Reflections of 34… I’m almost 35!

Reflections of 34

34 has been one of my most challenging years. I plastered a smile on my face most days but there was shit going on behind that beautiful smile. It was pruning season for me. God was ridding me of branches (people and things) that weren’t producing fruit. Anyone who knows me knows I can be stubborn, flexible but stubborn. I was fighting tooth and nail to hold on to people and things that were serving me no purpose.

I needed a mindset change. I began paying attention to everything and everyone that was getting my time. It was a confusing time. I started reading and getting a better understanding of me. Essentially, I wasn’t being true to myself by holding on to the non producing branches. I did me and let everybody & everything be. It wasn’t easy. Not for me anyway. It’s still not easy but I choose me everyday. My peace. My happiness. I’m choosing. Me.

It still hasn’t been a walk in the park. My relationships & friendships are not the same. I’m not a loner by any means but I spend more time with me like I used to do. It’s liberating. I’m loving the me time and all the time I have to self reflect. So, life is good. But you know there’s always something lurking in the background.

These last couple of months have been filled with anxiety, health issues, and just a lot of emotions. As things seem to calm down, I’m reminded that obedience & faith are key in all situations. I’ve managed to keep both and remain positive. It’s still shit to be worked out BUT my anxiety has subsided a lot. I’m so thankful for the few that checked on me regularly without me having to tell them something was wrong. Thanks for checking on y’all strong friend and sister. ❤️😘

I’m thankful for the pruning season. The last year has been one for the books but I’m optimistic that in my 35th chapter I will produce the fruit God has so graciously pruned me for in my 34th chapter.

Cheers to a tough 34th chapter because I know what I’m made of… Cheers to overflow & abundance in my 35th chapter! *throws confetti*


Making History with Running

Hey y’all! It’s been a while. So, I’m still doing my countdown to 35. I’ll blog about that in a few weeks. Maybe. Anyway, I want to share my running fun from this past weekend. This past Saturday myself and four other awesome runners participated in the inaugural Selma to Montgomery relay. If you know anything about history, you know this to be a historic trail during the height of the Civil Rights movement. You’ve probably heard of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. If not, google it! You’ll be intrigued.

Anyway, our team along with others took on the task of running a 51 mile relay from Selma to Montgomery. The entire route was filled with so much history. It was pretty exciting. In addition, it was my very first relay. I was anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. I mean I only knew one person on the team before the race. Like what if I don’t like these folks. Y’all know I’m an introvert at heart. Fret not. They turned out to be pretty dope, awesome folks. I’m sure we are all friends now after spending so much time together in close quarters discussing all kinds of stuff.

So, let’s talk about the run. I had legs 2 & 8 of the relay. My first leg was early enough that the heat wasn’t a problem so I ran a pretty decent time. Definitely, didn’t want to let the team down so early in the race. 😊 My second leg was in the heat. It wasn’t pretty and I got lost. Thanks to some very nice guys myself and another guy was rescued. They didn’t have any signage. I had to make a move getting back to the exchange spot. I’m still not sure if my time is accurate though. The more I think about the more it seems inaccurate. Oh well. Anyway, I enjoyed the race overall. There’s definitely room for improvements but no major complaints. I’m happy I was able to participate in this historic event.

Let’s talk about the team. Here’s what made our team so dope. Our team consisted of one founding partner & four backers of The Race presented by The Unity Collective. More info about The Race is below but can be found in the attached link as well. Our team placed 7th overall & 5th in the coed division. Pretty cool! The Fierce Five came, saw, and conquered. I hope more folks attend next year. In the meantime, y’all should consider running The Race presented by the Unity Collective. A race for us by us. Literally everything and it will take you on a journey through Atlanta’s historic black neighborhoods. Find more information online at The Race. See y’all in October in Atlanta for another historic event!

