What Matters Most

Humility. Yes, I am actually writing about this because Leos (birthday August 21!), yours truly, tend to be stubborn, wanting to do what they want to do, and don’t take “no” for an answer. We are confident in our decisions and usually find a work-around if there is a challenge ahead.

Recently I read an article posted by a dear friend (thanks @creativityflows19) that really stood out. It was by Jason Young about being humble – not just with man, but more importantly, with God.

As you all know, I write about all types of things in my life – my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, and whatever else. In addition, I’m hopeful that somewhere in my writing my spirituality comes through. I am no saint, more so a work in progress, but try to remain connected to a higher being.

A long time ago, my father told and taught me about humility “If you remain humble before God, anything is possible.” I never forgot it. Never.

Like I said, a work in progress and I’ve learned a lot in the past year about humility. From being at home with my kids, to reinvigorating our media & events business, to going back to work, to staying afloat with our barber shop, and trying to keep it all together.

With all of this, there have been threats to my sanity, our finances, my marriage, and family – and I don’t mean threats from people. I mean the threats that come in from our thoughts that create unnecessary situations, issues, and of course arguments.

When was the last time you had an argument and humbled yourself by saying “I’m sorry” first? At times, it’s hard for some – we just let it ride when we know we were wrong or, heck, even right. I tend to think first about all the reasons why I was right and they were wrong. It’s human nature I guess.

But what does being right have to do with being humble? Nothing I am finding. Yes, right is right and wrong is wrong but what does it really mean when we think about it? Again, nothing.

I have found that when you come to someone and apologize, it softens their heart and yours. It rids you both of the weight that comes with an argument (that was probably dumb in the first place) or a grudge that is holding you back in some way. It’s just not worth it.

At the end of the day, we all learn from our issues. Those experiences make us stronger. When you show humility, you’re the better person and will always come out on top in God’s eyes. That’s what matters most.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

 

Boy lessons for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday and I’m reminded of the two little men in my life (and the princess) who continue to teach me lessons. This is a post from late last year as I’m always thankful they picked me and celebrate being “mommmmmyyyyy” everyday :o)

Enjoy!

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Boy Lessons

As a child, I always wanted two kids- a boy and a girl. plans. Fast forward and we’re in with two boys and a girl – apparently God had other plans.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard enough about parenting boys -like their awkward bodily functions and the other “fun” stuff. But they also teach some really cool lessons, especially to their moms, and I learned one this week.

As I prepared for my first mother/son dance, I was super excited. Hair done – check. Nails painted-check. Suit and tie -check. We are ready to hit the dance floor.

But in the midst of this first dance mode and doing everything,  my kindergartner taught me about accepting help (even when it may not be necessary). For my three-year-old, we’ll just say #workinprogress, but he’s not far behind his brother :o).

“No, I got it,” and “Mommy will do it”(all for that matter) was the response before this post. Then I took a step back, caught my words, and realized what they were doing and what I needed to learn. Accept help even in the simplest form.

I’ve always been independent and took pride it getting the job done without the help of others. However, sometimes this can hinder our progress when we don’t receive the help openly or acknowledge that we even need it.

Our kids constantly see us multitasking. Surely they think we’re crazy so they step in like any other person would. And for boys, it’s even more important they learn the importance of helping and being gentlemen. This is what makes a good husband, father, and friend.

So as we prepare to leave for our mother/son dance, I am looking forward to taking it all in. I remain thankful I truly have a child that helps when he sees it right in front of him. I’m sure as we hit the door, he’ll likely get my keys, open the door, and walk me into the dance… and that’s what it’s all about.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

Simon says “Family”

Summer is coming and there will be plenty of family gatherings around the grill, at the pool, or in the park. This week was a lesson in what is most important when it comes to family – love.  No matter what happens, they’re still family.

This post is from this past holiday season. I enjoyed it because with all our quirkiness, we always come right back together… because Simon says so :o)

Smooches!

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Alex, I’ll take family for $500!

The holidays are around the corner which equals family time. Whether for Thanksgiving or Christmas, let the planning begin . . . with a glass of wine.

