Heads Up

Last night Andrew and I crossed the bridge and spent some time in St. Petersburg

aka The Burg , aka St. Pete.

 Our old roomie, Ronae moved to St. Pete recently and she invited us over for dinner.

She made some delicious DIY tacos with an assortment of meats.

After dinner and some nice catching up we all decided to play a game together.

At first I thought we would play Scattegories but, “Heads up” was the game of choice.

Now I had never played before last night , but the game is so fun.

If you have an iPhone you can get it here and android here.

So, all you need is a group of fun friends, and your smartphone to play.

You pick a selection from the categories: Celebrities, movies, animals, and our favorite “Hey Mr. DJ” where you hum to the tune of the song.  Then the countdown begins, as you place the phone on your forehead.

Your friends act out the word on the screen, and you guess it! The greatest part is

while your friends are putting their theatrical skills to the test the phone is recording their actions.

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My friends Ronae , Cassie, Fulei

Fulei, Matt, Andrew, and Cassie

Fulei, Matt, Andrew, and Cassie

 

We had so much fun together. To think it was only Monday , hopefully the rest of the week is this fun.

Cappucino & Waves

Last Friday we ventured out into the freezing “Florida cold” weather

and visited the Tampa Museum of Art.

Picture courtesy of simbiosisgroup.net

The museum on a Friday morning was a desert  land. My introverted heart was ecstatic to share

the museum with literally three others, counting the security.

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Andrew and I have made it a goal to put all technology away during date days

but as you can see I’m failing miserably and so is (he took the picture).

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and so is he.

We ordered Cappuccino’s that were extra sweet.

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and admired the beautiful UT.

Then we went upstairs to see the art.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures of our favorites pieces but

I wrote down each of the artist names and the titles that we absolutely loved.

Allan Mccollum’s “Each and everyone of you”
courtesy of flickr.com

He framed all the top names of the U.S. Census for the year 2004. Andrew’s name made the list. Mine did not.

Chuck Close, ‘Emily Fingerprint”
courtesy of picassomio.com

This was made out of only fingerprints.

Burt Barr’s, “Wave” was  my favorite. The photographer took many still shots from moving waves

and placed them all together &  made one beautiful piece.

After we marveled over the modern art it was time to head home.

xoxo,

Amazing Grace

I am quite excited to share that this August we will be going to Nakuru, Kenya.

However, when I say we, I don’t mean Andrew and I.Nope. It will be the lovely mentors of Mama Africana and the men of Mshuari mentors.

Andrew will have to stay in Tampa due to his busy school schedule coming up.

We will be traveling to Nakuru to meet the beautiful children and the founders of Amazing Grace Children’s Home.

I have been apart of Mama Africana since 2008. Our connections and partnerships both locally and internationally have grown

over the years. We are so happy to have built relationships with others with similar hearts and passions as ours.

The Orphanage is run by a young woman, Margaret Mwangi, who has inspired us with her heart and

determination to provide a safe place for children in her community. Our desire is to learn from her,

to experience her leadership over the children in her care, and to bring that knowledge back to our

organization here in Tampa.

We believe this trip will build deeper community among us, stir our passion to continue serving our

city of Tampa and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please Pray that Jesus will meet our spiritual, physical and

financial needs, and that the Holy Spirit will begin working in our hearts as we prepare to humbly serve

the children of Nakuru.

Back Row from L to R: Sharrine, Cleanda, Labreia, Ivy, Shaniece, Veronica, Denise.
Front Row:Alisia, Me, Dhianne, Alyssa, Fulei, Evey, Ronae, Michelle, Nikki, Stephania

Will you help me get there? The cost of the trip is $3000, that amount includes, air fare, materials and

supplies, food, lodging, and travel within the country. We’d also love to gift the Orphanage with a

donation at the end of the trip. Your support will help me to learn

from people who have given their lives to service. Please support our vision and journey. So far I have raised $1,020, please would you donate to fund my way to Nakuru?

College in 4 years…. HA

Andrew and I met about eight years ago (2006) when we were attending Hillsborough Community College here in Tampa bay.

We should have graduated in the two year span it usually takes to finish courses in a community college, but life had other plans for us.

We were both apart of InterVaristy on campus, working dead end jobs, and paying our own bills. Some semesters we couldn’t afford to take classes, so we would just work. However, time began to catch up with us and before we knew it we were married without our degrees. This was not in our “master plan” at all. I grew quite depressed and jealous. If i can be vulnerable and honest I remember talking to Andrew and saying If we have dedicated our college years to serving Jesus how come we aren’t graduating like we hoped to. Why are our friends that aren’t even believers graduating before us? Maybe I should just stop doing campus bible studies to focus on school so I can be done?

It looks so ugly now that I see how my envy blinded me from just celebrating my friends wonderful accomplishments. In all honesty, those thoughts and words plagued me for years though. Depression began to embrace me as well. “You’re never going to finish”, “Another uneducated black woman”, these dark thoughts would take me to such lows I found it hard to just enjoy our marriage. I wanted to be successful. When you get married in the U.S. you’re SUPPOSED to be successful. You know? The not so glamorous house yet still in suburbia, one golden retriever, maybe 30″ flat-screen in each room, nice trips once a year, and steady income to keep us comfortable .

We struggled for years with this subject alone. Sometimes I would bury the thought of college deep down I would mask my unhappiness with nonchalant responses. “Yeah, I’ll finish when i’m ready” knowing damn well I was ready NOW , but our bank account wasn’t . So I vented to friends, asked them to pray with us, and for us. We continued to serve in our ministries and grow .

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Intervaristy 2010 dance party

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HCC IVCF sonburst 2009

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March 2010 Spring Conference IVCF

 

In 2013 Andrew’s dad wanted to meet with us and have dinner. I was nervous thinking maybe he saw what I carried around with me for all these years. The shame of not finishing anything I started with, or the shame of not succeeding (at least to the world’s eyes). Or maybe the shame of bringing Andrew down with me.I knew for sure we were going to have an intervention. However, we enjoyed dinner at Acropolis and laughed and enjoyed one another’s company.

He even asked me, “Have you ever thought of going to school for Broadcasting, you speak so well?” My heart sank. Of course I thought of going to school for Broadcasting. My current major is Mass Communications and I fell in love with Television Broadcasting since I was a pirate. I still had it after all these years, and his compliment affirmed something I tried to bury deep down, along with any other dream I once had.

After dinner we walked back to our car & Andrew seemed extra giddy. I asked him what was up and he let me know  that his father had offered to help us pay for our last semester at HCC. By this time my heart was sort of numb to the subject of school.

 I am such a skeptic I felt this couldn’t be true. Through my greatest unbelief and lack of trust ,Jesus sure did slap me a “I told you so” when Andrew and I both finished our complete last semester together in HCC last fall. We even took a class together and had a large presentation on the Mineral diamond. 

In late March, Andrew is getting ready to float on to one of his greatest loves, Music Production . I have one last graduating course (5 weeks) with HCC and on to USF I go. 

I know things didn’t happen the way we planned at all. Some would say we missed out on so much, or we could’ve done better. Those all may very well be true. However, I think of all the beautiful people that we have met along the way, all the lessons we learned through our impatience, anger, bitterness and jealousy. Would we have appreciated it if we graduated at 21? Would Andrew have wanted to open a studio that serves the homeless artist that don’t have an outlet for their beautiful gifts?

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Rock band night HCC IVCF 2010

Who knows… I do know that Jesus remained faithful when I was not.

Hopeless Romantic

It has been almost two years since I’ve posted on my once

non-neglected  blog. I realized I got sucked into the romantic side of blogging.

Sort of like a romantic comedy.

Everything seems perfectly, imperfect

and ends quite happy.

My words at times were altered due to my own flesh

craving the affirmation of “men”

So, I would shamelessly LIE.

Yes, sadly I would lie on my very own blog.

Sometimes marriage is rough, sometimes it is ugly, it gets dark and the only glue piecing us together

when we pull away from one another is Jesus. Sometimes we lose sight of that too.

It’s easier not to share those parts, to just share the good times that we have.

Maybe I may slip in a minor argument, but it will always end with a smile.

That isn’t reality, and I don’t want to be apart of a big lie.

My life is not perfect, nor is my marriage. There is such beauty in our flawed ways though.

Why not share them with the world, with another couple that may be in the same predicament as Andrew and I?

I no longer want to be apart of a written fairy tale.

It took me two years to step away and see that there is beauty in our pain.

It is there that Jesus can have his full way with us, and make us more like him.

It’s our Anniversary

One year together has been…

Fun

Hard

Happy

Stressful

Loving

Challenging

Growing

and worth every minute

of this adventure.

We decided to celebrate

in Orlando

There was lots of traffic on I-4

I wore my favorite new shoes; since we’d be walking a lot ,I opted for comfort over diva style!

Can you tell Andrew was driving?

We stayed in this Hotel for the weekend and Andrew and I had jokes

for days. It felt like one point away from the motel 6.

It was so bad but we still had fun.

We vowed to stay in crappy hotels for each anniversary like rock stars on tour!

This McDonald’s is voted number 1 Mickey D’s to “play in” We didn’t go in but it was nice eye candy.

Tropical drinks

Sleepy Eyes and hungry bellies as we wait for dinner :)

The next day we woke up late and missed our continental breakfast

so we had breakfast on I-Drive at our favorite place

I-hop!

I-hop was packed so we waited along with half of Orlando to eat

Andrew and I had to make a stop at our favorite

Fro-yo spot, Menchies

Watch as I go goo-goo for Menchie’s cake batter froyo

Watch Andrew go ga-ga for Menchie’s Cotton Candy Fro-yo

Andrew goes cray-cray for Redbox :)

We even matched like cheesy newlyweds!

I’m very thankful for a year together with the greatest man I know.

I’m thankful for all the love we shared from our friends and family today.

We were serenaded by our beautiful friend Evey via phone message.

She sang “anniversary” by, Tony Toni Tone :)

I can’t wait for what this year has in store for us.

This is life after jumping the broom,

Reminiscing

It still surprises me that a year ago

around this time I was so very stressed.

Andrew and I were nearly strangling each other

trying to figure out how we would get through

the last details of the wedding

and our moving in together.

I wouldn’t change that time in my life for anything

because I learned so much about time management.

I learned so much about myself, and Andrew

I grew closer to my new family members

that welcomed me with open arms

and help me not to be so stressed.

I know we only got through it all

because of our love for Jesus,

he continues to be the center of our marriage

as he was then the center of our engagement.

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As a gift to us

our friends Candice, and Fulei through us an anniversary

photo shoot before our actual anniversary.

Fulei has a degree in fashion so of course she was out stylist and my make-up artist.

Candice has a great eye, and is the wonderful photographer behind our pictures.

As we battled the grueling winds of Clearwater Beach

and the sand whipping our backs

I continued to ask myself how

do models and full-time photographers do this for a living?

It was not as easy as the finishing product looks.

She hasn’t finished editing  all the pictures

but she has given me a sample of what is to come and

I am in love.

They made us look Goooooooooooooood.

What do you think?

There are way more and I will be sure to post as soon as she edits.

For now I am just thankful for the memories we have built this year

and the many memories that are to come for us.

This is life after jumping the broom,