#ProudCousin

Happy Friday! This has been some week but today I am thankful for family and the moments I continue to share with them.

Growing up as the only child, my cousins remain some of my best friends as my sounding boards and ride-or-die chicks. They have endured the loss, illness, and rearranging their lives to care for a parent but continue to keep a positive attitude. They’ve also gone on to get master degrees, nursing degrees, starting businesses, and remain straight up jet setters.

Meet Tameka “Meek” Monroe.  I met this fashionista cousin for the first time during a trip to see my father in Houston. On our first encounter I knew what she was made of immediately. Strong. Bold. Sweet. Funny. Smart. Bosslady.

Practically 15 years later, she’s a wife, mom of two beautiful girls, executive, fashion blogger, the list goes on. Every time I talk to her, I get some pearls of wisdom . . . and then some fashion advice. Tee hee :o)

Last week she launched an online fashion boutique – Skinnee Girl Couture.  The name comes from her blog, Skinnee Girl Confidence – growing up as a skinny girl she was constantly teased about her body. But she turned it completely around with confidence. As I mentioned, smart– and the clothes are for a variety of sizes.

While Meek has taught me a lot over the years with our crazy conversations, giggles, and family visits, I continue to be inspired by all my cousins— their accomplishments, the lessons I have learned from them, and the times they showed up for me.

I’ll always be that #proudcousin

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

Sun Taylor

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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)