jordan to school. He’s had his license about 8 months now. I haven’t driven him this route in a while. I forgot how moody he is in the morning. Well not moody, it’s just his usual morning silence. He didn’t have an attitude or anything. We drove in silence I’m not sure why I turn the radio off, but it is so quite “I can hear my eyes blinking.” He responds in true teenage fashion “that’s weird.” We just sit and I continue to listen to my eyes blink. Maybe I’m dehydrated? “Seriously you gotta hear this, listen.” I’m generally goofy in the morning so I’m sure I’m getting on his nerves a little. “That’s real bizarre,” he says and doesn’t attempt to lean over an listen.

Well the other night they got home really late from his debate tournament in Berkeley, and since he has 4 months until his driving curfew is over I had to pick him up. Instead of just dropping him off I decided to go in and say hi to all the teachers and advisors I used to talk to all the time. The first person to greet us is his 9th grade marine biology teacher, now school principal and he says “Congratulations…” Utter confusion is written all over my face. He says, “…for Jordan placing in the tournament…” Now for all of you who read my last blog I was under the impression he did not go beyond semi finals. He and I had a long talk about his disappointment and all. “…He placed 8th, right Jordan. Didn’t you get a plaque?” My son, my son, in rare Jordan form flashes those pearly whites and says “yeah” as he shuffles off to put his books down. My mouth is hanging wide open.

That boy! He didn’t make it to the finals like we had talked about, but he came in 8th in a National tournament. That’s big time! He placed 8th out of probably 300 kids or so. I think that’s Pretty Darn Good! I will upload a photo of this phantom plaque soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Alone but not Lonely...The best Valentines Day EVER!!

So this is how I topped off my evening. I figured I would start with the end; kind of like eating dessert first. I realized how I jacked up my video by singing so loud, but I was having a good old time. I'll remember for future recordings, not to talk or sing right into the recorder.

This Valentines day was truly an adventure. If I had to sum it in one phrase it would be "Alone but not lonely". My son was in Berkeley at a debate tournament and my roommate was in Dallas soaking up the all star festivities. As of Friday I was Home Alone. Being alone never felt so good in my life. I have to admit in the future I would have been restless and anxious about this, but it was needed. It just so happens it was Valentine's Day or as my son reminded me when I texted him Valentine's wishes... his response "Happy Singles Awareness Day" cute.

The video you watched was an amazing concert. We were rocking the house. Yes I danced til I sweat but this time it was up in church. Thursday I was driving to working listening to my daily shot in the arm either FISH 99.5 or Focus on the Family 95.9. They announced a concert a "Love concert" with Isreal Houghton and New Breed. They are a very cutting edge gospel group. I don't even know if they fit into the traditional gospel genre. They are off the chain. I got to work that day and ordered myself a ticket. I just knew I was going. I had no idea with who or if anyone at all. Frankly I wasn't that concerned about that. It was very impulsive move and I loved every minute of it. The concert was at Abundant Living Family Church. If anyone lives near Rancho Cucamonga that's about 15 min from Ontario I say visit ( If I lived closer I know I would. Surprisingly an old friend of my was a guest performer. She was off the chain as well. I know I am using that phrase way too much,but I am soooo excited I can barely contain myself. Her name is Maura Gayle and she has inspirational story and a half. You have to check her out. She did spoken word and had the crowd rockin'. My girl is profound.So my day started with church and ended with church on steroids. Awesome!

In the morning I went to the 10:30 because I stayed up half the night catching up on some shows with "on demand"; like Good Wife, Mercy, and CSI New York. I think I watched about three episodes each. Boy was I tired. I am so mad at how Mercy ended. It was a cliff hanger and with my busy schedule who knows when I'll watch it again. I love my church. Pastor Phillip Wagner delivered a great message about real life super heroes. You can probably look at it on line Gets you thinking about your greatness. After church I saw my friends; the twins (Amy and Becky). They asked me if I wanted to grab lunch and I impulsively said yes. Oh my, oh my, Pizza and Champagne at the Oak Fire Pizzeria(previously Stone Fire) on La Cienega. Amazing. I just love the combination. Kind of like mixing lace with combat boots. Pizza and bottomless Mimosas um um. I'm a contrast kind of girl. They have some of the best pizza. We order the Margarita, a bacon and pineapple. This is not like any bacon and pineapple you have ever tried. I mean it. Amazing and then we had a sausage one. I can't remember the name of it. Funny that was the one I ordered. It was good. On the way home for a quick nap before the concert I stopped at the MAC store and got some goodies.

