Finding Home

When we first looked at this place I remember thinking “finally…maybe…yes?…yes” We found the house. Not where I wanted it to be, not how I envisioned it. But DC is expensive man. It was one thing to rent in the city, but buying in the city? Who could afford that? Apparently a lot of folks, but we weren’t one of them. So this cute little townhome in the DC suburbs would have to do. I would adjust, begrudgingly. But the neighborhood was quiet and it had a playground, perfect for then 11 month old Johanna. It would work. We would make it work. We would give it five years, but then we would have to make another move because this could not be permanent.

This was not home.

It’s been 6.5 years since that day. 1.5 years longer than I bargained for, and I’m still itching except now I have to find a remedy. This is not home. This is not our place. This is not where we are supposed to be. This home is not where our babies are supposed to forever grow up.

This home is small. It’s a mess. There’s no space for anything. So much needs to be replaced. So many memories need to be replaced too. This home has served us as well as it could. We have been thankful for this home. It has done its job.

But I tire of it.

I want more.

I feel silly saying that. So many don’t have anything. So many would give anything for what we have. We’re not ungrateful. We’re not greedy. We’ve simply grown and this home can no longer provide what we need.

This state can no longer provide what we need.

I am stifled. My growth is being stunted here. Yet I am scared.

This area provides so much. It provides everything. I have the best friends in the world here. The best opportunities. Black girl magic happens all over the place here. New opportunities present themselves every day. There’s never a dull moment. What if we move to a place where there are dull moments?

Where it gets too quiet…

Where downtown isn’t full of people on the weekends.

Where people are complacent and aren’t looking for more.

We’re too young to live in complacency. But we tire of living in the stress, the rush, the work, work, work, never family, family, family. We tire of living where time simply slips away every day. We’ve been meaning to talk, meaning to sit with each other for awhile, meaning to play and enjoy, but time is not made for family here. Time is made for work. It is made for the important jobs that come before your family without you realizing it. It’s made for the events that cannot be missed, the plans you must be apart of. It is made for being known, being in the know, and mixing it up. Time here eats away at your relationships. “When are you going to make time for me?” Is often heard when things are ending here because time gobbles up everything you have and you realize you didn’t use it wisely.

But what if we go someplace where it’s too much us time? Where we grow, but don’t grow individually? Where we stretch, but the kids don’t? Where there potential isn’t challenged and met?

Home. This state is our home, but not this house. It is time for us to leave both. I know that. But I’m terrified of finding a new one. Terrified of failure. Terrified of boredom. So scared of opportunities lost.

And this is the part. This is the part where we have to trust God’s plan. This is the part where our faith must stretch. This is the part where we must let the Lord lead us for he knows the plans he has for us. We’ve got to trust that, and move.

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I Did a Thing (chopping my crowning glory)

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
1 Corinthians 11:15

We all have our security blankets. We have that one thing in our lives that makes us feel better about ourselves, if only for a moment. For some people is food, a person, a special place, an activity that settles them or gets them going in a feel good way. For me it has been hair for as long as I could remember.

If you’ve seen the many photos of me that are on instagram you know that like a lot of women I love hair. My hair, that hair, new hair, braided hair, wig hair… doesn’t matter! I love switching things up. But the one thing I love most is long hair. Not because it’s oh so beautiful. Not because of the versatility it can provide. But because of the shield it provides me. It allows me to hide all of the imperfections that are in my face.

I have pmdd. I have it in the worse way. All of my symptoms are to the extreme. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me post about it. One of the biggest symptoms I have is weight gain that fluctuates. I will get extra puffy in the face, and lately it has caused my self esteem to take a hit. A big hit. A I don’t even want to go outside of the house hit. So when I did go outside, I hid behind hair. My hair some days, wigs when I just couldn’t deal with my own. There was always hair to cover my puffed out cheeks, the massive double chins.

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I’m not a big fan of low self esteem. It’s not something I’ve experienced a lot of in life, but when I have it was scary. To not think highly positive thoughts about yourself is cripling for me for reasons I won’t go into right now. So, I knew I needed to do something drastic to snap myself back. I decided I was going to cut off my hair. Not like the beautiful warriors in Black Panther drastic, but definitely in a “it’ll take me 5 minutes or less to create a style” drastic. I didn’t want the ability to do ponytails or buns anymore. I didn’t want to hide. I wanted to force me to embrace all of me. And I wanted a bad arse hair cut. One that I could look at and say dang, that’s really nice!!!! I wanted it to work for me whether it was blown straight or naturally curly.