This year for Thanksgiving we are diverting from our usual plans and heading to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. We’re looking forward to a beautiful cabin, wooded scenery, and devouring a festive meal.

Considering that my family is primarily women, you quickly learn to adapt to the personalities:

The matriarchs (the aunts/moms) who pretty much rule the land and the kitchen for that matter. We love them and they love their family. But please don’t cross them . . . or else.

The cousins who pretty much do their thing and keep in contact with one another albeit Facebook or text messaging. When we do call one another, it’s usually to gossip like any other family. Tee hee :o)

The men who keep to themselves and interject when they see the women making absolutely no sense. It happens from time-to-time. Well maybe all the time. LOL.

Last, there are the youngest three munchkins who happen to be my kids. They provide comic relief ALL THE TIME; amusing at most gatherings. Yep, that’s my kid dancing to The Dramatics or Michael Jackson and off beat.

So back to the cabin trip for 13. Easy-peasy right? That’s 13 different personalities. BREATHE.  This week, the Gods challenged us but it worked out. Quickly came the teachings, lessons, and a dose of patience:

  1. Every family member has an opinion – don’t take it personal. It wouldn’t be “fun” if everyone was the same, right? Sure.
  2. All budgets are not made equal. Attempt to find a happy money medium and make it work. Count the pennies wisely.
  3. This is not the time to suddenly announce “I’m vegan.” Get in where you fit in. Have a nice salad with that dinner roll.
  4. Someone will complain about something that everyone else agrees upon. No worries, just nip it in the bud and move on.
  5. Acknowledge that you’re family . . . like the same blood line. You’ll have to speak to each other (or maybe not if you choose) so keep your cool. It’s not that serious.
  6. Have answers to all the odd questions beforehand and be prepared to explain yourself a couple of times. Patience luv!
  7. Think before you speak. And then think again. Then give your Alex Trebek answer “What is Crazy Family 2016.”
  8. Take a moment to step back if you get flustered. Then come back to it. Your head will be much clearer. And ask for help when you need it.
  9. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.
  10. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.

But in all honesty, be thankful for family and what they bring to the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Without them, I’m not sure where I’d be. #MyVillage

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

 

Do what you can’t

“Change jobs…nah, you can’t do that right now. You have to think about your family.”

“Buy a house? Bad idea…you can’t do that with everything else you have going on.”

 “Move out of state…no good, you can’t do that. It will ruin things and with what money?”

We have heard it all too often- YOU CAN’T. Bah humbug. Or perhaps you have talked yourself out of something because you internalized the word “can’t.” Hey, tell that dude to get out of your head because you can.

Lately, my youngest son tends to tell me “I can’t mommy” to the point where it’s driving me crazy. Before even making an attempt, he has given up…um no. My normal response- after somewhat yelling – has been “But did you try?”

The face then changes and the attempt is made to give it a whirl. Giving up without trying is not allowed – even with raising our kids. From putting on pajamas and socks to reading and writing, we…try, try, try.

Think about the times you decided to give up without even trying because you thought you couldn’t or someone told you, you can’t. What was your next move? Were you OK with not doing it? Probably not.

When someone says, “you can’t” here’s an alternate perspective- and I guess an acronym- that I made up and attempting to abide by (on these big goals of mine) when others don’t believe it can happen:

C– First, Collecting thoughts to make what “can’t” . . .  actually happen puts me in a good frame of mind. Take a moment, put everything to pen and paper – or on your computer- and roll with it.

A– Finding the Answers by researching and knowing the ins-and-outs so the plan is successful. Honestly, this helps me stay on top of my game and shows others just how wrong they were in the first place #flipshair

N -Procrastination is not an option; get moving Now. If you’re going to make it happen, then make it happen. No play, play because you’re serious… right? I thought so :o) #getgoingalready

T– We tend to think it’s not our time or we’re told the time isn’t right. Timeliness is determined by you when it comes to what you want to do. . . and we should always make time for what we want to do.

People will continue to tell you all the things that you can’t do and that’s OK. But guess what? Nine times out of ten, I think they’re probably saying it out of their own fear, failure, and doubt in you. Keep pushing for what you want.

