guess who’s back

i know, i know…it’s been awhile. or more like five years.

thing is, i had almost forgotten about this space until a friend called me days ago and asked me to help set-up a blog for her. she said she had been by my old spot (this thing here) and noticed i hadn’t posted since 2014. and well, what can i say? shit happens. i couldn’t even remember the daggone password.

i remember after dutch was born my grandmother said, “you need to keep a journal about your baby, write everything down. make sure you take notes of all the stuff he does or else you’ll forget.” i started this blog in august 2007 to start my journey as a mama blogger. my son was a month shy of turning two.

how it all began

when myspace was poppin’ it gave me my first dip into html. that’s where a lot of us who do web-by things as a career first got experience. we are the ones who took ridiculous amounts of time trying to customize the html on our pages to make them stand out and look all fly. (and did you know that code editing capability ultimately created huge security vulnerabilities which led to the demise of myspace? yeah. anyway…) so when blogs really became a popular thing i knew i had to be all over it, especially since i had this new mini skill under my belt.

it also helped that when i decided to blog mama blogs were the whole shit at the time. so off i went to google and learn everything i could about setting up a blog and i landed here on wordpress with mama’s got moxie. truth be told, i ain’t always feel like i had moxie when i created the name, but i damn sure knew i had it in me somewhere.

i needed this space. you know how singers gotta sing? or dancers gotta dance? it’s the same for me. this blog was the creative space i craved after leaving my job as an editor at an entertainment magazine. i needed a place to write whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted, and my growing baby boy was the perfect subject.

so instead of keeping a journal about my son, i decided to blog about him. i created the “dutch files” and blogged about all the funny stuff he said and did, and there was plenty because my kid has always been hilarious. i also started posting about other stuff i liked, music i loved, and after reigniting my passion for photography with a digital photography class i took, i started to post some pics i took too. i followed other bloggers, made virtual blog friends (some who i am still connected with on instagram), and discovered a whole community of like-minded women who loved to write. it was pretty cool.

oh, i can get a full-time gig with this? bet!

when i first jumped on wordpress i googled html and css code to learn everything i could about how to customize my blog. i taught myself how to use photoshop so i could create cool (read: sometimes corny) banners. i learned about keywords, and tags, and how to set-up categories. learned about how to keep my pageviews up. i bought my domain name and learned how to set-up my own self-hosted blog. i took part in writing challenges, covered a couple events, interviewed some folk, set-up other people’s blogs… i took my experience as a writer and whatever other creativity i could conjure up and i ran with it.

my reward for all my hard work here in this little space was an opportunity based off of everything i taught myself how to do. in 2008, i landed a whole full-time job managing a web community of mamas for a dc area news station. i led conversations around mamahood, hosted mama events throughout the dc area, and wrote scripts about the site for a station personality to read on-air. i started feeling a lil’ more moxie-ish.

welp, there went that

then i was laid off from my shiny job at the news station in october of 2011. and i ain’t gon’ lie, it was a whole daggone pinprick to my balloon, man. my first corporate gig and then that ish happened.

i was nervous, but not nervous nervous, you know, because i just knew that i would land another opportunity quickly. my severance package would last through the new year and i had all this writing/editing/web experience, right? the kicker was nobody was looking to hire throughout the holiday season so while i sent out resumes right after i was laid off, i planned to hit the job sites really hard the first of january.

but one thing i hadn’t considered was that my experience was soooo specific. i mean, i knew who jay-z’s publicist was, and where mamas could take their kids to eat for free on tuesdays, and yeah, i knew how to operate a few cms platforms and was quickly learning about twitter and instagram (when insta was all abt photography, you know, before it became a marketing machine), but most of the full-time jobs i found were for technical writers which i was not.

there were tons of admin positions available too but i literally had no admin experience. none. i hadn’t made travel arrangements, or did whatever people do for other people’s calendars, or answered phones for a company. i barely answered my own phone on the job. in fact, when i worked at the news station the only person who ever called me was my manager because he worked on a different floor. it also didn’t help that i now had two defunct pieces of media on my daggone resume. “oh, you want proof? check out these lovely screenshots and tear sheets.”