Journey to 35

Hey y’all! I decided to blog about my journey to 35. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you know I posted a few days ago that I had 100 days until my 35th birthday. Well, I now have 94 days until I’m 35. 35 seems so grown & official. I’m sure it’s all perspective but it just seems like your life should be in order by 35. Well, mine isn’t or maybe not to my standards.

Anyway, I want to talk about the elephant in some rooms when I’m around certain folks. Everyone (not everyone but quite a few folks though) likes to discuss my unmarried, childless status. I just wish folks knew it’s not ALWAYS appropriate to remind me that I’m 1) childless & 2) unmarried. Why two doesn’t come before one is beyond me. And why do you think I need to be reminded of this?

So, I’m well aware of my unmarried, childless life. I’m also well aware that when it’s my time it will be my time. And if I’m meant to be a wife and bare A CHILD OR TWINS 😜I will. Y’all know I want a set of twins! Anyway! Honestly, it gets annoying when folks constantly ask me when I’m going to have a kid or two. Like y’all don’t know my coins situation. I’m a state employee slanging books & t-shirts as side hustles. I’m always honest. I want to be married and I want a kid or twins. (I only have one pregnancy to give.) It just hasn’t happened yet. 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ To no fault of my own or maybe that one time or that other time it was. I’m joking maybe!

I’m also realistic and I’d rather not be mid-forties walking a kid into their first day of kindergarten. Kudos to those who will or have done it. I just don’t think I’m made for that life. And as I get closer to the ages that will put me in that category, I have to start making some decisions. I’ll blog about that later. Maybe. 🤦🏾‍♀️

So as I continue my journey to 35, I’d appreciate it if folks stop reminding me that 1) I’m getting old. Because I’m not, I’m just maturing. 2) I’m childless. I know this. My cervix has never dilated ten centimeters. 3) Saying I need a husband. I don’t need a husband… My husband needs me. I’m the difference maker. Remember he who finds a wife finds a good thing. 😉🙂

Give me a break from this the next 94 days. It’s become the topic of discussion for no reason. Let me focus on becoming a New York Times best selling author, bomb ass custom gift maker, runner, all around fit person, and natural coil wearing goddess. I’ll take my single tax filing, childless status up with the boyfriend. I’ll keep you posted if any of this changes. Or maybe not. In the meantime, let me be unmarried and childless without explanation. I’m not asking for much! My left ring finger and uterus are off limits. But we can discuss how dope I am.

Abu Dhabi Tour, Burg Khalifa, & dinner at the Armani

Yesterday was soooooooo long and exhausting. I didn’t sleep much, if at all, the night before. We started the day with an hour and half drive into Abu Dhabi. Our first stop was the Ferrari track. Disappointingly, we didn’t have enough time to really look around and take pictures. Well not as many as I would have liked. It would’ve been fun to visit the roller coaster rides and mall but time was limited. It was crowded as I expected. 

From Ferrari world, we headed to the fourth largest mosque in the world. It required a certain dress code so we decided to wear abayas. The mosque was soothing and pretty quiet in relation to the number of people there. The architecture is awesome. 

From the mosque, we headed to the museum to learn more about Shiekh Zayed, the first president of UAE after its formation in 1971. Below is one of the cars driven by him. 

After that we headed to get something to eat. Nothing impressive. We make the ride back into Dubai and have dinner at the Armani hotel before touring the world’s tallest building, Burg Khalifa. 

Dubai has been great. I’m up now blogging and preparing for this 15 hour flight back to Chicago. Then I have to make my way back to Atlanta so I can get back to real life! 

Happy Monday from Dubai! Thanks for vacationing with us! Praying for safe travels! 

Sharjah Emirate Tour & dinner cruise

I started my day with a hot, humid four mile run. It was the highlight of my day. Literally! Today was very underwhelming and lackluster. The Sharjah tour was educational but definitely not what was expected. We visited the Museum of Islamic Civilization and learned a lot about the religion of Islam as well as the emirate of Sharjah! 

We also visited the vegetable and meat market. Why? I’m not really sure. It’s not like we could buy the food to take back to the room to prepare. 

After a much needed nap, we headed out for the dinner cruise. While it was better than the last two cruises we’ve gone one, it didn’t wow me. The food options weren’t the best. We were cute though. 

Afterwards, we decided to do a little rooftop action at another hotel. Nothing to blog about. We then headed to a 24 hour store to purchase souvenirs. And now we are back in the room. Tomorrw is the tour of Abu Dhabi, Burg Khalifa Tour, dinner, & gelato! 

Happy Sunday from Dubai!

Beach & Safari Desert Day

Whew, today was a struggle! Getting adjusted to the time has been an epic fail. I feel asleep around 8 AM local time and needed to be up by 9. I woke up at 9:42. Rushed to get dressed and headed to the beach. We went to Kite beach which isn’t far from our hotel. 

Beach bumming at Kite Beach

After about an hour and half at the beach, we decided to come back to the hotel to eat and rest up for the six hour Safari tour. And I definitely needed it. 

We headed out for the tour around 3 PM. We were split into groups of six. Our SUV driver was Joe. 

Wild, Untamed, & Insane! #SistasInDubai
Us with Joe! He was an awesome driver!
Delon & Cathy’s creations! 😍😍

We began the tour with Dune bashing. Let me tell y’all I was terrified at first but after a while I was okay. One lady in the vehicle with us was legit terrified. The men driving the vehicles are very good at what they do. I have no idea how they drive on the sand like that. I was relieved when we made it to the top which was our destination. 

We made it!
She was too happy!
She was happy too!

From dune dashing, we went to Arabian Nights campsite for barbecue and more activities, which included camel riding, henna tattoo painting, and belly dancing performances. 

This guy was amazing!
Camel riding!
Belly dancer
Our table.
Henna tattoo before they dried.
Arabian Nights Campsite

Today was less activities but just as adventurous. Tomorrow we have a city tour and dinner cruise. Happy Saturday from Dubai! 

First full day in Dubai!

Today has been hella busy. I started my day with a flat, easy three mile run. It was refreshing and not as hot as I anticipated. 

We did a half day tour of Dubai, particularly Old Dubai. Our first stop was Jumeirah Mosque – the oldest mosque in Dubai. 

We then headed over to Dubai museum to get an idea of Dubai from the 1930s until now. I won’t overwhelm you with all the pics. I’ll share only a few. We learned so much about the history and culture. We have tours scheduled for two other cities later. 

From the museum, we made a brief stop at the beach. Pretty sure the tour guide said it was a man made beach. The highlight was the hotel that’s pretty much made of gold. Not all of it but a lot of gold can be found in the hotel. 

From the beach, we visited the Spice Market & Gold Market. Both were crowded! Too congested for my liking. The spice market sells all kinds of spices (duh), chocolate, fresh squeezed juices, and a plethora of other items. And the gold market sells gold. Lots of 18K or more gold. I didn’t purchase any gold but I did purchase camel milk soap so we will see. 

Crazy that as we walked the streets of Old Dubai we were constantly being called the Obamas because we are black & American. 

After a quick lunch back at the hotel and a much needed nap, we head to the Dubai Mall! It’s the largest mall in the world and I would argue the busiest. It’s overwhelmingly big. Not much you can’t find in the mall. Lots of high end stores and reasonably priced stores as well. Not only that but it’s plenty of entertainment too. Oh yea, the mall closes at midnight. We spent five hours and didn’t get through but a third of it. 

The highlight for me was the was the water show at the fountain. I also enjoyed the aquarium, virtual zoo, and underwater zoo. While I enjoyed it, it’s definitely overpriced. 

We also got pics of the tallest building in the world, the Burg Khalifa. 

Finally, we enjoyed gelato and headed back to the room. We decided to play games tonight so we played headbands. It was hilarious but a great end to long day. Tomorrow we have the beach & desert safari. 

Happy Friday from Dubai!