A Robbery, Dirty Diapers, and BOTH Grandmas

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Summer Vacation was a blast and it’s exciting to be back to the blog!  As promised, we have a new look and some other changes.  Take some time to check it out.  But before I start churning out posts about life lessons and all that jazz, I MUST catch you up.

As usual, I went to Atlanta to visit family and you know there are always shenanigans there.  The highlight was a shower for my baby sister.

Before the trip, I was elated. I’m about to be a “Tee Tee (Auntie)” and just too stoked about all of the fun and responsibilities involved with that.  I will be able to watch my nephew over the summer, take him to the zoo and teach him bad habits.  Yes, I will be the one allowing that cute little kid to have ice cream for breakfast.

However, as I began to chat with my parents prior to the shower some things went awry.

The Robbery…

My family doesn’t see it this way, but I was robbed.  Well, kinda sorta. Let me explain.

Not that I want to make this about me, but since people are selfish at their very core–it is.

My sister will give birth any minute now (literally she was due 9 days ago).  We are the only children of my parents and she will be having the first grandchild.  Like most families, we have general traditions, but to my knowledge there were no family heirlooms to pass down.  That was until my sister gets knocked up.  Mysteriously, a treasure trove of “heirlooms” now exist.

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My sister sitting in the “stolen” chair

Up for grabs: the rocking chair that my mother received when she carried my sister, a child chair that was passed down from my Aunt Lillian that I didn’t know existed (THE DECEPTION!) and the ultimate diss–my favorite book, the Three Billy Goat Gruff. Dad read this to us as children–sound effects and all.

Apparently, my parents had planned to give these items to the one that had a baby first.This was revealed the week before the shower.  If I would have known this, maybe I would have fertilized an egg or two.  Seriously, that’s how robbed I felt.

You may feel this is just ridiculous, but you have to understand something. This is about a group of people involved in a web of deceit. Much like Jacob robbing Esau of his birthright with his mother in cahoots. It’s rumored that Iraq and Iran are the descendants from those two blood lines and we see what’s going on there.

Look at her as she innocently sits in that stolen chair.

A last-ditch effort to grab the goods was to adopt a baby from China.  Yes, it was a serious consideration. My sister reminded me that it would take forever, but I had to think long and hard as she had a vested interest in my adoption going south. Two months is an unrealistic turn-around time to make that happen but I’m an eternal optimist. How does my baby sister ALWAYS outsmart me?

Now, that I’ve gotten that off my chest we can move on.

The Grandmas

Normally, my maternal grandma is providing her unsolicited comic relief.  It usually involves her off-color comments about my weight gain or loss, deep conversations about Jesus and his intentions for everything and on rare occasions, conversations about penis.’

This time my maternal and paternal grandma were in town at the same time and it was a tag-team mission of epic proportions.

My paternal grandma brings her own special energy.  She’s that grandma that will take all of her grandkids to the movies and bring her own popcorn, 3-liter sodas, cups and napkins. She is the one that will wait behind after the whole family has gone to a restaurant and skim the tip off the table.  She has 8 children and has a funny life-lesson story for them all. Like the one where one of her sons got arrested for something stupid that he did as a young adult. He used his one phone call only to hear her say “ You know it’s past my bedtime, I told you not to do that anyway and you’ll just have to wait till tomorrow!”  She’s THAT grandma.

A family friend playing the "Dirty Diaper" game.

A family friend playing the “Dirty Diaper” game.

Dirty Diapers

So, we are at the baby shower playing the dirty diaper game.  A few diapers with a melted candy bar is passed around and you have to guess what brand is in each one–by any means necessary.  The “poop” analysis actually became pretty serious and cut-throat. People with awesome palettes did some taste testing and distinguished between Baby Ruth, Snickers and Mr.Goodbar, guarding their answers like lotto tickets.

Paternal grandma flags me down.  I walk over and she says “Bring me one of those diapers.  I want to see what’s in it.” I’m looking at her like REALLY?!? She reminds me that she has a bad hip and she doesn’t feel like going to the table. Total guilt trip.

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My dad and aunt doing some cut-throat poop-analysis

So, after the shower, she jumps on her scooter. Yes, the family decided to get her a scooter to ride around the facility due the hip issue. Bad idea.  She raced that scooter like she was Dale Earnhardt on the Indy 500 (yes, swerving the curves on every handicap ramp).  Literally, folks were jumping to safety. We couldn’t wait to get her in the car.

If That Wasn’t Enough… 

The maternal grandma ended up going to the hospital before the shower due to some pains. After the shower, my sister and I decide to pay her a visit.  Nice thing to do right. Sort of.

After she explained all her aches and pains, she starts out with the standard old lady questions.  Then she got straight to the point. “So how is your boyfriend?”

I answered “Fine” with a secret eye-roll and a swallow.  I knew what was coming next.

“So are you getting married?” I paused. “Grandma, we just started dating a few months ago.” She gave me the “don’t con a con-man” look and told me I didn’t answer her question.

Then they came–the barrage of statements and questions. “Do you really want to do that?  I know you said y’all just started dating, but that doesn’t mean anything.  You brought him down here last week just so we could all meet him? That’s not what it looks like to me. He seems really nice, but I don’t REALLY know him so we’ll see. Please tell me you’re not getting married AGAIN!”  The rapid-fire questions and intense, Medusa-like stare paralyzed me.

She went on to remind me that I just got divorced (like I didn’t know that) and all this crap about why she didn’t get married again. I just sank in the seat. I can’t win with this chick.

The nurse came in with the save to change her IV. We didn’t stay too much longer.

Moving Forward!

I just wanted to start off with one good laugh before we got back to business.  If you’re subscribed to my fan page, I’ll post some pics of my nephew whenever he decides to make his debut!

One Last Thing!

In the last post I alluded to an exciting project that I was working on.  Click below to check out my new website for parents of teenagers and let me know what you think!

 

NRE button

Until next time!

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/10/15/a-robbery-dirty-diapers-and-both-grandmas/

Summer Hiatus 2014…Sorta Kinda

10483689_10203239096476506_1679641813_o I hope all of you are enjoying the beginning of summer.

My summer has been moving at warp speed.  Last week, I went to Orlando for about 5 days on a school conference.  Although the trip started on my first day of summer vacay (which I was not too happy about), I actually had a great time and got to decompress a bit. I stayed at the absolutely FABULOUS Walt Disney Swan Dolphin hotel.  Here I am posing by the fountain in the lobby.

I also decided to work this summer (blasphemy) and took a position in my job’s summer school program.  Surprisingly, it’s been pretty cool and didn’t spoil my summer vacay.  I know most of you don’t care or feel sorry for me but I thought I’d just rub it in one…last…time.

But what I’m REALLY excited about are the changes going on with the blog. This Fall, Keep It Moving Blog will change from a personal to a niche blog.  This means that my topics will be more narrow and focused in scope.

Like I shared in an earlier post, my desire is to take my brand worldwide and pretty much monetize the blog (make money). In order to do that, it MUST become a niche.

Now don’t worry, it won’t stray too far from where it is now.  All of the posts will be focused on relationships (marriage, dating, family) and life lessons.  I feel this is where my true passion lies.

Some of the posts will still have a touch of fitness and weight loss where relevant, and of course you will get the quarterly posts with the laugh-out-loud shenanigans involving my grandma (seeing that it definitely fits under family).

So what does all this mean?

 

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” –Jim Rohn

 

 

For the months of July and August, the majority of my attention will be placed on writing articles for the fall, back-end work on the site and tons of research. I will send you periodic updates and inspirational stuff while this is going on.

Actually, a lot of time will be spent on social media putting Keep It Moving Blog on “syndication.”  Previous posts will be re-released to get ready for the Grand Re-Opening in September.  Most of you are on social media, so click “subscribe” to the following pages:

Facebook (look to the right and click the box)

Twitter (same thing)

Linked In

Google+

My subscription provider (the site that sends each post to your email) will be new as well.  All of your addresses have already been moved over to the new provider, so when you receive any type of “invitation” asking to subscribe– RESPOND…otherwise you won’t get any more updates. I may send a few testers and/or personal emails to ensure everything is working, so don’t talk about or cuss me too bad.

Lastly, the site will be upgraded by adding an official logo (WOO HOO!!!), new profile pics and updated pages. I have an artist working on this right now. SO STOKED!

So as you see, there’s a lot going on here!

 

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –Tony Robbins

 

Am I excited..YEAH.  Am I scared…UH, YEAH!!!  But you know me, I can be excited and scared at the same time and still get it done!

I thank God for each and every one of you that have been a part of our movement and look forward to take this ride with you!

 

If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.” –Jim Rohn

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/07/06/summer-hiatus-2014-sorta-kinda/

Before there was Cliff Huxtable or Jason Seavers…there was MY dad

 

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Father’s Day is an interesting phenomenon, especially if you are in the church world.

For Mother’s Day, restaurants and churches are packed out.  There is a sale on TV for over a month.

Father’s Day ads last for only a few weeks, you can get a dinner reservation the day before (or even the day of) and actually the attendance at church is the same or lower than it is on a regular Sunday.

In the wee hours Saturday morning, I went on Facebook to change my profile and cover to a pic with dad.  I probably was the only one out of my friends that did. For Mother’s Day, folks usually start this process on Thursday. That was it.  I was so annoyed I had to write this post!

What’s up with dad’s getting no love?

In the 80′s, we religiously watched the Cosby Show  (Cliff Huxtable played by Dr. Bill Cosby and Claire Huxtable played by Phylicia Rashad).  People said that type of black family didn’t really exist.  Interestingly enough, people totally believed that the parents on Growing Pains (Dr. Jason Seavers played by Alan Thicke [yeah, Robin Thicke's dad] and Maggie Seavers played by Joanna Kerns) existed.  You can figure that out for yourself.

There were (and are) a lot of black dad’s like Cliff Huxtable and I know many of them personally.  There may not have been a doctor and a lawyer together in the home, but the parents were some sort of professional and had the same principles.  Our household was like this and my parents have been married for 42 years.

Mom’s get all the love because they give birth to and nurture us, but dad’s have a very pivotal and overlooked role in our development.

Dad’s are the first guy that we have a relationship with. They provide us with a sense of stability. They help us to have confidence (especially girls) and teach us how to be or what to see in a good man.

The media gives black dads a bad rap. Most of the portrayals of black dads are either some guy down on his luck or some dead-beat guy trying to skip out on his child support from one of his many “baby mamma’s.”

With all that being said, this post is dedicated to those overlooked dad’s that are doing it right.  So let me give a shout-out to my dad!

 

He’s just a headache looking for a head.” –Fred Johnson, III 

About Fred Johnson, III a.k.a. My Daddy Fathers-Day-Quotes-Gift-Ideas-Happy-Fathers-Day-2013-8

My first memory of dad was when I was about 2-3 years old.  My parents were coming in from some late night event. I was tired and didn’t feel like walking into the house.  I pretended to be sleep (guess this was my first memory of a manipulative move) so he would pick me up and carry me into the house.

He would take my sister and I EVERYWHERE!  We would go to this huge park to feed the ducks and fly kites, hang out with his friends at his softball games and eat a ton of sweet stuff we probably had no business eating like moon pies (a southern thing), Bubble Yum gum, lots of peppermint, and Necco’s. I really enjoyed going to this little hole-in-the wall fish place where we would get a traditional Chattanooga, TN fish sandwich: white bread, two thick pieces of fried whiting, mustard, pickle and cole slaw (yes, on the sandwich) held together with a toothpick.  And don’t forget the Nehi grape or Tahitian Treat soda. Yummy!

Dad likes to have a lot of fun. He likes to joke around, play sports (nowadays lots of golf) and thinks he can dance. He was the cool dad that would take me and my friends to concerts (it was kind of weird for him to be at the New Edition concert with three pre-teen girls screaming for Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike and Ralph), to the movies and some other awesome places.

Dad was very active in church and school.  He made sure we were in Sunday School every week and volunteered us for every play (of course we would find out after he signed us up…). He was part of the PTA, went to all the parent and report card meetings, checked your grades and helped you with your math homework.

Although dad was the cool dad, he didn’t mess around when it came to discipline. He is an old-school dude, so he was big on us being polite and mannerly with all the ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘yes sir’s.”  Most of the time, he only needed to cut his eye at you and you would straighten up.  If you did something really bad, he would whoop you (southern term for a really bad spanking).  He tries to act like he doesn’t remember that.  What made it worse is he would whoop you and then want to have a long talk about it.  Did he really need to explain that and did I really care?

 

Success is your best revenge.” –Fred Johnson, III

 

During my undergraduate and graduate years in college, dad used to write me letters on a monthly or quarterly basis.  In the letters he would talk about things that happened when I was a kid and explain them.  He would talk about his philosophy of life and mistakes that he made.  He would talk about his rationale for how he raised us and expectations that he had of us as adults.  This gave me a deeper appreciation and understanding of my parents and my childhood.

 

Dad In the Now…

To this day, if dad is seeing us for the first time in a day he greets us with a smile, a big hug and plants a nice, wet warm one square on the forehead.

As an adult, my sister and I have a high level of respect for dad. We make our own decisions, but in the back of our minds we take his standards into consideration.

We can call him when we need something (just know that his advice will include some random 3-point manifesto along with a few quotes).  There would always be some quirky story, almost like he was trying to be like Jesus with the parables and all.  His favorite go-to lesson was from his dad:

When my dad got his first job out of college he worked for Dupont and was making $13,000 a year.  In 1973 that was a lot of money.  The first thing he wanted to do was to buy a new car.  He talked to his dad about this.  His dad schooled him on what his priorities should be in life but dad was still adamant about getting the new car.  Granddaddy said “Son, I’m going to let you in on a secret.  They make new cars every year.”  That was the end of that conversation.

I use that illustration a lot with my students.  Here are some other “Fredisms” that I have shared with my friends and students in our conversations:

  • Respect your elders. If you were a supervisor or 10 years older, you were to be addressed as a Mr. or Mrs.  I still practice that at work and other places I go.
  • He believes that after God, the most important assets are your name and your credit (score). He is BIG on doing thing in integrity and making a good name for yourself.
  • He judges a situation by if it’s illegal, unethical or immoral (there he goes with the 3′s again).
  • He believes in the letter of law and the spirit of the law. There are rules in place (letter of the law) to maintain order and protect people, however, there are exceptions for rules to be broken (spirit of the law).
  • He believes that you should do your best, do more than is expected of you, but also have fun.  Life is short and family is paramount.
  • Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.  You have to develop relationships with your kids and people that work for you before and while you are just spouting out orders.  They will either resent or go all out for you.

I hope you saw some of your dad in Mr. Fred Johnson, III.  If you didn’t know your dad or didn’t have the best dad, live vicariously through this post.

Your challenge today is to reach out to all the good fathers in your life: husband, brothers, friends, etc. that have been positive role models in your life and the lives of others.  They will really appreciate it.

In the meantime, enjoy this Father’s Day video that came out a few years ago (hence the flip phone).  Hysterical!

Love you dad!  From Nikki & Nita

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/06/15/before-there-was-cliff-huxtable-or-jason-seaver-there-was-my-dad/

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