Do what you can’t.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

 

 

 

 

Bridges to Birmingham

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you

So you take a road trip with family and arrive in Birmingham, Alabama where some of your roots began. Approaching the house, you think to yourself “this is really happening.”

As I walk into the living room the history lesson begins. Several pictures of second and third cousins and other family- I can’t keep up. Immediately I am confused, but for a good reason. I was finally learning some of my history.

With the blink of an eye, I hear myself (and other family) in my new found family as they introduce themselves and share stories. From the way they talk and walk to how they think and look; it all comes together and I’m taking it in.

Go back a few decades and the woman and story I’m mesmerized by is Mrs. Julia Bridges. This was my great, great grandmother; she just seemed regal with a no nonsense type of attitude – hmmm, that no nonsense sounds familiar :o).

Julia and her husband were slaves – no surprise here. Mr. Bridges killed his slave owner and that ended the story of these two “living happily ever after.” He had to go into hiding (of course he did), which I imagine happened to several other families during this time. Julia was left by herself with her family but persevered.

I honestly think I would have given up during this time, but now realize where my strength comes from. This story was within my own bloodline. It gets tough out there but this made me really think about what’s unbearable.

The eye opening moment was when I heard my cousin say, “We have been oppressed, depressed, compressed, and redressed. We can handle anything.”

And there you have it. Your history is rich and strong . . . learn it and don’t take it for granted. You can handle it Sun Taylor because Julia Bridges was able to.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

 

Ode to the Obamas 

It’s Tuesday, November 4, 2008 and I have just stepped in to history- literally.

My husband and I (uhh pre-kids :o) are at Mrs. Juanita Abernathy’s house – yes, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy’s widow – as in the civil rights leader and Dr. King’s closest friend. Wait. . . WHAT?!?!

We were invited to her house through our dear aunt for an election night watch party. I remember my husband whispering, “are we using the same silverware as Dr. King?” Like kids in a candy story, grins galore. Imagine that.

The night proceeds and Obama wins. Everyone is in utter shock, but fortunately not the same shock we just experienced. Mrs. Abernathy jumps up in excitement and then the tears start to fall.

I will never forget this. I do believe she was thankful all her hard work along with her husband and Dr. King had come to fruition. We had a Black president.

Fast forward into eight years. The lessons from this resilient Illinois senator named Barack Hussein Obama, with his outstanding lawyer wife, Michelle, and their beautiful children began that night in 2008.

As they walked on stage,  I remember feeling overwhelmed. Be proud of what your ancestors did no matter what. You are standing on their shoulders and can be anything, even the president of the United States. 

And then in 2009, I fully saw the First Lady and what she was capable of as she strut down Pennsylvania Avenue Inauguration Day. Regal. Be thankful for the skin you are in – you have reached new heights as a woman, a Black woman.

Now second term in 2012, it’s the day Obama gave a speech after the Newton shooting in Connecticut. I saw a parent grieving for his own children.  Tomorrow is not promised so be thankful for today and love on your children everyday. 

Obama at the various White House Correspondent Dinners was the epitome of a “real” president with his humor and prose. Never take yourself too seriously and learn from what others think of you, but stay true to yourself. 

And let’s not forget about the fashion. The First Lady is hands down the best ever and never afraid to go for it. Women should always embrace their various shapes and sizes because we can all wear it well from our hips to lips. 

Last but not least, the ultimate came when the First Lady spoke about the White House and slavery at the Democratic National Convention. We must always remember where we came from in order to move forward and never be afraid to speak truth.

The Obamas will always remain a staple in our history and I am forever changed for the better. Who knows what the future holds but I am always reminded “when they go low, we go high.”

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

 (Photo: Essence Magazine)

 

Alex, I’ll take family for $500

The holidays are around the corner which equals family time. Whether for Thanksgiving or Christmas, let the planning begin . . . with a glass of wine.

This year for Thanksgiving we are diverting from our usual plans and heading to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. We’re looking forward to a beautiful cabin, wooded scenery, and devouring a festive meal.

