Lent 2015

Every Lent since my junior year in high school I have some how some way participated in the lentil season. Okay almost every year. This is my final year as an undergraduate student and with taking six classes, working three separate jobs (all in different industries), taking care of a toddler, trying to get healthy, working on my personal and professional relationships and entering the dating pool again I HAVE BEEN BUSY. Busy really is an understatement, but as busy as I seem to be I have falling behind the eight-ball.

I go through a self-assessment or a SWOT analysis (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) just to put myself in check and this year I decided I need an overhaul. I can’t keep a 2011 mentality and expect 2015 results. First of all the study habits that have gotten me this far are not that of a successful student. I will be the first to admit that I’ve gotten lucky with the classes that I’ve taken but this last semester is not one that I can just skate by, I have some work to do. One of the classes that I am taking in a grant writing class where we actually write a grant for an organization of our choice. I’m also taking two economic classes and two management classes so I am writing papers, research behaviors and trends in business, and most of all doing calculations. All that being said, again I am falling behind.

Most nights, if dinner, bath and bed time go smoothly I am starting my homework at 9 pm but if for any reason there is a hiccup in my mommy duties then that just derails that entire plan. My days and nights are running together and so enough is enough. I had to look to see where was the majority of my time being wasted and social media was my number #1 culprit. I am on social media just as much as I am awake. I am checking the book of Face for all things friends, I’m on my public and private Gram updating my life in pictures and then Pintrest, Twitter and Tumblr get whatever time is remaining. I have noticed changes in my daughter’s behavior because I am on social media. I am always connected so I don’t get adequate enough sleep, if I get any sleep at all.

I knew I was going to give up extra sugar for Lent, meaning if I had to add sugar than I didn’t need it but it was the other things I decided to give up that were a shock. Forty days isn’t that long if you thing about it but forty days when you are starting over is a lifetime. After surviving three heart attacks, having a baby, graduating this spring, life is controlled chaos. I’m going to use my time away from social media to focus on family, school, this blog, my PR business and other business ventures that I have been putting off because of lack of time. I ask for words of encouragement, prayers, words of advice, and tips.

Here’s to 2015….

I know I’ve been changed

So when I first decided to write this Saved and The City blog it was based on my spiritual journey with three other ladies that I grown extremely close with from church. I mean if you saw one you saw all of us, we did everything together. We supported one another at events, joined connection group through church and volunteered together. As with any group some grow apart and that’s exactly what we did, or I did.

I was older than the other ladies, and set in my ways and one particular incident happened at an outing for which I was able to “just let it go and move forward.”  I held on to that anger until I stopped hanging around the ladies. So moving forward I wanted to take the direction of this blog into the direction of spiritual growth from my inner circle, I’ve known two of the ladies for more that 20 years and the other for over 10 years. I created fictional names for each of the ladies, just in case someone close to them was reading my blog.

So right before Christmas i received a box from a 20 plus year friend, that comes from a religious family, her father is a preacher. She never forced religion on me but she would send just because boxes full of awesome little things. The particular box contained a 365 pocket prayer book for mothers.I was so grateful because for one she didn’t have to do that and for too I had just finished my Bible plan for 2014 and was looking for another. The prayer was about regrets.

I used to regret a lot of things in my life and I always played the hindsight is 20/20 game but no more. I believe in the Kanye West verse “everything I’m not made me everything I am.” I am learning to appreciate the bumps and bruise because when my triumphs happen then I will and can appreciate them more. I am going to document my spiritual journey for the next year, the good, the bad and the ugly. I know it’s not going to be easy because I feel off with the blog before but anything worth having is worth working. My faith and the journal is worth the hard work. Stay tuned….

Philippians 3:13

New Day Brunch

Your usual table ladies?

Of course

Will Ms. Emerson be late as usual?

You know it.

So i’ll get your drinks, bread and the menus

Thanks, Roberto!

