Finding courage… {#FTSF and #AskAwayFriday}

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

As mothers, don’t we always wish that we and our children would sleep in peace. I successfully weaned Butterfly during the night over Thanksgiving just so I she could get some sleep! She still wakes up at night, but thankfully goes back to sleep within a few minutes.

I have embarked on doing acts of kindness specifically for this season.  I try to be kind all year long, but during this season many are colder and people are reminded of what they don’t have by the sales and shopping frenzy that others go on. Try one or two of them this season and change someone’s day!

This week, I’m going to combine my Finish the Sentence Friday and #AskAwayFriday prompts. Cross my fingers that it goes well! It’s a long one!

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

Jessica Pen and the Needle AAF and FTSFThis week I exchange questions with Jessica Starks at The Pen and The Needle. She is a college student, blogger, and writer who is constantly striving to pursue her dream of having a successful writing career. Her blog hosts a wonderful, inspirational series entitled Weekly Blessings. I ended up reading them all!

1.What inspired you to begin your blogging journey?

I’ve talked about why I started blogging here and here. However, this is a great question to segue into the Finish the Sentence Friday question of “I’ve never had the courage to…” Being courageous when you’re young is easy, primarily because you don’t understand the consequences of your actions. As you get older, your life becomes somewhat mundane and acts of courage tend to involve more acts of sacrifice.

According to Dictionary.com, courage is the ability to do something that frightens one or strength in the face of pain or grief. Courage requires you to give of your life or time. All acts requires you to give in some way, being selfless.

As a youth, I was pretty fearless. I was involved in all sorts of clubs and groups that required me to talk, act or dance in front of my entire student body. I had to ride a bus 30+ miles in the dark without any supervision, with my valuables and alone. According to the dictionary definition, I was brave. I don’t know if I was brave or naive.

My first true act of courage was choosing my son above all else. As a single woman in law school, I knew that a stigma would be attached, could be attached. As a black woman, I could easily become a statistic. As a law student, I could have easily dropped out and not pushed through to the end. Everyone would’ve understood. I didn’t know where my life would lead, but I kept going anyway.

Daniel's 8th birthday

My second act of courage was changing my career path. It’s easy to keep going on a path that you know that will find you financial success. It’s harder to give that up to raise your family, in order to make sure that your children have a life where they never feel alone.

All Three 1014 Logo 1

My third act of courage was submitting an original story to an anthology… and it was accepted! Since it was a personal story, the real act of courage was allowing my real world life to be published in a a real book sold on Amazon called Clash of the Couples!

One thing that I have not had the courage to do is step out on my own. I know it sounds silly, but the fear of success is real. I have succeeded in almost everything that I’ve put my mind to ~ there’s one glaring exception. Yet, that exception startled me. I wasn’t sure what to do next or how to do it.

Before I started blogging, even when I thought I was going to use it to market my business, I thought of it as a hobby, yet the amount of time it takes to promote it takes time, real time around from my family and something needs to change.

How do I manage a life in a different way? How do I step out and truly make this blog (or my future one) a real success? I know that what I need to do will require me to take time away from sleeping for my family and I don’t know if I’m ready for it. I read, listen and study tools on how to take this to the next level.

Yet, I have not had the courage to do it. I’m at the point where I need to do it, for my sanity and our family. So, this is the first step of stepping out. It’s currently 4 a.m., well within my normal sleeping hours, but it’s quiet and uninterrupted.

Here’s to having courage in 2015!

2. What is one of your favorite things to do with your children?

That’s simple, snuggle! Touching can change someone’s entire spirit, positively or negatively. When my children want to just sit with me, calm down and watch television or just give me a big hug, there’s nothing in comparison. My spirit is lifted it calms any anxiety that I did have.

3. Since you’re into healthy eating, what is your favorite healthy food to make?

I know I’ve answered this question before, but for some reason today, it really struck a chord. Why is it when someone chooses a salad over a burger or skip dessert, they are into “healthy eating” and when they don’t, they’re just eating. Sadly, I know that I’ve been a culprit of spreading it’s use with my site.

