Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thank Goodness for Progress

Aiden and I are in Puerto Rico, hanging out by the pool. I'm sitting pool side taking pictures of him because I want to savor this moment. (I was just swimming in the pool with him, but I remember that I didn't take any pictures today.) Aiden is busying himself doing cannon balls and blowing bubbles and swimming like a little fish. 

I take a few pictures.

Then I sit back in my lounge chair and smile. 

This moment right here makes me so happy. Aiden is happy. And thriving. All is good in the world of Aiden and Alicia. Life is good right now.

Sometimes it's mind-blowing to me that I'm in such a different place and space right now than I was in a little shy of three years ago when things ended with Aiden's other parent and me. It almost seems like a lifetime ago and I'm happy that I'm not in that emotional space anymore.

But every once in a while, I'm reminded of the place that I was once in. Sometimes it's a comment that someone makes about me, sometimes it's an email from one of our readers, sometimes it's seeing that Aiden's thriving, happily... 

Once my relationship with Aiden's other parent ended (and coming to that point where I knew it was time to call it quits wasn't easy at all because it took me a long time and a lot of chances, tries, and failed attempts to make it work), I let myself feel exactly what I was feeling. And for as long as I needed to feel it. 

I felt angry, scared, nervous, confused, ashamed, embarrassed, and downright pissed off. Sometimes all at once. Sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in one week. 

It varied. 

But I took it moment by moment. 

There were moments when I was just pissed off at myself for allowing this to happen. There were moments when I was angry because I felt as though I'd made my life a lot harder than it needed to be by becoming a single mother. There were moments when I felt that other people were going to judge me because of my single mom status. (I was right about that. They did judge.) 

I felt a spectrum of emotions. 

But I kept reminding myself that I did all that I could to keep that relationship together. But it wasn't a healthy one. Not by a long shot. It wasn't a good one and I knew that I made the right decision to end it. I kept reminding myself that I did the right thing. And I took it day by day.

The day became weeks, and the weeks became months. 

I can literally remember when I hit that one-month mark of Aiden's other parent moving out of my apartment. And I remember hitting that two-month mark. And, before I knew it, I wasn't even thinking of the monthly milestones anymore. Because I was living life. 

I went from taking it day by day to taking my life back. 

And living. I was happier because of it. And Aiden was happy. It was good. And we were making it. 

That is my hope and wish for everyone who reads this blog that's going through a breakup (or recently went through a breakup), and ends up becoming a single mother as a result -- That you take it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. At first

And then you start living. 

And then your old feelings become a distant memory as you grow into a different place and space emotionally. 

It can happen for you, just like it happened for me. 

I'm not at that place that I used to be anymore. And I'm happier because of it.

Thank goodness for progress. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{Personal Style} Little Black Dress

dress: Urban Outfitters | shoes: Aldo | ring: H&M | spiked stacked bracelets: Aldo

This past weekend, my very good friend D celebrated his birthday with style and grace at a trendy and charming venue in Brooklyn. The guests were asked to wear all black so it was the perfect opportunity for me to pull out a little black dress from the back of my closet.


I scored this dress about three years ago from Urban Outfitters and I haven't had the perfect occasion to wear it. Until Saturday. (Thanks D!)

The dress features a sweetheart neckline, diagonal ruching on the bodice, an empire waist, and a mini-length hem. It's cute. It's fun. It's flirty. It's totally Mommy Delicious.

I paired the dress with pink peep-toe suede pumps, an elegant statement necklace, and a bold red lip. Ya know, for the "wow" factor and all.

It was a fun night of good food, strong drinks, awesome throwback music, and lots of laughter. The Guy was my date for the birthday shindig and it was nice to introduce him to more of my friends.

Baby steps, y'all. Baby steps.

It was also nice to not have the flu and to get out there and have a good time. Bliss.

Hope you all have a fabulous week. Stay stylish!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Guest Post} Helping Kids Become Thoughtful Adults

Written by Rachel Thomas

It started with my grandmother and then my mother after her. All my life I have heard them say, “If you don’t make your kids think of you they won’t; you have to make them think of you and others.” My grandmother must have learned it the hard way because I remember her saying it over and over again to my mom. I guess my mom did not fully understand what gram was saying because she pretty much lived her life on the premise that her kids would follow her example. Between me and my two brothers it did not work out that way for her.

Oh, I do not mean we do not love our mom but we did not exactly pick up by osmosis what vibes mom was putting out. Mom, in later years, has been blessed with children who do love her and are attentive to her needs because she has been so loving all of our lives but in the beginning we took advantage of her great love. In other words, loving your kids is not enough to produce love in return. You actually have to make them think of you and other people.

Upon having my own children I decided early on, remembering what gram used to say and watching mom being hurt by children who were not thoughtful, that I would make my children thoughtful. The most simplistic way of doing this is by telling them exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I would not depend upon my spouse to tell the kids, because quite frankly I believe my spouse was not taught to be thoughtful either. It sounds as if we are horrible people, but it is not so, being thoughtful of others when the whole world is moving so fast and everyone’s natural priority is to look out for number one has to be taught. Every time my birthday, Christmas, Mother/Father’s Day would come around I would tell my children that I expected a card from them. I told them it did not matter if they bought it or made it but I wanted an expression from their heart. We are not born with these instincts, we are taught.