after my severance ran out i collected unemployment for a good solid year – from january 2012 to january 2013- and while money was super tight things were ticking. (or so i thought.) i sent resumes everydaggonewhere everydaggoneday to everydaggonebody and nothing. absolutely nothing came through for your girl.

do you know what it feels like to not only be jobless, but have zero job leads? none? nobody interested in hiring you for nothing at all? it not only sucks, but it plays on your self-esteem in a major way.

if i’m being completely honest here, this was a totally new experience for me. i had never been in a position where i felt so daggone low. i had never felt that i wasn’t good enough, or that i wasn’t employable before. that i couldn’t take care of myself. and here i was a whole wife and mama and couldn’t contribute to my own well-being, much less stay on top of all the household/child care/credit card bills that were adding up. i had help from my folks to keep things afloat, but still. it sucked.

to keep myself busy during this time (and to keep my spirits up), i started making jewelry, and i also started delving a bit more into photography because creativity is my shit and in order to keep my sanity i have to be creating…something. i’d take my camera out for the day or create little photoshoots in the house. so in 2012 i made an invite in photoshop, sent it to all my friends and family, and threw a jewelry party at my house to sell my jewelry.

i had to do something to make niki feel good about niki, you know? i had to be productive. me being creative helped to give my days focus. i would get up, take my son to school and come home, apply for jobs, and work on my jewelry like it was my job. i even gave myself a lunch break until it was time to pick dutch back up. it gave my days some kind of meaning. i’d listen to my mp3 player or put on records and get busy.

i’m a realist, but a high-key optimist, as well. i’ve never felt that whatever my current situation was just my ultimate destination. never. i’m not a woe-is-me person at all. i’mma, “oh, so going left didn’t work? lemme go right and zigzag-y and turn all about and see what happens” kinda person. it’s just the way i’m built. i don’t give up.

oh, so e’erythang just gon’ fall apart on me? ok

then 2013 came and shit hit the fan. i was still jobless and if things couldn’t get any worse my marriage fell all the damn way apart. as bad as things already were and as much i was purposefully keeping myself in a good space mentally, now things were bad bad. like, really bad ’cause ain’t nothing like a lil’ heartbreak peppered over your unemployment, ya know?

i don’t wanna be all langston hughes, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair,” but yeah, nothing, and i mean, absolutely nothing was buttery smooth during that time. in fact, 2013 was the worst year of my life ever up until that point. i left my husband…twice. long story but that’s what happened.

after moving myself and dutch to my father’s home i worked a couple part-time jobs that helped bring in some income. i made a few dollars but i was beyond stressed like i had never been stressed before. most days i literally survived by eating a couple boiled eggs and smoothies with avocado. i lost a ton of weight and weighed 125lbs on a good day. i’m a tall chick. it wasn’t cute. even a then eight-year-old dutch started asking if i had eaten.

so, ummm, who am i again?

by the end of 2013 and for all of 2014 i barely even recognized the woman i had become. and not just because of the weight loss. i was making decisions that were so out of my character. i was putting my own needs so far back on the backburner i couldn’t even see them anymore. and i was putting others’ needs squarely on my shoulders as constant reminders of what i needed to be doing in order to get a speck of love and respect that i never ended up getting anyway.

my life was spinning spinning spinning out-of-control and i couldn’t stop it.

when you were a kid you probably used to blow bubbles, right? remember how you’d try to catch them? some would fly away out of your reach, some would pop? it’s impossible to catch all the damn bubbles. that was my life. i could not catch all the damn bubbles and what’s worse is i looked like an absolute crazy person for even trying to in the first place.

i wish there had been a trailer put out for the bs i was about to encounter. a good ol’  *COMING SOON* to niki’s life would’ve helped a sista out a lot. but nope, no warning at all for all the many twists and turns and itty bitty highs and a bunch a damn lows and bullshit i never thought i’d have to deal with that was heading smack dab to my face like a snowball with a rock in the middle.