Considering that my family is primarily women, you quickly learn to adapt to the personalities:

The matriarchs (the aunts/moms) who pretty much rule the land and the kitchen for that matter. We love them and they love their family. But please don’t cross them . . . or else.

The cousins who pretty much do their thing and keep in contact with one another albeit Facebook or text messaging. When we do call one another, it’s usually to gossip like any other family. Tee hee :o)

The men who keep to themselves and interject when they see the women making absolutely no sense. It happens from time-to-time. Well maybe all the time. LOL.

Last, there are the youngest three munchkins who happen to be my kids. They provide comic relief ALL THE TIME; amusing at most gatherings. Yep, that’s my kid dancing to The Dramatics or Michael Jackson and off beat.

So back to the cabin trip for 13. Easy-peasy right? That’s 13 different personalities. BREATHE.  This week, the Gods challenged us but it worked out. Quickly came the teachings, lessons, and a dose of patience:

  1. Every family member has an opinion – don’t take it personal. It wouldn’t be “fun” if everyone was the same, right? Sure.
  2. All budgets are not made equal. Attempt to find a happy money medium and make it work. Count the pennies wisely.
  3. This is not the time to suddenly announce “I’m vegan.” Get in where you fit in. Have a nice salad with that dinner roll.
  4. Someone will complain about something that everyone else agrees upon. No worries, just nip it in the bud and move on.
  5. Acknowledge that you’re family . . . like the same blood line. You’ll have to speak to each other (or maybe not if you choose) so keep your cool. It’s not that serious.
  6. Have answers to all the odd questions beforehand and be prepared to explain yourself a couple of times. Patience luv!
  7. Think before you speak. And then think again. Then give your Alex Trebek answer “What is Crazy Family 2016.”
  8. Take a moment to step back if you get flustered. Then come back to it. Your head will be much clearer. And ask for help when you need it.
  9. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.
  10. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.

But in all honesty, be thankful for family and what they bring to the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Without them, I’m not sure where I’d be. #MyVillage

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

 

#ICant

A friend calls and says she may stop by. You’re in the middle of trying out a new gadget (that you probably didn’t need anyway) while answering emails – basically busy. All of the sudden that Alley McBeal moment kicks in (do you remember that show?) and you think of a way to respond quickly. What do you do?

A. Tell her “sure, that’s fine” as you grit your teeth on the other end of the phone because you know it’s just not a good time.

B. Play sick and say “I’m really not feeling good, maybe later in the week, ” because you don’t want to hurt her feelings.

C. Speak truth “I can’t today, I have a lot to do so maybe next week,” as you hear her sigh on the other end.

The correct answer for me is C. Before, it would have been A. Why do we accommodate when we know we just can’t (at the moment) –  doing too much. Please, no more.

My days are usually planned, so rarely are there readjustments.  With “To Do Lists ” sky high that take me two weeks to get through , “I can’t”  is fine and  I’m OK with that.

The lesson I have learned: I’d rather they be mad at me, rather than me be mad at myself; true friends and family should understand anyway. Love to all.

. . .  Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Are you paying . . . rent?

This is a no drama and no KRAZIES zone. It takes up time and for those in our lives that create the drama, they aren’t paying rent – so time to move on out.

Case in point – you hear all about the woes of a friend again, give the advice again, and the cycle begins again! What? Are you paying rent in my head, taking up brain space, to help you figure it out . . . AGAIN? Nope. You’re being evicted.

We love our family and friends. But these repetitive conversations seem to do nothing to help change their situation. They take time out of our day – the same time that could be used catching up on your O Magazine, painting your nails, or how about just doi3DNotice2ng nothing. I have three kids. I don’t’ even have enough time to deal with their lovely personalities.

I will always, however, try to help my loved ones, with limitations and the bossiness I carry apparently. I like to call it assertive (tee hee!) When drama approaches, I nip that right in the bud. We all have our own “ish” and I’m not sure I can deal with your “ish” and mine too. But I still love you :o)

So for the next draining conversation headed your way, politely hand them the eviction
notice.  It’s tough but ultimately the person on the other end will, hopefully, love you for being candid, leave you out of it, and figure it out on their own. #Deuces.

. . . Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor