My 4 Year Old Asked Me For More Privacy

The other day when getting out the shower with his dad, Liam asked daddy to shut the door. He said, “I don’t want mommy and Zora to see me naked.” I think my husband was taken aback by Liam’s request, because Liam co-bathes with both of us. In fact, after every bath, the kid gets a 5 star rubdown with coconut oil at his request.

I’m aware that my little curious 4 year old is understanding that mommy and sister have different body parts than him and daddy. I get it. He’s observing and claiming his newfound independence and pride.

My husband asked me what did I think of Liam’s request and I told him that I felt like we should honor it. I want the kids to know that they have rights over their bodies. I don’t make them hug people if they don’t want and I don’t stifle their ideas or thoughts. I’m really big on empowering their voice.

In many cases of child molestation, the child feels powerless over their own body out of reference for the perpetrating adult. I never want my kids to be afraid to speak up in an uncomfortable situation. So, to answer Liam’s request, we obliged him. I shut the door out of respect for his privacy.

It’s so important to empower your child’s voice, especially when they’re young. If not, you risk them not understanding the rights they have over their bodies, space and mind.

Empower your babies!

Xoxo,

Christian

Graduating On Time Or Early Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

The most talked about thing in college is graduation. It’s like people bypass the college experience and immediately jump to post grad life. The problem with that is, many college students don’t take full advantage of what their institution offers. So yeah, you graduated on time or early just to be struggling to find a job after graduation. How crazy is that?

Taken from Pinterest

Every major has an academic track. A vast majority of students go for the easier track meaning they take the bare minimum, and some others end up taking classes irrelevant to their post graduation goals. Why? Sometimes our parents heavily influence what academic route we take. Sometimes we feel pressured to follow in mom and dad’s footsteps and we get all the way to finish line and realize that this isn’t what we want to do. I know it’s uncomfortable, but you have to remember, the only person that can live your life is you.

Taken from Pinterest

Class selection and experience is key. Take classes that are beneficial to you. Also, gain as much experience undergrad as you can. For example, I’m an aspiring journalist so to gain journalistic experience, I’m working for my university’s magazine. Prior to landing that job, I wrote for my university’s newspaper.

Because I have a blog and brand that I hope to expand, I’m taking marketing classes as well. Marketing classes aren’t mandatory for my major, but I’m choosing to take advantage of classes that will help me in the future.

I know it’s easy to become obsessed with the idea of graduation. After a challenging semester, it’s almost all you want to think about. These obsessive thoughts cause you to be unrealistic about what you’ll do after graduation, because now you’re driven by frustration instead of progression. The workforce is competitive and one must be able to stand against the toughest competitors!

Taken from Pinterest

Another thing we sometimes forget to do as college academics is networking! I’m huge on networking. I always speak when I enter a room. You never know who’s in the room! I also make sure to surround myself with likeminded people. Having a circle like that pushes me to strive to be better. For example, I ended up making friends with my now boss on the magazine, all because I talked to her on the first day of class the semester prior. I didn’t know who she was. I just sparked up conversation.

Since I’m not a traditional student (remember, I’m a wife and mom) I don’t over exert myself on frivolous play. I understand that I don’t have the leisure to do so, but that doesn’t stop me from showing my face and making my presence known when I need it to be. I know that sometimes it’s hard to muster up extra motivation to get involved with things on campus, but remember, networking is key. Many universities have guest speakers. Check out those events! Network! Network! Network!

Taken from Pinterest

Internships are another way to gain experience and land jobs post grad! Most universities have specific places their majors intern, but I’d recommend venturing out to other places. Interning places outside your school’s connects makes pitching yourself a little easier. I know a few people that ventured out and are now working their dream jobs! Think about what you really want to do. Put yourself out there and see if the company you’re interesting in has interning opportunities. Also, use your professors as tools! A lot of your professors know people that can connect you to where you want to go, your professor might even be one of those connects. Reach out to your professors!

Sometimes I get caught up on my graduation date, but I have to remind myself that by doing everything I listed above, I’ll be more than prepared for the workforce!