2014 ended with a nasty boom and early 2015 was pretty much the same. then 2015 went into this twilight zone kinda time period where my then husband and i started dating and reconciling and all that. everything was feeling all brand new, and lovey dovey and like 1997 all over again so by 2016 we were looking to buy a house. 2017 we bought one. 2017 he left.

then came the non-stop whirlwind of drama drama drama. as a nice thick creamy icing to the drama cake i had a job, got a new, better, closer job, lost the job and got a new one again. still doing web work. thanks, myspace!

when i look back i can’t even believe all this was my life. like, for real, for real.

in fact, roll that back…please. was that really niki’s life?

indeed it was. it’s amazing that i have a lick of sanity left.

but…i have learned a lot about people over the past six years. most of this shit i ain’t even need to know. or maybe i did. i’m sure that it will all be helpful sometime in the future. i mean, i have stacks on stacks of experience on bullshit and fuckery that you just can’t learn by jollying through life and that’s gotta be worth something, right?

the end

2019 – divorce.

look, sometimes divorce is amicable and peace and flowers and well wishes and a handshake or friendly hug to your former spouse at the courthouse complete with nice to know ya’s and have a nice life’s. but then sometimes it ain’t. it’s just ugly and volatile and vile and turbulent and just a drama-filled mess. that’s what mine was. i mean, even the word “peasant” was tossed out there and who even says that?!?! like, c’mon…what in the shakespearean times is going on here?!?!

after 15 years (almost to the date), it ain’t even have to be that way.

or maybe it did.

i’m leaning towards the thought that sometimes you can pray and pray and pray for something and because God has granted us free will to make our own choices in this life we’ve been given and if it feels good for awhile we choose to call it a blessing. deon cole spoke about this in “cole hearted” stand-up special. you know, just ’cause you found some weed or feel lucky enough to have five girlfriends don’t make you blessed. God had nothing to do with that.

we feel like our prayers have been answered and it’s a blessing because it’s what we want. but nah. it ain’t what God wants for you. He allows it to happen because there’s a lesson in it for you. you went through it to learn a thing. and you’ll continue to repeat the same exact cycle and patterns until you’ve learned it.

the lesson for me is that for half my life i was believing something that just never was. it was all just a figment of my graaaaannnnd imagination blended with my romanticized version of events. love will do that to you. but it was really like some matrix bs and i obviously took the red pill when i should’ve taken the blue, or maybe just turned the whole damn movie off from the jump.

the lesson was for me to start believing what i was actually experiencing, not what i wanted the experience to be. so my bad. i had it all wrong, all along.

life is indeed like a box of chocolates

my life is a little different from when i first started this blog. i’m a single mama of a teen now. i’m older. wiser.

i’m steadily tapping back into things i used to love before i became a mama. before i was ever somebody’s wife. that woman who just enjoyed life. and loved to write and paint everything in the house, curtains and all. when i played all my favorite music loud while burning nag champa and patchouli incense, and lit candles everywhere. and wore what i wanted and didn’t give a damn about what somebody thought. the days when i got cute and hung out with my friends and laughed at dumb shit till my cheeks burned.

i’m reconnecting with that niki and mixing her with this grown ass niki of now. the one who doesn’t feel obligated to do anything i don’t wanna do just because somebody else wants me to do it. i no longer feel the need to respond to every negative comment thrown my way.

i relax when i need to and if i wanna stay in bed all day and do nothing then that’s what i’m gonna do. i still blast my music most of the time, but oddly enough, i enjoy the quiet just as much. never again will i put myself in a position where i have to check off a list of someone’s wants in order to earn the love and respect that i deserve as a woman, partner and mama. and, i wear big ass drawls when i feel like it because they’re comfortable dammit and when i feel like i want to thong it out for the day i do that too.

mama’s still got moxie

can i just say i was so damn on point when i named this blog? for real, for real, i always had moxie, whether i felt like it every day or not.