But today, as I eat two baked chicken wings and a side of asparagus, I don’t think of myself as eating healthy, I’m just eating.

When did “healthy” become a bad word?

I remember during one of pregnancies, I ate mostly meat and vegetables, with breakfast being Shakeology (mainly because if it wasn’t that, it wasn’t going to be anything). I would constantly get questions about whether that was healthy for the baby to drink all natural ingredients. Yet, even though there has been TONS out there about how fast food is unhealthy, picking up a burger wouldn’t even get a curious glance.

I’m sorry, I completely hijacked your question. I don’t really have a favorite healthy meal. We eat chicken a lot. I bought some frozen shrimp because they defrost (and cook) super quick. I finally found some spaghetti squash to sue in spaghetti, which was a hit in the house, but takes a LOT more time to make. YOu have to roast the squash first for about 45 minutes. It’s super easy, but just time consuming and a little more preparation than I’m used to.

4. Think back 5-10 years. Would you have ever imagined your life would turn out the way it has?

Heck NO! Not even close.

Ten years ago, I graduated law school. I had just found out that I had not passed the bar and I wasn’t quite sure where I was going or how I could afford to take the time to take the bar again ~ financially and physically.

My husband and I weren’t yet married and we were still trying to figure out whether our relationship would last. {10 years later, we’re still going strong!}

We lived with my mother, trying desperately to figure out how to NOT be living with her any longer.

Five years ago, I was still in a deep depression from losing our son. I was masking my feelings in a glass. I cried often, and couldn’t see past my tears. Since I was so closed off, I don’t know if anyone knew or cared what I was going through. My husband tried… we were married by then. But he didn’t really know what to do except keep himself together.

I was still working, spending long hours begging my son to do his homework. I mean, how much homework could a first grader have? But he had enough that it would be our daily struggle from the time I got home from work until dinner (at least an hour, if not two). I couldn’t fathom having more children. This one, was a generally good kid, and I could barely keep things together.

Then, I woke up, realized where I was… and that I was a wife and a mother, with a son who needed me desperately. I knew my husband wanted more children and I had to be right, sane and sober for him and any future children.

So, here I am, five years later, with two more little girls, enjoying stay at home motherhood. As far as I know, my husband is happy and I am too!

5. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Being able to write like the answer to number 4.

6. Are you an animal-lover? Why or why not?

I have a post in my drafts that has been sitting there for a while called: My House is a Pet-Free Zone. There are a lot of reasons that I’m not, outlined in the post, which I kinda wish I finished before I started this post! It’ll be a lot funnier than this one. I’ve never had an animal or had any desire to have one, so I just don’t it. But here are my top three reasons:

  1. I think they’re like children that never end up taking care of themselves.
  2. If kids did even part of what the animals did, your kids would be in the bath all.the.time!
  3. There’s no way I’m doing that much vacuuming/cleaning/changing!

7. Do you have any unique talents? If so, what are they?

I don’t know about unique, but I do sing… and I think I sing well. One day I’ll post a video or something. I also tend to be good at most sports. The only thing that hinders me is the shape that I’m in. When I’m out of shape, it’s all bad. But when I’m in shape, throw, hit or kick a ball and I’m all over it and normally on the winning team!

8. If you could pick any actress to play you in a movie, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I have NO idea. Come to think of it, I would love if the actress was unknown and playing me was her breakout role!

9. What is your favorite TV show right now?

I’m aching to say Scandal… because I am an avid fan, but I think I’m going to have to say Black-ish. I have not laughed so hard in a long time!

scandalBlackish

10. What is one major lesson your children have taught you?

Patience. Even when I want to scream, somehow the only words that come out of my mouth is “Yes, sweetie”. Sometimes, I surprise myself at how calm I have become. This is not at all to imply that I don’t scream or yell (even though I wish I didn’t), but everyday, it’s a little less, and in turn, Bee is they are a little less loud.

FTSF

20 comments on “Finding courage… {#FTSF and #AskAwayFriday}”

  1. You are totally courageous for all of he reasons you listed and more. As for the animals in my house, I had your reasons and more and well then they (my family) just wore me down!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      Thankfully, my husband is on my side. Neither of us grew up with or wanted pets, so Bunny is the only person who's asked. My response to him is when he can show me he can take care of himself, we can discuss him taking care of an animal.

  2. ssgannett says:

    Wonderful swap, ladies! Ten years ago, I never would have thought of myself as courageous, but now older and wiser, I have a new belief in myself which is courage for me. I totally agree about the pet thing…oddly the family over ruled me and we have 2 dogs and a cat! LOL! I absolutely love to sing, loud and proud, whether I am any good or not I could not say, but it makes me feel amazing! There is absolutely nothing better than snuggle time! LOL! Have a great weekend, April!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      LOL! I've heard that the family can wear you down. But I literally will not take care of it, and if anyone expects me to feed any pet, unless it's emergency circumstances like physically being in the hospital, I will spend the time to find it a new home.

  3. Karen says:

    Sounds like yummy meal babe! You showed true courage and beyond babe, what a role model for your kids! I LOVE scandal, among a ton of other shows.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      Thanks so much! I have been trying to be that role model for them and always wondering if I'm doing the right thing. Oh yeah, there are a LOT of shows, but I didn't want to list them all!

  4. Tarana says:

    You have done some courageous things! I hope you pursue your singing dream some day.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I'll get there. I love singing, I just don't know if I want the life a singer has… mostly late nights and then possible travel. I don't think I could be without my kids for that long.

  5. You handled the two posts seamlessly. Well done! Your comment about having animals made me grin and it reminded me that somewhere out there is a veterinarian who is shell shocked by me. I've always had a dog in my life and we got a puppy when my son was 5 and my daughter 6. Fine. We take Oscar to the vet for a check up and she launches brightly into a teeth cleaning demo. Before she gets the brush out of the packet I hear myself shriek "noooooo!" With my husband dying when our kids were little I had my hands full. There was NO way I was going to take on cleaning the dog's teeth at bedtime as well. Thank you very much. Happily he lived to 10 and his teeth were fine!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      That's exactly what I'm talking about! They are little people to most! I can't have another little being in our house! At least the other little people eventually make their own cereal in the morning so I can sleep in. 🙂

  6. Ruchira says:

    Was a pleasure to know you, April 🙂
    Wishing you the best in your wishes..Amen!
    xoxo

    1. spiritedlife says:

      Thank you so much!

  7. Great way to combine the two linkups, April! I think you were very brave to stay in school and I think sharing through blogging is brave as well. Also? Today, I just ate. Sigh. Thanks for the reminder and yes to our children giving us patience!!!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I never thought I could be this patient. Eating is part of life. I just try to choose an extra serving of veggies, except yesterday… where I had two pieces of fried chicken and a drink (or two)! 🙂

  8. Wow. I don't think that I understood your personal history until now. I think that you are brave twice over: once for facing down your fears and tribulations, and then brave again for sharing them with all of us!

    Also, thanks for sharing your healthy eating journey. It's inspiring!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I've hesitated sharing because I didn't want it "out there", but truth be told, in this day and age, I'm sure any secrets won't be kept. Thanks.

  9. tamaralikecamera says:

    I love combining the two! I'll be doing that next week.
    And I do have pets, but I hesitated for the reasons you listed. I will admit that the dog is easier than anyone else. Even my husband!
    And what beautiful answers about bravery and life paths.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I'll probably do it this week too, if I get an AAF partner. LOL! I've not sure that I've heard that the dog is easier, but cool.

  10. Dana says:

    Please post a video – I would love to hear you sing! If I could have any talent, that would be what I wish for. My kids love Blackish – I should catch an episode with them.

    I love these Q&As – I learned so much about you this week, April. Thanks for sharing!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I'm going to audition for something and I'll post that video! Oh, Black-ish hits home with the real speak of what a lot of blacks talk about. I guess we are opening up these internal conversations, including with the show Fresh off the Boat too!

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