Not taking full advantage of college life happens to a lot of people. Some people don’t take full advantage of the college experience and then they end up having to return back to college for another degree. Those people blame the degree when in actuality, it was the lack of work they put in to be successful before they graduated. It’s sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

I think we as people have this idea that if we graduate with a degree, jobs should fall at our feet. This is partially society’s fault. We’ve all heard, “you can’t do anything without a degree.” Someone somewhere always rebuttals, “they’re successful people that don’t have degrees all over.” That someone is true! Those successful people are successful, because they took advantage of the space they were in. We college students have to do the same! Take advantage of college just like SallyMae takes advantage of interest applied to our loans! Woosah and laugh.

At the end of the day, you’re paying for college. Some of us are even in debt for it, my philosophy is to take everything college is willing to give you! Then take some more! Make college work for you!

Good luck!

Xoxo,

Christian

Sharing Your Goals With Others Won’t Hinder Your Success. So, Stop Saying That!

We’ve all seen the meme or heard people say, “move in silence.” I get it, the right hand doesn’t always need to know what the left hand is doing, but it seems that people believe that verbally manifesting their desires jinxes their success. That’s the dumbest theory in the world. Ok, maybe not in the world, but it’s dumb. The Bible teaches us that words have power. So, speak it! If what you want is meant for you, sharing that desire to others won’t prohibit your success. Believe in your power–the power in the tongue. 

I find that speaking my goals out loud hold me accountable. People may act like they don’t listen, but they do, especially your haters. Often times, our haters believe in us more than we do. Most of the time we stand in our own way, blocking our own blessings. The only people that don’t want to hear your goals are the people that believe you can achieve them. When you verbally speak over your life the things you want and don’t succeed, it’s not because you jinxed yourself by sharing. It’s most likely because you shared it, someone heard you, and they didn’t support you. They may have said something to discourage you. So guess what? You quit before you even started. News flash! The only thing that stopped your success was you and what you think others think of you!

Don’t enter 2020 with the plancrastinator syndrome. Don’t make goals with no intent to crush them! Speak it! Write it. Crush it! Own it!Speak it again!

I’m not saying you have to share your plans with the world, but share them with someone. Someone you know could be standing between you, and a great opportunity. Kill the idea that everyone is remotely bad and rooting against you. The first part of manifestation is to speak it, the second part is to act on it!

Happy New Year! By the way, when do you think it’s appropriate to stop saying happy new year? I say until the first week of February.

Xoxo,

Christian

Are Kids Allowed? If Not, I Can’t Come…

As a young mom, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I was missing out on certain aspects of my life when I can’t go to certain events because of the kids. Any mom that says motherhood is ALWAYS rewarding, or that it’s a walk in the park has either A) not been a parent long enough or B) is afraid to be honest.

Sis, it’s ok. You’re safe here. Sometimes motherhood sucks. Calm down, I said sometimes.

Taken from memeologist.com

It’s those days when your kid is being a complete butthole, or “you just can’t get it right,” that further fuels your feelings of failure as a mom. These moments make you question if you were really made for parenthood. We’ve all passed a mom having one of those days. She’s usually in the grocery store. Her kid is belting at their top of their lungs. We pass her with an encouraging smile while secretly thanking God that it’s not our own kid. The mom is usually visibly tired and overwhelmed, and although this lady is a complete stranger, you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. Why? Because, she’s you, we’ve all experienced one of these days.

taken from fempositivity.com

When I see my peers partying or traveling carefree, I can’t help but to wonder if I started my journey of motherhood too soon, or wonder if I wasted my youth. I usually snap back to reality and remember that even when I had the leisure to do the things my peers do now, I never did.

Why? Because it wasn’t me–it’s not me. God knew I was meant for wifehood and motherhood before I did.

So, I love being a mom. It’s a title–job, that I take seriously, and conduct with so much pride! It helps that my kids are super cute, and know how to win over mommy’s heart when they lock eyes with mine too! I’m a sucker for those big brown eyes, and they know that.

Even still, I’ve found myself flustered with balancing mommy time and mommy’s free time. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in motherhood that I forget that a lot of my friends aren’t moms yet. Although they love my kids, they’re not always down to censor their language, change location, babysit, or change plans for me and the kids. They don’t say it outright, but I can tell. So, what do I do? Don’t say, “find new friends.” That’s not logical.

What I’ve chosen to do is, sit some events out. It sucks sometimes, especially when it’s career related, or when mommy just needs a break, but I understand that motherhood comes before everything.

So, to any mama that’s feeling what I’m feeling, I don’t have the answers yet. Although, you love being a mommy, the feeling of feeling like you’re missing out won’t lessen, and it’s not fair to bypass those feelings. They’re real.

The truth is, you will feel like you’re missing out on things, and guess what, sometime you literally will miss things. It’s ok. You just have to know that no other job compares to motherhood! It’s the hug at your knees that your toddler gives you after a day you thought would never end. It’s the smile your baby does when she’s sleeping on your chest at 5:00am, because she’s refusing to sleep through the night. It’s on those hard days when you feel like you’re failing the kids that you overhear your kid telling someone that you’re a superhero.

It’s those moments that are priceless! It’s in those moments you realize you’re only “missing” out on superficial things. Your true meaning in life calls you mom.

So in conclusion, if the kids can’t come, neither can this mama.

Xoxo,

Christian

DIY Christmas Card Photos Like A Professional |Easy Tips|

I love photography, specifically smart phone photography! I have the iPhone XR Max, and I specifically purchased this phone for the camera! I’ve captured some really beautiful moments with my iPhone, and some would say, the photos look super professional!

I love saving a buck or two, and one way that I do that a lot is by taking my own photos! I usually already have a vision in mind. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. I usually scout locations, color coordinate outfits, pose my family, and get to snapping! I’ve taken maternity photos, wedding photos, and Christmas photos all on my smartphone!

Sure, a professional photographer is a professional not just because they have an expensive camera, but because they’ve received some education in photography making them proficient in photography, editing, photoshop, and they usually have their own studio. 

You don’t have that experience and most likely you don’t have the camera or equipment, but that doesn’t have to stop you from capturing professional like photos!

Step 1:

Clean your lens! A dirty lens can be the one thing standing between you and a bomb photo!

Step 2:

Find your vision! If you don’t have a vision for your shoot, search online. You can recreate photos or find inspiration!

Step 3:

Scout your location! You may envision your photos one way, and may have to quickly change your vision, because of the location. Maybe the location is too dark or too crowded. Whatever it is, scout the location before you bring your models.

Step 4:

Check the weather! If you’re doing an outdoor shoot, the worst thing that could happen is getting caught in the rain! If you’re shooting someone outside of your family, they may not be as forgiving after getting caught in the rain.

Step 5:

Have fun and go with the flow! Not being a professional photographer should take the pressure off! Have fun with your shoots and models! Since my kids serve as my models majority of the time, they don’t always cooperate with mommy and that’s ok!

Step 6:

Portrait Mode is your friend! Taking photos in portrait mode makes your photos looks super professional! Portrait mode focuses on the subject, and blurs the surroundings out!

Step 7:

Download editing apps! Your phone has filters built in, I use them often depending on the look I want. The App Store has a plethora of editing apps! Download some and play around!

Step 8:

Use props! Props can really tie your vision together, and make your photos pop even more! You can use things around the house!

Step 9:

Invest in a ring light and tripod! Ring lights provide additional lighting and tripods allow you to shoot from different angles! Using a tripod also means you can jump in the photo with your family! Amazon has affordable tripods!

Congratulations, you’ve just become a professional amateur photographer!

Here are my family’s latest Christmas card photos! Happy holidays!(I forgot to turn the Christmas tree lights on, but the pictures still came out super cute!)

The first step to becoming a professional photographer is picking up a camera!

Xoxo,

Christian

Please Don’t Ignore My Oldest Child

I get it, chubby cheeks, and baby giggles make the manliest of men stop in their tracks to smile in admiration at a cute baby. I’m positive that babies have their own powers. I read somewhere that babies are literally scientifically created “cute,” so that mothers naturally want to care for them. Like, there’s science behind baby cuteness.

Before my own kiddos, I never cared too much for other people’s children. I’d give a cute smile, and “aww,” but nothing else. So, to my kidless friends, maybe you don’t understand why what I’m about to talk to is considered butthole behavior, but to my friends that are parents, shame on you! *Shakes finger in disapproval

Liam has been an only child for 4 years. He’s super cute with a lot of personality which makes him hard not to notice and even harder to forget. He’s a natural star and I’m not just saying that because he’s my son, it’s true! Now that Zora’s here, Liam has noticed that most of the attention has shifted to his baby sister.

At first he was conflicted. He’d stand by while people totally ignored him and doted over his sister, but more recently, he’s started to address the situation. When someone doesn’t address him after a couple of minutes, Liam will make his presence known with a facetious, “Hi!” He says in a way like, “I know you see me standing here, speak fool!” The first time he did it, I was both tickled and proud. I was proud that he didn’t fall trap to the tired sad song, “no one ever noticed me, they always payed more attention to my sister/brother.” I was proud of Liam for standing up for him! Way to go Liam!

As a mom, it really bothers me that people see nothing wrong with blatantly ignoring one child for another! If you have kids, you know that when a stranger gets to chatting about the baby, these chats last a good 5 minutes at the least! Imagine standing with a group of people and everyone gets acknowledge, but you! How would that make you feel? Imagine what it feels like when you’re a little kid.

To you, you’re only uncontrollably drawn to the baby and all their cuteness. You’re not thinking too much about it. To the child/children that feel left out, they’re internalizing why they’re not good enough to be spoken to. “What’s wrong with me?” That takes a tole on their self esteem. Many older children act out, because they feel left out. You ignoring the eldest for the youngest could literally cost that parent a tantrum, because the youngest child can’t verbalize that they feel left out. I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid tantrums at all cost!

So, when I find myself in one of these situations, I make sure to mention Liam several times in conversation to “imply” to the other person, “hey, there’s another child here.” It’s seemed to work so far.

To all my perpetrators of this egregious child offense, don’t feel bad! I’m sure you didn’t mean any harm. Like I said before, babies are bundles of adorableness! In the future, think before you speak. In fact, count before you speak. Count every child and speak to each of them to ensure that no kid feels left out!

One of my favorite philosophers, Birdman once said, “Put some respek on my name.” Put some respek on every child’s existence!

Xoxo,

Christian

Don’t DisGUSTA (Fun Eats in Augusta, Ga) Pt.2

Augusta, Georgia is mostly known for the Masters, but what if I told you there was something else just as exciting to do in Augusta? Many people don’t think of food when they think about visiting Augusta, but they should! Augusta cuisine is upcoming with a vast diversity that still screams southernness. Indulging in Augusta cuisine isn’t just something to do, it’s a must have experience!

For my film class, I got to create and shoot a promotional video in collaboration with my city’s informational hub, Augusta&Co. My partner and I visited some of Augusta’s hottest spots and I must warn you, the viewing of the video below may bring forth major salivation! You’ve been warned!

Each restaurant is family run and locally owned! Support locally owned businesses! Remember, every successful chain restaurant started off as a local restaurant, and some of the most famous corporations started off as mom and pops!

Visit these spots and tell them that The Christian Way sent you!

Xoxo,

Christian

Your Kids Should Be Sharing A Room

Ages ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, my younger brother and I shared a room. The room wasn’t large, but it wasn’t small. It was just big enough to provide separate spaces for privacy, but small enough for us to carry conversations when we wanted to talk.

My brother and I didn’t share a room because we wanted to. Kids to a single mom, we had no other choice. Most of the time we complained about never escaping each other’s company, but now that I’m a mom, my perception of those “horrid” times have changed.

When my husband and I first found out that we were pregnant with Liam, we rushed to decorate his nursery! We decorated an elaborate nursery for our new baby boy, and the child never slept in the room. In fact, I’m not sure if he remembers having it. We tried a different route with Zora, we opted for a shared nursery! Baby girl slept in her crib adjacent from our bed which made late night feedings and diaper changes more convenient. Liam felt left out with what he felt was a super fun “Zora gets to stay up later than me” sleepover, so mama thought of a master plan! I asked Liam did he want his sissy to sleep in his room and to my surprise, he answered, “yes!”

A couple of months later, we evicted Zora from our room and moved her into her brother’s room. Both kids were ecstatic! I worried about how their sleep schedules would change due to their new sleeping arrangements, but things seemed to work out naturally! The kids adapted peacefully to their new arrangement!

It’s was evident during moments that I’d pass their room and overhear them giggling, or check on them at night and find toys in Zora’s crib that Liam snuck to her to keep her from crying; that I made the right choice! Some mornings I got to sleep in later, because both kids managed to keep themselves occupied in their room until mommy awoke. It’s a beautiful sight!

