Updates

Hey everyone!
It’s been awhile. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. We found out that baby number three is arriving in March and we can’t wait! I know what you’re thinking: You can’t wait for sleepless night, changing more diapers, and an unpredictable schedule?? Well, that’s already my life right now. 

My son just turned two and that’s not too far from the whole newborn experience. He did, however, start sleeping in his “big boy” toddler bed. Literally, I went in his room one night and his father had put him in the toddler bed. I was prettyyy much in shock and quickly walked (ran) out of the room, but it was about time so I let it slide. He already sleeps on a cot at day care so it’s the same experience he’s used to, just for a longer stretch of time. 

So far so good! He loves his Lion King bed set and the fluffy throw I put on him to make sure he’s securely on the bed. The bed has short railings at the top, but I wouldn’t be a real mom if I didn’t worry about something. 

I’ve also got back to this whole career thing, so that I can secure my level 2 certification. Grad school is my new best friend (ugh)! It’s actually not too bad because the program is completely online, it’s just hard to write papers and and read discussion board posts after long days at work. (I already talked about the long days that teachers have.) Oh and let’s not forget about the required readings and additional research. I hope that I can keep up the momentum and finish in no time (2 years is nothing right??). Atleast my student loans are deferred!

The holidays are around the corner and we’re excited to decorate with the kids. Not sure too much about Thanksgiving plans, but as long as I have a plate with stuffing, dirty rice, and macaroni and cheese- my day will be made. Sorry, I don’t really need anything else in my life (maybe some greens, don’t really crave such things these days). 

My husband insists that we purchase a real Christmas tree, but I’m not sure I’m prepared for that. Everyone that I’ve talked to says NOT to buy a real tree. I guess we’ll see what happens in a couple weeks. I saw some cute tree decorations, but we have yet to pick a theme (time is ticking). Gold and white is definitely an option or we could go the traditional route with red and green. TBD. 

I hope life is treating you all as well. Stay warm during this fall season. 

-Jay

Secrets

There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you,

Its pain runs so deep. 

I look in the mirror, not really sure of what I see. 

The color of my skin pops out at me. 

Ears, eyes, nose, mouth-they’re all regular. 

The skin, the skin is what they all see. 

It’s different from their’s, a precursor to my dreams. 

They see me and assume, they hear me and laugh. 

Who I am is different, put that on blast. 

Don’t define me by my skin. 

Don’t wrap me in a box. 

Let’s agree to differ, my soul is wrought. 

#justapost

The wind howling so loudly as your footsteps echo across the wooden floor. You ponder a snack as you head towards the kitchen door. Morning will come soon and you need your rest. The struggles of this word are causing you some stress. Life can be so simple, yet so complicated. The “easy” life only seems real in books and on magazine covers. 

It’s such false advertisement to sell the world on dreams that might never come, but you still hold tight knowing that you aren’t done. Seeing the world from different perspectives, gives you a lense that others may never experience. The gift comes with the pain. 

Mosey on back to bed and remember your purpose. Nothing in life is too hard that you can’t get through it. Nothing about life hasn’t happened already. Turn this page in the book and flip forward to the ending where there is happiness. 

My mission #momsonthemove

I want to share with everyone why I’m here, for new and old readers of my blog. I’m here to tell my story and show other people that they can weather their storms too! I went from your average “teenage mom” to a wife, educator, and blogger. People didn’t think I would do anything positive after my daughter, that was supposed to be my down fall. Too bad HE had another plan. 

When I had my daughter I was seventeen years old, a high school senior, with little to no experience with babies. From the moment I found out that I was carrying a gift, I busted my butt to make sure I made every doctor’s appointment, WIC appointment, and any other appointments for myself and my baby. Nobody told me this is what I had to do, but thank God for Google, I knew I had to take care of myself in order for my child to be healthy. 

Fast forward to after I had my daughter. I returned to my high school, only to find out that I might not be graduating. After all my hard work, my dreams started slipping away. They said I was missing a gym credit that was mandatory for graduation. Okay, gym, really? I thought. Thank God my mother/biggest support/lawyer attended this meeting with my vice principal and we came up with a lin “amicable” solution: I would 1st period gym at 7am every morning for a whole quarter. 

I was scared. I was already up with my new baby at quarter to six, now I would have to break her sleep even earlier? I agreed to the solution anyway and hoped that I could work this new schedule out with my sitter. My sitter, my life saver, a 3rd grandmother to my daughter. Her name was Ms. Renay, recommended to me by a friend. As soon as I told her what happened she was appalled, “They want you there at what time? Don’t worry, you know Chelsea is my girl. It’s not an issue.” My heart melted. She could have easily said no and turned me away. 

When that aweful semester had finally ended, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I could focus on the college applications I had submitted and finding another job, in addition to the part time one I was working. I applied to local schools so I could stay close to my baby and the cost would be lower. As I got my acceptable letters, followed by financial letters, the fear set in again. My mother had raised me ALL HER LIFE ON HER OWN and now we had to fill out my FAFSA and see how we were going to do this. 