i have always believed in me.

i have always held true to my values and morals and never wavered.

i have always stood up for myself, and i don’t back down for nobody. never have. have i had weak moments? absolutely. in fact, i have had absolute cringe-y, pathetic moments. i’m human. and as a human i look back like, “damn, nik, did you really do that?” moments. yep, i did. and guess what? i’ve reconciled all them shits with me and i’m okay with it. it happened. whatev.

my life has been and will always be about learning and growing. it’s about getting knocked down a bunch of times, but standing up hella more times. i’m gonna always show up for me you can bet on that.

it’s about being the best daggone mama i can be to grow this child of mine into a respectable, God fearing man. that’s my prayer.

it’s about embracing my imperfections. slow walking and taking it all in. the past couple of years have been about healing and dealing. i have had to just sit with me and my thoughts. my dreams. my wants. my aspirations. in fact, i’m afraid of folk who can’t just take time to sit with themselves. if they’re scared to be by themselves then i’m scared to be with them. how i’mma feel safe with you if you’re scared of you? just a thought.

i love the ones who love me, and i close the door on those who don’t. periodt.

basically, my life is about maintaining this moxie of mine.

press the restart button

2013 has been a whopper of a year for me. the worst ever, actually, but i refuse to dwell on the negative because so many other things went right in my life. as the saying goes, sometimes things have to fall apart so they can fall back together. and it may not look as you expected, but it will come back together in the end. be-lee-dat!!

so here’s the good side to my 2013 because the bad…well, it deserves absolutely no energy.

2013 kicked off with dutch playing sports…basketball!!! it’s always a good time watching him play. his game improves more and more each season and he really seems to enjoy himself out there on the court. and that’s what it’s all about.

and while most of the early year was devoted to the game, we took time out to celebrate my stepmama’s birthday down in old town alexandria, virginia. we walked and walked and walked for a few blocks and by the time we all arrived at the restaurant i was dizzy as all get out. it wasn’t the first time. i had a bad case of dizziness on the treadmill too. my husband blamed it on me being out of shape, but after an ekg and blood tests, i found out that my anemia had kicked in rather strongly. (and i have a heart murmur i never knew about too!!) so if you’re feeling dizzy and just plain ‘ol out of sorts, get your bloodwork done!!

in fact, there are a whole slew of symptoms tied to anemia that could be affecting your life: weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), irritability and other mood disturbances, pale skin (however, healthy-looking skin color does not rule out anemia if a patient has risk factors and other symptoms of anemia), mental confusion and loss of sexual drive. i have felt allllllll of those at one point or another throughout the years and although i’ve taken iron supplements before i never stayed on them long enough to feel the total effects. won’t be doing that again! having my blood iron back on track 100% improved my overall well-being tremendously. no more exhaustion, freaky anxiety attacks or nothing.

but anyway…enough of that and my oh-my-goodness-am-i-about-to-have-a-heart-attack scare. onto april!! it snowed during dutch‘s spring break! weird, but we rolled with it and dutch got to play in it for a bit. we spent loads of time playing outdoors and i finally landed a little job that drove me almost to the point of insanity. i blogged about it at one point, but then i deleted it. so, oh well… just know that it wasn’t a good look for your girl. or anybody for that matter. the job + trying to get my iron levels back on track + everything else going on in my world had my head spinning. but i’m a mama so i kept smiling and pressed forward.

and smile, i did!! next up was my cousin aliya’s baby shower. i love these chicks right here to pieces and it’s always a good time when we’re together. always. smack talking and drinks!!! laughing, joking and just utter silliness. no drinks for the pregnant chick of course, but you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen a woman with a preggo belly hit the hee-haw (dc, where you at??).

trust, you had to be there. it was a sight to behold. it was also nice to have my mama there to bestow her *ahem* wisdom on us youngins.