Alright so who wants to bet how long Em is going to be and we’re playing for a spa day on her.  I say she’s going to be 20 minutes, I say 30 minutes and I say she stands us up again. Emerson comes walking up behind the ladies as bets are being placed with her vodka tonic. So let me get this straight Charlie for 20 minutes, Finley for 30 and Avery has no faith in me at all, huh? Hey boo things, how was church, we might as well talk about God before I tell ya’ll about all the sins.

No you tell us your sins and then we will pray to cleanse you, said Finley. Well the clients’ party was epic and I just may have to break the “never mix business with pleasure” rule.m He was so attentive he made sure my cup was never empty and even when everyone was leaving he had his maids prepare the guest room  so that i didn’t have to drive home. He was a perfect gentleman but those sweatpants he wore when he came to give me a t-shirt to sleep in told all the story I needed to know. Emerson, what happened to you being celibate asked Charlie.

I still am but just because I’m not giving up the goodies until I get the ring and my last name changes doesn’t mean I’m dead. The man massaged my feet because I was in heels all night and we stayed up talking until a few hours ago. He had his driver drive me home and he is going to send my clothes to the house later after they had been to the cleaners. I made a few new introductions so potential clients everywhere. This new year is my year. So with that said don’t ya’ll try and find ya ancestor’s in that menu I still have to hang out with the mini me later today and I’d like to not have to work over the weekend to pay for the day with my favorite people.

Avery and Charlie have been plotting a little plan to get Finley and Emerson back on the dating scene so they decided to let them in on it today since everyone is together. So, Fin and Em since you too are the single ones we have decided to hook you two up with potential suitors and then we are going to have a group date on Valentine’s Day that way it’s not awkward and we can hang out together. Fin and Em are apprehensive at first be they both know Charlie and Avery are going to do what they want to anyway.

Everyone’s meal and drinks are in front of them and Charlie offers to bless the food

Heavenly Father thank you for the food and fellowship as we come before you. Thank you for my husband and family, thank you for Avery and her family, thank you for Finley and her family and thanks for Emerson her family and her wallet because we are about to eat. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. 

After two hours have passed the ladies tell the waiter to give the bill to Emerson and she pulls out her credit card to pay but the bill is mark paid it forward. Finley says look at God, it must really be your year Emerson. Both ladies look to their matchmakers and ask them when do they get to meet their suitors.


Royal Attack

FACT: Heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.

June 9, 2010 was when I survived my first attack so when February 26th 2014 came I knew the warning signs. After putting the munchkin to bed I started experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. I had felt this pain before so I knew exactly what to do and sprang into action.

I took two 81 mg aspirin, put my feet up above heart level and was laying down on my left side. My mom and I checked my blood pressure which was high but not get your shoes on and let’s head to the emergency room high. I dozed off and woke up around 1am and went to bed. Every once in a while I like to cuddle with the munchkin and not feeling well just seemed like a perfect night to cuddle. Now Jordan has more moves than Jagger when she is sleeping so cuddling was a poor choice on my part.

We woke up like we normally do, I check the weather on my phone, turn on cartoons so I can go to the bathroom in peace, pick 2 outfits for  school and head towards Bibi’s room . The routine was normal but the pace was not. Every little step I made I had to take a break. I took Jordan to school and all the teachers said I didn’t look well. Masters of the obvious those ladies they are. I managed to get back home safely and I got back in the bed.

After a few hours of sleep, I wasn’t getting any better so I contacted my cousin to see if she could drop me off to the emergency room. I informed my mother that i was going to the hospital and I would keep her updated. Upon walking into the emergency room I noticed that it was empty enough for tumble weave to roll through. Going through triage was fairly quick but I think all hospital emergency rooms are trained to move fast when you say you’re having chest pains and shortness of breath. It’s like the code word to get into the elite tree-house club. So after the vitals are checked and the triage nurse gives me the once over because “you’re too young to have a heart attack” look is all over her face. I just respond by saying I have bad genes because her astonishment is an all too familiar look.

The PA ordered an EKG and after reading it tells me I had an acute heart attack the night before. Now the hospital is equipped to do a lot of things but a trauma like mine is one that they have to outsource. After three nitroglycerin pills under the tongue and two morphine shots my heart was trying to have a major attack. If you ever want to see a hospital staff go from 0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds have a heart attack. The process of getting a hold of the receiving hospital kicked into high gear and then I heard the helicopter.

My 1st helicopter ride was a terrifying yet exciting experience all at the same time. The view was breathtaking but at the same time i was thinking if something goes wrong these pilots/emts just don’t know we all going down. Once we arrived safe and sound to Shands I had a security detail and went through the hospital so quick I don’t remember the route we took. The first room was 524 and there were eight people working on me while I was being prepped for surgery. The cath lab tech asked me my name and I verified and then he wanted to know what i liked to be called. Y’all know me being me  I had a smart answer so I told him to call me the Queen of England and he replied your royal highness let’s get you off to surgery.

The first surgery was a success but I was informed that there were more blockages so I would have to have another surgery. I just knew I was going home Saturday but the cardiologists’ had another idea. Since I hadn’t seen my baby in a few days I had to threaten to leave against medical advice in order to get a visit. The look on Jordan’s face when she came to visit broke my heart. She didn’t want to come to me and after several attempts to take out my iv’s I had to give up some spaghetti and a breadstick just to get a kiss. Luckily she hadn’t taken a proper nap so a bottle and a little rocking in the guest’s recliner was all it took.

It felt great to hold my baby and rock her to sleep but i couldn’t help the guilt that i felt because what if the next one is the fatal one. Was I selfish to bring a child in the world knowing I have a bad heart? Will I see Jordan grow up? My mom’s baby is 35 with a baby so is it fair to ask her to start all over again? I laid in the hospital bed and matched Jordan’s breathing while my mom packed the car up for them to take the drive back home. Sunday’s visit was a little better because Jordan was the star attraction with all the nursing staff.

If laughter is the best medicine then two days of laughing at Jordan then I felt well enough to go home but then I got hit with the news that I might have to have open heart surgery I had to hide the fear I felt. My second surgical procedure was left up to cardiologists, EKG readings and blood work.  After each heart attack one has the heart grows a little weaker but not mine thankfully my heart beat/rhythm is strong. I was upbeat to the point one of the lab techs asked if I wanted or even needed some “happy juice”. Second surgery was successful except the recovery time. The range of motion in my right arm/wrist is at 65% and although it is painful I am fighting through the pain.

I am back on my meds which is probably why I had the attack in the first place. Not having health care is real folks. I was cleared to start doing light exercise again. Now I can’t say when the next attack will be but from the things I can control like weight, medication, smoking, and diet I will control them. I know a lot of people think I took this attack lightly but here’s the real deal, if i showed any signs of fear than people would have been planning my funeral. I have so much to live for and as long as I continue to see another day then I will live each day to the fullest.

I want to personally thank the hospital staff that was on call when I went into the emergency room in Georgia. I don’t remember the names but they rocked. Now the staff at Shands was amazing. My nursing staff: Ashleigh, Kyle, Marilyn, Allie, Selena and Monique. The PCA’s, Ms. Sharon and Lorenzo from the kitchen, Zac my cath lab tech who refers to me as your Royal Chocolateness, and all the cardiologist and doctor’s that made it possible for me to see my baby, get on my mommy’s nerves, blog again, enjoy the little things and so on and so forth. Thanks to everyone and their well wishes,  the cards, the flowers, the edible arrangements, and even the gifts for Jordan so that she is reminded that she is loved.


Nightwatch Service

As usual Avery, Charlie, and Finley are in church for night watch service, but Emerson is nowhere to be found. Charlie asks Avery “Where is Emerson?” Avery shrugs. Well she was supposed to be here and the choir is getting ready to start praise and worship. Calm down Charlie, said Finley, you know Em ain’t on time for nothing unless it has something to do with food.

Avery texts Emerson WTF are you, Charlie is about to have a cow and you know Finley is praying for your safe travels. 30 minutes later praise and worship is over and the collection plate has been passed around Emerson responds. During silent prayer all the ladies phones were blinking pink which means Emerson. All the ladies had a color. Finley’s is green, Charlie’s is yellow, and Avery’s is purple.

Hey ladies, sorry won’t be making it to church, client is having a party and of course you know these bills don’t pay themselves so I have to work hard to play hard. Pray for me and brunch is on me when church lets out. Smooches HNY was all the message said and they knew that there was no point in continuing to wait for Emerson.

Avery, Charlie, and Finley send Emerson a group reply text saying HNY backslider and meet us at The Spot for brunch on you and make sure you bring a lot of money cause you owe us!!

The speaker for the service was Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and he vowed to keep services quick yet thought-provoking.

“Is it really okay to pray for success? YES! If you aren’t praying for success, what’s the alternative? Are you going to pray for failure?

Jesus clearly shows us that it is okay to ask God for success in accomplishing a goal as long as the motive is right. When your success helps people and honors God, praying for success does not become a selfish act.

So my question to you tonight is this: Are you praying about your goals? Are you praying about your future? Are you praying about your dreams or are you just kind of keeping them to yourself?

Your prayers reveal a couple of things. First they reveal how serious you are about your goals. If you don’t pray about them, you really don’t care about them that much. If you only pray about them once, they are not a desire, they are just a whim.

The other thing your prayers reveal is how much you are depending on God to reach your goals. If you never pray about your goals, never pray about your job, never pray  about your finances, you are not depending on God in any of those areas. The more you depend on God, the more you’ll pray.

Welcome congregation to 2014!”



Jordan’s Father

I met Jordan’s dad KR (I’ll use his initials out of respect) on a dating website. We corresponded back and forth with a few emails and then he set up a date for the following Friday. We talked about everything and so when it came time for our date I was nervous because I wasn’t sure what we were going to talk about.

It rained the entire day  of our date and I had to work. Of course  traffic had another plan instead of me being on time. So I rushed home got, got in the shower, dressed and freshened up and back on the road to head to O’Charley’s. Luckily enough the traffic on had died down so I was able to get to the restaurant.

Our first date was amazing, we talked, watched basketball, ate, and had a great time. Our waitress thought we were married because she said we looked so happy together and were so in tune to one another. She was shocked when we told her it was our first date.  Our first date turned into a weekend of dates. We went to the movies on Saturday and ate El Pollo Loco and on Sunday we watched a triple header of basketball games and he cooked.

KR is probably one of the smartest people I have come to know. I learned about photography, Islam (he helped me with a report I had for a sociology class), computers, and a host of other things that would turn this post into a novel. He was straight up and down like 6 o’clock and cold as it may have been sometimes I stayed.

I stayed for 3 years, I shared the good, bad, and ugly with him and for that I am grateful. We were both on the same page when it came to children, he had three and didn’t want anymore and I didn’t want any. I loved the freedom of coming and going and not being responsible for anyone else but myself. When I told him I was pregnant, the reaction was far from excitement. I knew going in what his reaction was going to be but at the same time I thought having a child with me could and would change his mind. Ass backwards, yes I know.

I  felt the same way  in the beginning and with having a heart attack a few years prior, having a baby wasn’t even in the cards for me. The same reason I didn’t want to have a baby was also the same reason I decided to keep Jordan. Now her father on the other hand felt I betrayed him and has never seen, nor spoke to her or me about her. The one interaction was less than pleasant but Jordan was too young to know what was going on.

I was angry in the beginning but anger isn’t going to get my daughter her father. I believed KR loved me and I wake up to the result of his love for me every night. I recently read through some chat threads that I kept and I know KR loved me and he knew that we just weren’t good for each other. He wanted the best for me even when i didn’t want the best for myself.

Being a mom to the result of his love for me (in his own way) everyday is a blessing. Some days are harder than others believe me. I wish at times he was here when she is whining and wants to be held while i cook dinner and try to wash dishes, or if he could do the bath time routine so i can get a 20 minute nap but he’s not and for the time being i will pick up the slack. I will always leave the door open for him to be in his daughter’s life if he ever so chooses, it’s the right thing to do.

I could say many hateful and hurtful things but what is that going to prove. KR and I were good when we were good and the result is Jordan. She is the best parting ways gift I could’ve ever received and for that I will always love KR.


The Beginning

So Saved and The CIty came to me because I was in a connection group (Teach Me How To Pray) and had become fast friends with three amazing ladies. We went everywhere together and when you saw one you saw the entire crew. We were all on different levels in our faith and yet we all agreed on one thing, our level of prayer was lacking.

The fast friends that once were, are no longer and the idea I once had sat in a journal with thoughts jotted down. I took some time off from my blog but I knew I was going to begin again and so I wanted to bring back to life what once was.

SATC is going to be an ongoing story within the blog and just like the disclaimer on L&O SVU “The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” The characters are bits and pieces of people with whom I’ve come in contact with or know.

The four main characters are Finley, Avery, Charlie, Emerson. Each lady has a back story that I will going into further detail but a brief synopsis

Finley, who was raised in the church, is a single mom of two boys. She is recently divorced and looking to get back in the dating world. Fin is a successful salon owner/weave specialist but she is switching gears and starting nursing school.

Avery recently married her best friend and after 7 years, the honeymoon phase may finally be over. Avery and her husband have 1 daughter, and want to expand their family. Avery is a celebrity personal trainer and she owns a fitness studio. She sought God to get her through the trying times of being a business owner and life.

Charlie married who high school sweetheart. The family depend on Charlie and her flawless full-time job as a stay at home mom to keep everyone at the top of their game. Charlie and her husband are active members in the church, and they put God as the head of all decisions made.

Emerson is single, never married, mom. She owns E & Co. which is high-profile media relations firm. Emerson handles public relations, crisis management, teething, dating, and everything else that thrown her way. Out of all the ladies Emerson struggles the most with her faith.

Now that you have briefly introduced to the ladies I would like to take the time to thank Toni Stenson, Lanita Hill, Lauren Lacy, Shauna Davis, and Stacy Ross. This idea would’ve never become a reality had we not met.

Lessons Learned

Happy 2014 Everyone, I hope and pray that this year is your year cause I know it’s mine. It’s been a year since I last blogged which is crazy cause y’all know I always have something to say.

When I first got my .com my uncle got it for me and I had no clue what I was doing or what I was getting myself into all I know was I had a voice and I wanted to exercise my right to use it. So fast forward to October of last year (insert, duh it is only the first of the new year) when I contacted Suite369.net for their website services.

I wanted something simple and plain because everyone has to starts somewhere and I wanted to start from the beginning. This year I want to learn more about being a blogger and having a successful blog. So if baby steps is the way to go then so be it.

I have created a calendar and a preliminary lists of topics I want to cover but things are subject to change. If you’ll notice on the site there is a tab named SATC. SATC stands for “saved and the city.” I came up with idea a two years ago and so now there will be a blog within a blog. SATC is about 4 women who are on different paths with their faith but these women have been best friends since daycare and you will see how faith keeps them grounded.

Time management is going to be a big thing for me in this new year because I don’t want to start another project and not follow through. There are people who do more with less and less with more but I am going to better manage my time.  I am making the most of my time because we all receive the same 24 hours it’s just how and what you do in those 24 hours  that will separate you from the rest of the crowd.

In 2014 I will make the most of my time!