So I headed to instagram and put up a post asking for hairstylist suggestions. There was one stylist that stood out to me. Every photo I saw on her instagram showed flawless hair styles. I instantly knew she was the one. I quickly made my appointment to get in to see her. When I arrived I was honestly bothered by how unspa-like it was lol.There ‘s no decor. It’s literally just a room with two stylist and a tv. I was highly disappointed, but I kept my eye on the prize. When I sat in the stylist chair I let her know exactly what I was looking for, which wasn’t much. I told her I wanted a hair cut to fit my face and I didn’t want to have to “do” my hair. A style that translated whether my hair was straight or curly. But mostly I told her that I NEEDED this cut, and that I trusted her to do it.

And giiirrrllll! She did that! When I saw myself, honey, I felt like a new woman! And I felt so.darn.freeeeeee! I felt so free and so beautiful. She colored it, she cut it, she slayed it baby! No more security blanket. This is me. Fluffiness and all. This is my face. I’m embracing it. One day it won’t be as fluffy as it is now. One day things will be better in that area. But for right now I’m embracing and loving me.

If you are looking for an amazing stylist in the DC area, I highly recommend Kenni. Now, honesty is key, so I’m letting you know if you are looking for a spa-like experience, it won’t happen here (and to be fair, she literally just moved to this salon). However, if you want to look and feel amazing when you finish getting your hair done, contact her asap. You can schedule your appointment through her styleseat page. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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Top 5 Favorite Christmas Events in the DMV Area

Do you smell it? Do you feel it? Can you sense the buzz all around you? My senses are alive with the presence of all things CHRISTmas! As soon as thanksgiving is over in my house we ease right into the Christmas mode. Suddenly we’re humming Christmas tunes and watching Christmas movies. I’m scanning pinterest for new Christmas treat ideas, and checking out local websites for fun adventures to go on during this wonderful season. I try very hard every year to stick to the traditions I started with Johanna and to expand upon them in little ways. No matter what, we have our outings around the area that we simply adore and must do every year. Some of you may have a new family and are looking for traditions, while others may already have your traditions, but are wondering if you’re missing something. For that reason I wanted to compile our top 5 favorite events in the DMV area during the Christmas season.

The Wharf’s Annual Parade of Lights

December 3, 6p.m. – 8p.m.
50+ Decorated Vessels Set to Sail Across the Potomac River to The Wharf from Old Town Alexandria in Grand Holiday Tradition

The annual holiday Parade will feature more than 50 decorated boats sailing across the Potomac River to Washington, DC, from Old Town Alexandria, and will include FREE landside events along The Wharf, including the first snow fall of the holiday season; lighting of the Gangplank Marina Christmas Tree; photos with Santa Claus; live holiday music; a roaring s’mores fire pit; gingerbread cooking tasting; holiday sailboat making; a hot chocolate toast to the season; the illumination of vessels docked at Gangplank Marina and the Capital Yacht Club; and enjoy holiday brews in the Corona Beer Garden. For more information, checkout the website here.

Watkins Park Festival of Lights

Now thru January 1, 2017
5-9:30pm
$5 per car
This spectacular holiday drive-through event features more than one million twinkling lights, wonderful themed displays, and one of the tallest tree displays in the state! Visit the pg parks website for more information.

Winternational

December 7, 11a.m.-2p.m.
Winternational is an exciting celebration showcasing the cultural and culinary traditions of Washington’s diplomatic community. This festival has the atmosphere of a bustling global marketplace with each embassy promoting their country through vibrant displays of visual art, food, handcrafts as well as travel and tourism exhibits. Free and open to the public, guests have the opportunity to travel the world and do some holiday shopping — all during the lunch hour!

Zoolights

Now thru January 1, 2017
5-9p.m.
Zoolights is a free event, featuring live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with a dazzling light show set to music!

Holy Trinity Student Association Presents A Dr. Seuss Christmas

December 10, 2016
8am-noon
Adults – $10/Kid’s – $8. $5 for Paint and Sip Session

Join the Holy Trinity family for their annual Breakfast with Santa!  It’s a pancake breakfast, picture session with Santa and Mrs.Claus, a concert featuring young carolers, a wonderful gift raffle, sip & paint, face painting, Christmas Bazaar and much, much more! Visit eventbrite to purchase your tickets.

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