So much has changed for our family over the last couple of months (especially since my last official Family Update in October 2010) that I thought it was definitely time to do a formal update on everyone! Everything has changed since the mid-point of this year… and God has been SO good to us in 2011. I can’t praise Him enough. Barry landed an outstanding job with an even more outstanding company. I’m starting to find myself after having somehow for a long time identifying “me” in terms of my roles as mommy and wife. Briyana is in JUNIOR HIGH school. Tre is almost to an age of double-digits. Talia has started channeling her inner punk-rocker. Avalyn is now an actual elementary schooler, having trudged through her final days of Kindergarten :) And Zoe? Oh, my baby is about to be in preschool. Where has the time gone?! Everything in our life these days is new — even our address, our state, and our home (<— you can click that link for more details about our new location!).
After two years of working offshore, he is finally starting to work toward making a decision as to what position he wants to have a career in. He’s always been extremely ambitious so when he started with this company, he already had his goals set pretty high. He hasn’t ever been one to settle or just accept what someone will give him. He wants it all and I admire him for that. He works hard and he goes for the best, not the easiest. I am so happy that he’s finally with a company that he’s happy with. He hates leaving us for 4-5 weeks at a time, but it’s so nice to see him looking forward to going back to work because he knows once his hitch is over, he has 3-4 solid weeks at home with us during which we have nothing better to do but enjoy one another and spend time with the kids.
Since we moved to Atlanta, he’s been a little stir crazy. We don’t know too many people here and he gets preeeetttttyyy bored when we don’t have anything to do so yesterday we went to Rome and picked up a 1990 Chevy Camero that’s almost identical to the one we had after Briyana was born except this one has T-tops :) He’s ecstatic! He is turning this into his ‘project’ so for now, it’s just his toy. He has a vision in his head that he’ll be manifesting through this vehicle over the next few months!
I set a goal to increase the revenue in my design business by 200% over the third quarter of this year. I have been focusing more on networking and customer relations lately and I’m happy to report that from July to September (even though September is not even halfway finished yet) I have exceeded that goal which makes me extremely proud. I pride myself on being able to contribute a full time salary to our household despite staying home to care for the kids and it gives me immense pleasure and a great sense of accomplishment to say I am finally doing that. It just took a little discipline!
I’ve been battling Fibromyalgia (<— you can click that link to read more articles I’ve written in detail about it) pretty hard since the summer — I’m not sure if it’s just a gradual progression of the disease since I’m getting older or if there are other factors I’m missing but I sure wish there were something I could do to get some relief. One thing I do know is that I felt better when I was hitting the track daily… so last night Barry went and got me a new treadmill (the motor burned out in mine a few months ago) and I’m hoping that the exercise will do my body good! I still have about 10 pounds left to lose anyway so one way or the other, I’ll reap benefits from it LOL! I am waiting on my medical records to come from Shriner’s Hospital for Children where I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after I had surgery there to remove a bone tumor over 20 years ago. Once I get them, I can start seeing a pain management specialist and for the first time in my life, I’m finally admitting that I’m looking forward to getting on a treatment program — yes, even if that involves medication.
I know many of you are wondering what I’m doing music-wise since that’s the main reason we moved to Atlanta. Well, it’s been a littttttle insane around here so honestly, not much. But, Zoe starts preschool next week and one of our good friends hooked me up with a producer from D.C. that sent me some beats to write to so for the next couple of weeks, my attention while the kids are in school will be divided between that and my design clients, hoping to make amazing things happen for both :) No, I haven’t forgotten about me… lol Here’s my latest YouTube video (you can also access all my videos in the player at the bottom of the page!):
It does something strange to me when I look at her. She will be 12 in February… She is not a little girl anymore, but not quite a lady. Not an elementary schooler, but not quite a high schooler. She’s at the in between stage — and we’re definitely going through the changes. Not *ahem* those changes just yet (all the moms know what I mean lol) but she’s becoming the beautiful, dramatic, intelligent, obnoxious, independent, spoiled pre-teen (or “tween“) that I always knew she would be. She’s a total girly girl, but strong and confident. She wants highlights in her hair, asks to get her nails done, and wore makeup for the first time last week. She’s developing in ways that scare me because her shape is almost identical to mine (which is dang nice if I do say so myself!) and to boot, she has a gorgeous olive complexion and a bright, beautiful smile.
I’m so thankful that Briyana has a good head on her shoulders. When I tell her “life” things, give her warnings, or put her onto the game that little boys will throw at her she’s always like, “Mama, what do you think I’m dumb? I know that!” But I continue to bombard her with them anyway. Everyone can use reminders… :) I am so proud of her. She drives me freaking NUTS at times with her it’s-the-end-of-the-world attitude that comes with the territory when parenting girls of this age but all in all she is a good kid and I can’t complain. She’s still maintaining the honor roll grades that she’s had since she started school and is thriving in a more upper-class school environment in which she isn’t burdened with little kids anymore. Jr. High. She was SO ready… even though I totally wasn’t ready for her to be old enough to go! haha
In just 16 days, Tre will reach double-digits in age. Yes, my baby — my only boy — is turning ten. I’m not really sure how I should feel about that, but I know one thing: I’m VERY proud of the little man he is becoming. Tre has got such a pure, sweet, and genuine spirit about him. He has a good, generous, and compassionate heart. He is respectful and cares deeply about doing what’s right. He doesn’t always do what’s right, but he tries and it bothers him when he doesn’t which is excellent. He checks with me or Barry to find out if he should do things that he wants to do, which I pray is a trait that stays with him over time! He asked Barry the other evening if he can have a girlfriend. They talked about it and of course, Barry ended up telling him that he’s too young to think about girls in a relationship capacity but that day will come… sooner than I would like, I can assure you! LOL
He’s all about DragonBall Z, Madden 2012, and doing anything possible to weasel his way out of doing chores. If he could have his PlayStation controller permanently attached to his hands, he probably would go for it :)
Talia is me all day. She always has been, really… but she’s much more than that. She’s me to the nth power LOL! She is far more stubborn, determined, and already has a go-getter mentality (she gets that from Barry). She has a strength and a confidence that I don’t know if I had at her age. She knows who she is, what she likes, what she wants, and doesn’t need anyone’s acceptance or approval to be comfortable with her decisions. I love that about her even if it means we butt heads — a lot. ;) Briyana was saying something about Talia’s incredibly different sense of fashion/style and Talia just looked at her like, “And your point?” She has calmed down a bit since last year… don’t get me wrong; she’s still a total spitfire, but I can tell she’s maturing and getting older by subtle changes in her personality.
Talia has been having headaches (<— you can click that link to read other articles about Talia’s headaches) for the last couple of years, much like the ones I had when I started experiencing symptoms of Fibromyalgia around her age. We’re still going through all the tests and trials to eliminate everything else before we consider the possibility that she may have it also — that’s the one thing I do not want to have in common with her. That thought kills me :( I am thankful that we have insurance, though. That was one luxury I wasn’t afforded as a kid. My dad was the complete opposite of Barry which gives the kids a positive jump in every direction.
Avalyn will be SIX years old tomorrow! She has not changed all that much and I’m not sure that she ever will LOL! If there is one thing I can say about my kids, it’s that their personalities seem to be determined fairly early in life and while all of them have changed in actions, behaviors, and habits in various ways over the years, their personalities have remain firmly intact! Ava is no exception… She is and likely will always be one of the most prissy, fragile, overly dramatic girls I’ve ever seen but she’s also one of the sweetest, brightest, and most beautiful. She’s my little skinny mini and we all believe she’ll be a supermodel one day!
She loves to read — she reads everything and anything she can get her hands on and demands that everyone in the general vicinity stop what they are doing to listen. She enjoys putting on shows with Talia and Briyana and doesn’t respond well to being left out of anything. She loves looking “cute” and gets pretty devastated when she can’t wear her favorite outfit two days in a row LOL! I dread the day when this little Diva decides she can’t ever wear the same outfit twice…
My baby girl is growing up SO fast… every day, she shocks and surprises me with how smart and witty she is. Her voice inflections make the conversations I have with her that much more enjoyable. I could sit and listen to her talk all day long just because of how amusing her logic is. Every time she passes by me, I just can’t help but to reach out and grab her and plant my lips dead center of her adorable little cheek :) I get so sad that she’s getting so big. I don’t look forward to the day that I forget what her precious little voice sounded like at this age. I wish I could freeze time and keep her in today forever.
She starts Pre-School next week! Barry and I have bounced back and forth about this even after deciding to send her (<— click the link to read about how I struggled with that decision!) but yesterday she sealed the deal when we passed by a bus and Zoe exclaimed, “Daddy, are you going to take me to school today?!” He looked at her and smiled and promised she could go next week lol I can’t wait to see how she develops and changes once she starts interacting with other kids her own age. *tear*
Kylan & Kaleb
We haven’t seen my stepsons since we moved in July because we haven’t been back to Mississippi but I’ve spoken with them several times and they seem to be doing great :) They moved into a new home not too long before we moved out of the state and after living in apartments for the last few years, they are loving having large rooms and a nice yard! Not having to climb 3 flights of stairs to get home is a nice plus too, I’m sure! Kylan is participating in the band at school this year, playing the snare drum. I can’t wait to hear all about it once they begin! Kaleb is, of course, being his normal beastly self on the football field from what I’ve heard thus far, proving that he is most definitely his father’s child! :)