this is just a modge podge of 2013 randomness. a guitar i painted earlier in the year for my niece, a demin clutch i made from my husband’s old jeans, me and my mama hanging out in the backyard at a bridal shower cookout for my cousin imari, and me and my dutchie having a picnic at gravelly point park. to know my son is to know he never wants to go anywhere except toys r us. so i drug his behind out the house, grabbed a blanket and some food and we had a grand old time watching the planes take off and land. it’s a day i won’t soon forget because we had so much fun just being silly. my sexy librarian look (as they called it on instagram!!). ha! well, i was going on a job interview and i got there a little early so why not selfie, right? well, i didn’t land the job, but daggone it, i looked good!!

and you just don’t even understand the level of excitement i felt when i was finally able to pull my curly bush back into a ponytail. oh yes, hunty was happy!!

my cousin imari jumped the broom!!! we had a great time celebrating with the new couple, but dutch was a little disappointed that we didn’t have a chance to dance at the reception. he wanted to get his party on!

remember that ponytail i was soooooo excited about having? well, i chopped that sucka right on off. not only was i just getting tired of all that hair and the heat of summer, but i needed change and i needed it fast!! not that short hair is that drastic of a change for me. i’ve been wearing my hair short like this for almost 20 years. at the beginning of the summer i began feeling more like the old me than i had felt in years so it time for the hair to go and for me to get back in my niki zone.

let me tell you about that skirt in the pic. just before summer i was seeing the weight i had held onto for years sorta melt away. but i didn’t realize just how much it melted away until i headed down old town in that skirt and had to hold the puppy up before it hit the bricks! haha… i did. so it didn’t.

music soothes me and i did a lot of record spinning over the summer to calm my thoughts. i also played music on my kindle, on pandora from my phone, cd’s and i kept vh-1 soul on most times. music all around me. that’s how i like it. hey, like bob marley said, “one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” unless the wrong song comes on, of course. but that’s another story.

see my baby complaining? it’s one of his most favorite-ist things to do in life. haha… we stopped thru eastern market on our way to my mama’s house to get her a bunch of flowers for her birthday. i also attended the wedding of an old friend over the summer and she had the cutest wedding and reception that included skits of her and her husband on a big screen. she was absolutely stunning! joy, joy, joy!!

we attended a family member’s birthday party at a restaurant back in july and the guys were mostly bored, i suppose. but i got up danced because that’s what you do at a party with music, no? i’m all about making the most of any situation so if there’s music and a dancefloor that’s where i’ll be. thank you very much.

lemonade out of lemons, my friends.

that month a girlfriend and i also hung out at a little spot called puro lounge in georgetown. we sipped mojitos and had the most fabulous food! i hear the head chef has left the building so if you go there now i can’t stamp the new cook. sorry!

at the beginning of the summer we spent sooooooo much time at the pool. me and my boy…every day at the pool. worked fine for me, i got my tan on and dutch got his band-aid on from scraping those toes at the bottom of the pool. the upside is he became a much better swimmer and is absolutely fearless in the water. which scares me just a wee bit but we worked it out. perhaps next summer he’ll learn to dive off the diving board because the child begged me about doing that alllllll.summer.long.

and not just my tan, i got my workout on too!! i hit the gym when i could, walked a lot and changed up my diet. between that and my appetite decreasing (due too much daggone stress) i was getting right back down to my pre-dutch weight. well, helllllloooooooooo!! took long enough, huh? but remember what i said about the exhaustion from anemia?? i’d literally wake up every morning sleepy. hard to motivate yourself to workout when you’re dead tired all the time.

oh, and my fur baby charlie!! we bond over stare down contests. he likes to stare at you before he decides to attack your face and smother you with puppy love and kisses. he’s special.

more pool time at my aunt jackie’s with the fam!! the kids had a great time dancing and swimming and so did the adults. these little people are amazing. smart. talented. just all around good kids. yeah, they can irk the nerves of their parents and all that, but we’re so blessed to have such cool kids.

dutch and i finally hit up a waterpark just before school started and before we knew it it was time for back-to-school with endless school supply lists and back-to-school nights. dutch went to school, we, the parents, went to the movies!!

but ooops!!! just realized i put the same pic up twice of me in a hippie rv at the gas station. i met an interesting trio at the gas station who were all about love and peace and happiness and hope. they coulda been high, who knows. haha… the chick offered me almonds, but i kindly declined. anyway, they invited me to sit in their rv and write a love msg on it. i did. why not? i love people. well, some of them anyway.

birthday time for me and the kid!! i made a birthday banner for my dutchie and then baked cupcakes for his class. the kids loved them!! then the following month i had the most awesome 40th birthday celebration ever!! definitely the highlight of my year. the love in that room for me that night was so thick and i needed it. i needed the laughs, the tears, the dancing, the shouting…the words. chiiiiiilllllld, that birthday will go down in the history books of birthdays for me.

my fam… kindred the family soul! aja and fatin came in town for a show at the birchmere and it was a great show as usual. if you have not seen them perform live yet, please do! you won’t be disappointed.

a couple weeks later it was off to philly for fatin’s 40th birthday party at ms. tootsie’s. it was a quick trip but we packed in the fun…’cause that’s how we do it. good food, good drinks and GREAT music ’cause the dj was allllll the way on point! i woke up after 4 hours of sleep and it was just about time to hit the road again.

i also caught up with my girls and former sister 2 sister magazine coworkers for an open mic night at the legendary bohemian caverns. it always freaks me out a bit being down in the caverns, hadn’t been there in years, but it really is a cool spot. it’s been around since 1926 and hopefully will be around for many, many more years.and then came Christmas! dutch’s excitement over his mile-long wwe everything list rubbed off on me a bit. i couldn’t wait for him to see all that he had gotten. i fell asleep waaaaaay before him on Christmas eve (i’m talking 8:30pm, y’all) but was wide awake before him and ready to get crackin’ Christmas morn’! nothing like family love to bring a smile to your face.

so now that 2013 is over and done i’m ready to press the restart button and begin new again.

happy new year, everyone!!

give a little love inspiration

i’ve been following black and married with kids‘ online and in social media for years. their website is chock full of good information and stories related to black marriage and families. if you’ve done the good deed by jumping the broom, you know how it is. you’ve said the vows, had the party, things are good and then you get to a space where you just plain ol’ don’t know what’s going on with your communication, you’re in a rut and you just can’t figure out how to get things on track again. well, bmwk has produced a few films that are focused on uplifting and inspiring folks to stay the course in marriage and commit to their spouses and children. there’s nothing like knowing someone else understands what you’re going through and got over it.

the black family 4-pack dvd package is now being offered at a discount ($60!) and includes: happily ever after: a positive image of black marriage, you saved me, men ain’t boys and still standing!

happily ever after: a positive image of black marriage takes a look at black marriage from inside and outside of the community.

you saved me is a collection of love stories that speak to marital challenges and triumphs.

still standing features kindred the family soul, arrested development’s speech, yolanda thomas and more and shows couples conversing on how they made it through when others have failed.

men ain’t boys offers a look at issues such as stereotypes surrounding manhood, the results of effective fatherhood and the requirements for maintaining lasting love, relationships and marriages.

also, in early 2014 bmwk is offering new year, new marriage, a dvd and workbook set that couples can use at home to strengthen their marriages.

10 ways to stand strong in your square

life is unpredictable. there’s no way around it. you can plan out what you’d like to happen: the places you’d like to go, the friends you will keep, the love you plan to nurture, the career path you’ll follow, but there’s always a chance that some humongous monkey wrench will be thrown right at your head and toss you off your square.

but you don’t have to be moved from your square, honey. oh noooooo, you can stand firm in your spot and deal with all of the mess with strength and courage to get through it!!

i know because i’m living it.

the past several months have been the roughest of my life, no doubt about that, but i’ve learned a lot about myself and gotten lessons throughout this season that i wouldn’t have acquired otherwise. so i ain’t mad. well, that ain’t true. i’ve been mad a bunch of times, but i absolutely refuse to moved from my square.

i’m immovable.



i always thought of myself as a pretty tough and strong chick, but now i know that without a doubt. there’s no question in my mind about being able to push through insane obstacles in my life. i know that i can, i will, and here’s why:

1. honey, my faith in the Lord is strong. i am not responsible for my strength, it all comes from the Lord. no doubt. i got to a point in my struggles where i just became tired of trying to do things my way. my way was not working and it caused a tremendous amount of frustration and stress. oh, the stress. the stress was thick and choking the very life out of me. it was time to let it go.

exodus 14:14 says, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

hello!! that was it for me. it was time to wipe off the war paint and put my guns down. this battle was not for me. i decided to give it up to the Lord. i’ve stayed in deep prayer over my life, started a prayer journal and the whole nine and guess what? although i wouldn’t say i’m stress-free, i have a sense of calm and peace that i haven’t felt ever during a time of heavy mess-ness.

2. i had to accept some things about myself. i am not perfect. i have said and done things that have caused pain to people i love and i had to recognize that. doing a self-examination is not comfortable. it ain’t fun. in fact, it’s pretty funky to look at yourself and say, you know that thing i do…it’s a pretty wack way to be, but it’s something that has to be done. self checks are important. but recognizing my ugly stuff was only half the story…

3. change. recognizing your ish is one thing, but changing how you move about life is necessary. especially if you know how you have behaved in the past had a negative impact on people and situations. own your mess and change it. simple as that. as an adult it can be difficult to change your ways because, well, you’re grown and you’ve been a certain way for a long time. but hey, it can be done. i’ve looked at some things in my life and said to myself, “now niki, you know, that wasn’t cool…next time, this is what we gon’ do. how we gon’ handle that type of situation.” and i’ve been doing it ever since, haven’t looked back once.

4. if your behavior has hurt anyone, apologize and ask for forgiveness. they may not be able to accept your apology or even offer you forgiveness, but at that point it’s out of your hands. ain’t a daggone thing you can do about that because it’s not on you. it’s on them. your part is to be honest about what you’ve done and sincerely ask to be forgiven in the situation.

5. forgive those who have offended you for whatever they’ve done to you. and i mean, whatever. this is a tough-y for a lot of people. but as i wrote on instagram a while ago we tend to think that forgiving a best friend, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, child, boss/coworker or whoever is about granting THEM a gift, but the true power in forgiveness is about YOU. it’s really not about the person who has offended you.

forgiveness allows you to kickstart the healing process of your heart and you grow as a person because of it. harboring hate and anger towards another person is stifling in our lives no matter what it is they’ve done to hurt you, but releasing those ill feelings is freeing.

mark 11:25 says, “and when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

6. know that forgiving and asking for forgiveness may not change a darn thing about your situation. if a person is unable to move past a negative situation, there’s nothing you can do to change their mind or heart. ya heard? nothing. you can apologize but what you can’t do is go back in time and erase whatever you’ve done. it just ain’t possible. you could offer them the moon on a platter with five unicorns with skittle necklaces dancing around it and it ain’t gonna change the past. and you can not change a person’s heart or what they feel about you or the situation, and if they choose to dwell on the negative then so be it. it’s okay. you’ve done your part.

7. understand that you can’t change people. you can only change yourself. there will be people in your life who will do or say things you may not like and it may cause you a lot of pain, but ultimately you have no control over what they do or say to you. but you can control your reaction to it. how you react is totally up to you. we all have the capability of making choices for ourselves and whether you choose to respond positively or negatively is something you have to weigh. and if it’s negative, just know there’s a great chance of you having to deal with the aftermath of the decision you made to respond in a non-healthy way.

what i’ve learned during this rough season in my life is to be still before reacting. be still and pray if necessary on what your response should be. whatever you do, don’t respond out of emotion. been there, done that a million times. it doesn’t work.

8. watch your words. you know the old saying, “if you don’t have nothin’ good to say, don’t say it?” yeah, pretty much. the Bible even speaks on the power of the tongue.

matthew 15:11 says, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

i’ve always been the type of person to say what’s on my mind, especially out of emotion and in a heated argument, but most of what is said in anger is not true for most. you’re coming from a place that’s heated and emotional and most of all, you’re trying to hurt the person who’s pissing you off. so don’t even go there because once it’s out there it’s a done deal. you can’t take your words back. choose your words wisely and watch yo’ mouth.

9. don’t dwell on the negative. look, we all go through tough times, it’s just a part of life but you can not sit in the muck of it all and bathe in every wrong thing that has gone wrong in your life. i’m not saying to thug it out and not be sad, but don’t let that sad feeling overtake you. there’s life to be lived, you can’t be under your comforter soothing yourself with pints of ice cream for weeks on end crying streams of tears and singing woe is me. child, please…

address the issue, give yourself a little time to cry it out or whatever, but brush yourself off and get back to business. ’cause you best believe, the world is not going to stop spinning because you’re going through some mess. and if you’re down because of a person, nine times out of ten, they’re not nearly as affected as you. they’re laughing and hahaha’ing and having a grand ol’ time in life. so why aren’t you, dear?

10. stop wasting time and brain space on the negative!! dig deep into your passions, travel, pick up a new hobby, ride a bike, take a class, play your favorite records, dance with your kids, go see a movie, take a walk, hang out with your girls, travel, read a book… set some goals for yourself. make some dreams come true. take the tags off that special dress you bought for some special occasion that never happened and rock it down to the coffee shop. buy a new lipgloss, dust off your heels and be as beautiful on the outside as you’re now feeling on the inside.

basically, don’t let your current situation bring your life to a halt. life is far too short to not be able to move through the bad times into the good days. your life may take some turns you hadn’t expected, but go with it. change can be good. choose happiness and rock it out.


only in dc :: go-go zumba

i saw someone post a pic about go-go zumba on instagram and i was all like, “weerrrrrrrdddd?? where?” if you are from (or have been to) the dc area and know anything about go-go it’s not hard to imagine how this idea would offer a great workout. in fact, the creator of this workout, dani tucker, said they burn 1,300 calories during each class!

i googled to get more info and found that go-go fitness’s z go-go holds classes all around the dc area and for just five bucks!! the schedule of classes can be found on their site. i also found this video on youtube to give you all a little peek at how it goes down during go-go zumba.

on failing challenges and passion

so how do you muck up a blogging challenge that calls for you to blog every day for a month? you don’t blog every day for a month. instead you post every 3 to 5 days because you’re a rebel who doesn’t like rules.

actually that last part isn’t totally true. i just got caught up and didn’t post. but hey, onward and forward with today’s post: dutch and wrestling and mama being bugged about wrestling by dutch night and day and day and night.

my dear loving child discovered the wwe several months ago and it’s been all about wrestling ever since. he has wrestling video games, watches matches on cable and pulls up old wwe/wwf matches up on youtube via his ipad.

he’s serious.

my child is very interactive with his newfound love too. he not only watches continuous streams of wrestling video, he mimics the moves on a large stuffed bunny that used to be mine. he jumps off the couch (all while i’m screaming in the background for him not to jump off the couch) and does all of the finisher moves he’s seen done by his favorite wrestlers. he has even written out his “special moves” that he has asked me to forward to the wwe. the “neck breaker” moves terrifies me, by the way.

as crazy as all his wrestling talk drives me at times (he has asked me several times a day for the past few weeks to sign him up for wrestling in our neighborhood) there is something to be said about his passion for this sport. if you wanna call what the wwe does a sport. to me, it’s more like an entertainment show, but whatever.

his passion is thick. he eats, sleeps, dreams, walks, talks wrestling. i get it though. i’ve been passionate about many, many things in my life. passionate about my family, passionate about my work, passionate about my creativity and artsy-craftiness. so all i can really do is smile through all his wrestling talk and be happy that at this young age he’s found something that he truly adores.