I am so invigorated by this weekend. Going to a concert by myself was absolutely amazing. I know I have matured in a sense. Being comfortable in your own skin is definitely a requirement for such an adventure.

I initially thought Jordan would have been with me, but before I purchased the ticket I realized he would be at a debate tournament.

He didn't qualify for finals this year he was very disappointed about that. Its his last year. He said its the end, and the two previous years he brought home trophies in Drama, but this year his coach decided he was doing Humor for his individual event, which is a bit disappointing. Everyone is asking him why he isn't doing Drama. Its kind of like you are a sprinter in track and breaking records and then your coach decides to put you in hurdles. He called me after his events and we talked on the phone for a little while. He was having an internal fight with himself. Disappointed with not qualifying and being happy for his teammate who qualified in an event he should be in. I tried to give motherly yet understanding advice. I told him "Honey this is only the beginning. God has a plan for you. And in every situations there is a lesson. Right now lets just pray for peace so you can be supportive to your team mate. You may not need to do a high five and chest bump, but being supportive is who you are to the core. Remember it was just a couple of years ago you were the only one to qualify to go to state and your team mates had to go and support you knowing they weren't competing." He said he was going to find a quite place to chill out for a minute. We prayed and a brotha seemed okay. About an hour later he was texting me about the best batch of Kombucha he ever had. You see we drink this health drink that isn't so tasty and its made in small batches so most of the time the bottles taste a little different. Some a little sweeter or too much fizz or not enough fizz, but according to him today he had the best batch ever.

I just got a taste of what the years to come will be like for us. I will be having adventures and self discoveries and he will be doing the same. We will just being doing it miles apart. I often wish I could let his mind fast forward to life in 10 years. Then he would know some things are more important then others and there are so many more adventures life will take us through. They key is to not resist and just roll with it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cruise like you never cruised before!!

This experience was so overwhelming it took me a few days to decide how I would approach this blog. Well here goes and understand no matter how well of a description I give you will NEVER be able to imagine what went down until you experience it yourself.

So here we are on a 3 day Cruise for my best friend Carey’s birthday. We booked the trip months in advance. I had no idea that weekend would be the start of JD’s college auditions. So I arrange for my sister and roommate to step in for me. That still didn’t negate the fact that I felt a little guilty for not being there for his first audition. Actually he really didn’t feel a need for anyone to be there with him. I was also a little bummed because I was going to be missing the Super Bowl. My cousin has an amazing Super Bowl party every year I would be missing it. And to top it all off a friend of mine died last week and I was going to miss the funeral. I actually considered missing the birthday cruise. Whenever I have a friend who passes I wish I would have spent more time with them. So I figured I better go spend time with my friends who are still alive. I navigated around the storm.

Friday I set off to meet 4 friends from high school in Long Beach. As we walked to the dock from the parking structure I noticed something very unusual. Everyone I saw was black. That’s just unusual in California. I would have expected this in Atlanta maybe or at Magic Johnson Theatres. Then I noticed another minor detail. They all looked like they had stepped out of a lil’ Wayne video. Okay maybe not everyone, but most. I was like what the what is going on up in here. Then it was revealed to me this is the 10th annual “Super Bowl” cruise. Alright I can handle this, cruising with my people, sweet.

We had the most amazing time; Great food, Karaoke like I’ve never seen it before. The entire crowd was on their feet singing the songs. I danced until dawn; until my jeans stuck to me, I had a sweat line down my back, and I had to go change my shoes. Being girly with multiple outfit changes and hanging with my girls was the highlight of my trip.

I have to say if I had wrote this blog while on the cruise or when I first got home this is how it would have went:

I just got back from the most GHETTO cruise ever. Take every rap video and a little R & B and roll it up in to 1500+ ni**as on a partying, boozing cruise. As I walked down the hall all I smelled was weed mixed with cologne and perfume. Fools had stereos blasting with the doors wide open and full on liquor bars in their room. Oh, that’s funny. You couldn’t bring drugs or alcohol on this cruise. I wonder how that happened? And the club at night, lordy lord was full of woman looking like they were pole dancing on men (instead of the pole) with their clothes on. I was like "get a dang room." People were gyrating and guys were bouncing women on their laps. Oooohhh wee. Let’s not talk about folks wearing robes, slippers and head scarves to breakfast in the morning. In the words of Bill Cosby “Come on People”. There was a guy who wore a silk robe to the club one night with no freaking shirt on. And a woman wore a shirt that said “I f*** on the first date”. I swear this was the first time in a long time I found myself judging folks. Especially when we were in a single filed line waiting to get back on the ship in Ensenada and people just got tired of waiting and decided to bum rush the entrance. It was utter chaos because 50 people decided they would cut in line. In Ensenada’s at “Papas and Beer” I had a guy grope my butt so hard he sent my underwear up my crack. Let’s just say I cussed him out so bad I would be embarrassed if my momma, daddy or church friends saw it. I could have swore I was back in the Old Testament smack dab in middle of Sodom and Gomorrah (for you heathens out there look it up). Needless to say I did not look back when I left that joint - for fear of turning to stone. That’s just a snippet of the negative side.

However that last description may sound. Overall I had an amazing time chillen’ with my girlfriends. I cruised like I never cruised before. We were just five women on a cruise having a good time praying to God we wouldn’t be arrested in Mexico for talking too much smack to the wrong person. It just wouldn’t have fit into my busy schedule.

Monday, February 8, 2010

An Experience to say the least

First, I had the most amazing, interesting,overwhelming, fun weekend on a "Super Bowl" cruise for my best friends birthday. It was absolutely nothing you could ever imagine. It was a site to see; somewhat of a spectacle. Too many overwhelming experiences to put into a blog right now. So give me a few of days to collect my thoughts and photos on that one.

I have to tell you though, I felt a little guilty leaving Jordan and going on a cruise. Not sure why. Maybe because his auditions were starting this weekend,but the trip was planned before we even got the audition schedule. Come to find out he really didn't want me around anyway (in a rights of passage kind of way).

Sunday he met with Rutgers, Today with DePaul and Carnegie Mellon. And tomorrow, NYU and Boston University. He feels great about his auditions. He seems to be very comfortable and is getting great feedback from the schools.

It was nice to hang with my girls from highschool(Carey, Jill, Tanya) and my best friends little sister (Britney). Britney was too young to hang back then, but now she was schooling us!! This trip made me feel "boujie" for the first time in my life. Look it up on Urban Dictionary. I'm sure I could have used it myself this weekend. So let me gather my thoughts and get back to you. Stay tuned for unbelievable details...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Storms of Life, Death, and Living

A friend of mine died this week. He was in his early thirties, just married with baby on the way. A little over a year ago (Maybe even 2) he was diagnosed with a rare case of kidney cancer. We had talked about kidney transplants since he was learning all he could about his new diagnosis. To me his death was sudden he spent most of his time with family. I remember seeing him on the set of a commercial last year. He looked really good flashing those pearly whites of his. The older I get the closer death creeps into my world. When I have a friend die I get really nervous and paranoid for a while.

The day after my friend died I woke up in the morning to my son who could barely talk, due to some virus in his throat. It freaked me out to the ends of the earth and back. He has 5 auditions for college theatre departments from Sunday to Tuesday, and guess what? Months before we scheduled these auditions a friend of mine invited me to celebrate her 5th annual 30th birthday party. Jordan will be in good hands with my roommate and sister for his first two auditions if he needs someone, but I am still not there. My head is spinning. My son is sick and I just found out my friends funeral is on Saturday when I am supposed to be on a cruise I say supposed to because I’m now contemplating not going. My son is sick what if it’s life threatening, what if he has a reaction to the medications, what if my ship wrecks , it’s supposed to rain, we will be in the middle of a storm, what am I supposed to do. Fear truly overwhelms me. I am trippen’. The girl who usually has it all together has lost her mind. Maybe that is just it. Situations beyond my control were causing me to panic. I’m a recovering control freak and I am having a relapse.

I make it to work by 2:30, because JD is still a minor and I have to go with him to his appointments. I know, it's crazy considering I was out two days last week because of my ordeal. As the day progressed things got better. My doubts about the trip began to dissipate, because I am now breathing and my day is getting better. My co-worker checks on me towards the end of the day and says her mom used to say. “Just sit still and listen and Jesus will tell you what to do.”

Life is really not mine to control, navigate maybe, but not control. Like a captain of a ship or plane, they navigate through the air or water, but they cannot control the air pockets of gusty winds. Imagine if an airline pilot freaked out every time there was a little rain? It’s just raining a little. Put on a rain coat and navigate around the storm.