Prior to my pregnancy I was able to visit many colleges in the Philadelphia area, other parts of the state, and New England. My top choice for school was actually the University of Connecticut. I loved their school spirit, their academic rigor, and the distance from home. I wanted to get away. When my big news came, my top choice for college became Chestnut College for its proximity to the city and small class sizes. Once I got my financial aid letter, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go. Their tuition was double/triple the average tuition for the area and I didn’t have a kidney to sell to do so. Drexel was just as expensive, as well as Lasalle. 

I had all these options, but Temple just seemed right. My mom was alum, graduating in the later 80s, it was not far from my grandfather’s home, and I could easily access to broad street line or buses to travel to and from home. Oh, let’s not forget about the price. It was just right: we still had to take out loans to finance my education, but it seemed easier to pay 12,000 per year versus 24,000, or 32,000. 

I thought I was right in. Another letter addressed to me said based on my SAT scores I would be required to complete a Summer Bridge Program prior to my official acceptance into the college. It was bologna! No other college offered my conditional admission, what made them so different? I was annoyed more than anything, but I signed up and attended the program anyway because I wanted to show them that I was an asset to their school. 

Summer Bridge wasn’t easy. It was a month long hybrid college experience. We had papers, assignments, projects due concurrently. It seemed designed to make or break you. Some rose up to the challenge, some were unable to catch up to the pace. In the end it made us all build a bond like no other. I’m still in touch with people from the program, still seeing their growth and progress. 

The irony in the program’s design was that it made you more prepared to tackle your first college course like no other. I remember telling other freshman in my courses where to find buildings on campus, how to do certain things, and giving th advice. I was a Temple expert, thanx to Summer Bridge. That experience led me to many on campus positions and programs. I mentored other freshman in seminar courses, worked with adults with disabilities, students housing, Diamond Leader, student conduct board member, and I even applied an obtained an academic scholarship. The list goes on and on, but it’s always those things that seem like they set you back that actually set you up for greatness! 

I can’t say it enough. I’m here for others. My work, this blog is not selfish. Read my story, know that you are not along. The trials and tribulations you are going through are only a test. Be true to yourself and go for what you want. If I can do it, anyone can. 

Email me at fash.moms@gmail.com for advice. 
-Jay

Angie Steele #momsonthemove

Of course she was destined for greatness, her name says it all. At least that’s what I first thought when I cam across Angie’s Instagram account. As I scrolled through her feed, I quickly found out that my assumption was actually true. A hair stylist, brand ambassador, influencer, and motivational speaker are her current responsibilities. In the years coming, she hopes to “…be on t.v., helping in missions, and definitely doing conferences/retreats on a larger scale.” How does she do it all?

 

As a single mother of two, Angie displays the poise and strength that so many of us are working to cultivate. Much of this she contributes to her hard working, fearless mother. “She worked 40+ hours a week, graduated from college, and still had time to bless her family, and help other people.” Even in times of sadness she has pushed through to ensure that her two children continue down successful paths.

 

Her son is an undefeated soccer player who is lucky to be coached by his mom and her daughter is finishing up the eleventh grade and graduating early! Her daughter inspires her with qualities that remind her of her own mother. “She’s the exact opposite. She doesn’t rely on too many people’s opinions. It’s like she can do without them. She’s just like my mom: determined, beautiful heart, and open to see everyone win.”

 

Thank you, Angie, for raising such hard working children that can be a role model for other children. I hope that you are able to take as many trips to the beach as possible so that can have time to relax. Your story is an inspiration to us all, may your guardian angel continue to watch over you and your family.

-Jay

“To thy own self be true”

 

Learn more about Angie:

Instagram: @steeledivine

Website: www.steeledivine.com

Mary- Ann #momsonthemove

A mother that is inspired by her own mother is a success- that’s what I think. Mary-Ann’s mother inspired her to speak from within. “…character speaks volumes, work ethics, and balancing a family.” These are words for Mary-Ann and others to live by. It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

Mary-Ann is a mother of two children, a healthcare professional, and spends her time making a difference in other’s lives. As a graduate of John Bartram Motivational High School, she plans on pushing herself even further. Mary-Ann hopes to become a hospital administrator, get married and explore entrepreneurship in the next five years and then move onto operations management in 10 years. With so many goals on her list, Mary-Ann lives by the quote: “Don’t Quit” by Edgar A. Guest.

Outside of work, Mary-Ann spends free time with family, shops, eats, attends church and makes sure to get in some “mommy time”.

“My children are my priority- a job can come and go, family is always there. I set aside time to do things with them…”

Well said because the time that we get to spend with our children is precious, we can’t get it back. It can be difficult to find balance, but there’s always a silver lining. If a job is forcing you to choose it over your children and/or family it may not be a good fit.

 

Thank you for sharing your story, Mary-Ann.

Instagram: @glamourgirlma

 

Welcome back

What they keep telling me sounds like lies

No matter what I’m still going to break down and cry. 

It’s too hard cuz it’s “easy”.

I wish I could rewind the time, but I don’t remember- it all feels new

Could someone pinch me please, I need this to be over. 

It’s one thing to be physically drained, mentally just makes it that much harder to maintain…

Your sanity that is. 

God forbid you’re oblivious to it all, that’ll really be your downfall. 

Hold your breath, count to ten. It’ll be over and you’ll be doing it all again.