One of my favorite scriptures from the Bible is “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3.Give this gift to your children of thinking of others. I know that the world today is geared in a way that we are taught to get noticed and put ourselves out there and get ahead. There is a time and a place for everything but I truly believe that if you are thoughtful of others that you will get noticed because of your humility and thoughtfulness combined with intelligence and diligence in the activity you are pursuing.

About the Author: 
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We Need Each Other

Sometimes life has a way of knocking us off our feet.

That's exactly what happened to me a week and a half ago when I caught this nasty flu bug that's going around. It was bad. I don't remember ever feeling that sick. A fever of over 102, sore muscles and body aches, chills, lightheadedness, and just plain old weakness... it was bad.

And I felt as though I couldn't do anything.

I went from sleeping in my bed to my living room couch to my living room floor, and back again to my bed. That was my routine. For about eight days.

I didn't even do work -- I just rested. I needed to give myself and my body enough time to recover.

And I discovered one thing to be true: I need help from other people.

I need help while I'm well, but while I was ill, I needed other people... to take care of Aiden, to bring me groceries, to bring me medicine, to check in on me from time to time to make sure that I was okay.

I may be strong. But I'm not invincible. And I need help from other people.

We all do.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Expect More of Yourself

People tell me all the time that I'm too hard on Aiden, that I expect too much of him, and that I push him too far sometimes.

I think differently.

People say this because when they come to my house, they see that Aiden's toys are neatly placed in the correct bin, that his shoes and clothes are neat and in their rightful place, and that his bed is neat. They also see that Aiden is the one who is expected to keep those things neat, in order, and in their rightful place.

People say this because, whenever Aiden and I are getting off the bus at our bus stop, Aiden is expected to say to the bus driver, "Have a good day." If he doesn't, I give him a gentle reminder.

People say this because, whenever we enter or leave our apartment building, Aiden is expected to greet our doorman, and greet the neighbors getting on and off the elevator. If he doesn't, I give him the look. (Y'all know what look I'm talking about.)

But, most of all, people say this because, whenever Aiden is working on something that's not particularly easy for him, I expect him to keep going and keep trying and keep pushing... until he succeeds.

I expect him to give his best effort. I let him know that it is not acceptable for him to not try. That's not an option. So he tries and he struggles and he stumbles and he fails (sometimes). And he has to get back up again and try again. Something new, something different. I help him realize (or sometimes he comes to the realization all by his lonesome) that what he did before didn't work so he has to try something different.

He learns from his failures and uses it to help him succeed.

And, in the process, he learns the beauty of perseverance and grit. He builds character and he begins to see why it's important to expect more of himself. 

Of course, I model these things for him by doing them myself. I expect a lot from myself. All. The. Time. I always try to give more today than I gave yesterday. If I gave a 7 yesterday, then today I give an 8. So that tomorrow I can give a 9. Because the ultimate goal is a 10.

I fail at some things, of course. I'm only human. But the expectation remains high.


We have to always expect more of ourselves. We have to always keep trying and pushing and trying something else if we stumble.

That's the only way we're going to go beyond where we think we can go.

That's the only way we can be great in whatsoever we choose to do. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

{Personal Style} Golden

Dress: Bebe | Shoes: Aldo | Earrings, clutch, ring: Aldo accessories | Lips: Rimmel London Berry Rose | Eyes: Bobbi Brown

Over the weekend, I left NYC and headed to Atlanta, Georgia to witness the cutest couple say, "I do." I had a great time touring the city, visiting the aquarium, going to different restaurants and lounges, and shopping (of course!).

I also got my nails done, hair done, everything did. Oh, I'm fancy, huh? (That was a Drake reference.)

The wedding ceremony was really beautiful, and the reception was... well, my kind of party. Good music, good dancing, great drinks, great times... who could ask for more?!

[Gown #1: Stunning]

[Gown #2: Gorg]

[tall centerpieces]

[smaller center pieces]
I wore a one-shoulder, two-toned gold mini-dress that highlighted my best features (read: legs) and complimented my skin tone. Score! The two-toned gold and aqua 5-inch peep-toe pumps that I found while shopping were a really good fit with the dress. I saw them in the store and couldn't leave without them. And I fully intend on rocking the life out of them all Summer long. You've been warned.

The Atlanta heat and humidity did a number on my hair, but that didn't stop me from working up a sweat on the dance floor and having a good time. It was the perfect way to kick off the month of June, one that's shaping up to be pretty epic.

Stay tuned.

The Guy and I were dates for the wedding and that was nice. Got me feeling all warm and fuzzy and good on the inside and whatnot. He "gets" me. I can be myself around him and I like that. This one? I kinda like him. But more on that later...

Stay tuned.

Have a fabulous week. Stay stylish!


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