Have you considered moving your kids into a room together? Do it! Memories of my younger brother getting in the bed with me when a thunder storm was too much for him to bear, or nights when we’d talk ourselves to sleep, still make me smile. Sure, as I grew older, I yearned for my own space, but in the end, sharing a room with my sibling made me feel safe and warm. If our childhood room walls could talk, they’d share the many memories we made within those four walls.

I think siblings should share a room for at least a year. It teaches them teamwork, sharing, compassion and sacrifice.

Mama made us share a room, but we chose to make the best of it!

Move your kiddies in a room together! Make the spare room your mommy getaway!

Xoxo,

Christian

Santa is Real And I Have Proof!

I grew up in blunt household. For the talk about the birds and the bees, I was shown videos of two teenage girls balancing high school, waitressing gigs, and pregnancy! Yes, I also watched them give agonizing birth! After the videos, I was administered a test about the cost of children, and to solidify all this sex training, I was given a certificate from planned parenthood that stated 12 year old me was educated and I mean EDUCATED about the risks of sex! This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Santa, I just wanted you to picture the talks I shared with my parents as a child.

The talk about Santa was just as blunt, but kind of sweet, because, I don’t know! It’s Santa, no one wants to ruin Santa for a kid. My mom sat me down, well we were driving in her yellow mustang, I’ll never forget this. We were driving and I asked her was Santa real. She told me that she believed he was, but like anyone else, he died, but his spirit lived on. For some reason the death thing haunted every word she said after that. Picturing Santa dead didn’t feel right.

They’re many speculations and theories about St. Nick; one of them is that he was indeed a real man and just like my mother said, his physical being died and his spiritual being lived on. So, maybe my mom was on to something!

Although Christmas comes at the same time every year, still, Americans scramble up cash and acquire crazy debt to make Christmas magical for their loved ones. This happens every year. Because of this, many organizations have you drives to ensure that no kid is left behind, and that every child feels loved.

Santa is suppose to be this magical being that leaves your heart’s desires under the tree, right? From a moms perspective, this random man, helps lessen the debt in my pocket by gifting my kids things I may not be able to afford or things I was just outright trying to avoid purchasing!

What if Santa wasn’t just 1 man, but many men? Whether you believe Santa is real or not, there’s no way, one man can travel the world in one night! He needs help–elves. What if I told you that anytime you buy a gift for someone, you were acting like Santa’s elf? What if Santa isn’t a person, but a movement? A movement that encourages society to think about someone other than themselves? Think about it, there’s countless organizations that host toys for tots and we, the people help these organizations by donating the gifts to their organizations.

Santa is real, we are all Santa!

So, when someone asks you, do you believe in Santa, say yes! Believing in Santa is believing that we as a culture are genuinely compassionate and giving. He (we) does come every year and makes sure kids all over the world gets gifts! Happy Holidays guys and thank you to all of the Santas and elves out there!

Xoxo,

Christian

They Weren’t Using You, God Was

Have you ever felt like somebody got over on you? Like, you gave this person all you had, yet they stabbed in the back and deserted you–turned on you. We’ve all had that feeling. Whether it was an old ex, a family member or friend, we’ve all been let down by someone we cared about. After the perpetrator’s egregious acts, we usually sit back and think about all the things we did for them. “I did this.” “I did that.” In the end, we end up feeling lost, angry even. We feel used!

What comes next depends on your spirituality, if you’re still in you’re Simon stage, you just might get even–curse the other party, the (bleep) out. If you’re in your Peter stage, you’ll take the high road. No matter the phase you take, you’re hurting, because, “they used you!” But what if it wasn’t “them” who used you, but “He?”

God knows everything before it happens. He places us where we need to be. Our flesh has taught us to think that He places us places we need to be for our own agendas, but sometimes He puts us in places others need us to be. Because God moves through people, He uses us to do His work–if you allow Him to anyway.

No long post today just a short and simple message. Instead of being hurt by what you think someone took from you, thank God for Him using YOU to SHARE what He GAVE you. Let God use you! Amen Jesus! 

Philippians 2:13 ESV

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Taken from Pinterest
Xoxo,

Christian