Soul Suga’| Pressure Creates Diamonds

vintage postcard of the main gate


Update: Whew!! So much has happened in a short amount of time. I thought that I was leaving my job in September but that didn’t happen. I started planning my subscription box service and working on some classes. Then within a month, I had a new job. An ART TEACHER position had opened up (God did it) and I was hired. When I initially drafted this post I thought that I was leaving in September and then I changed it to next September but here I am posting it. I’m two weeks into being an art teacher and I feel really good. I don’t miss my old life at all.

Of course, I’ve had to play catch up and I’m now taking three classes instead of two. I’ve also had to postpone the release of my subscription box service for a few months. I need to get the grasp of teaching and get past these classes. All that said I apologize for length of this post. Two weeks ago I ended a 40+ year relationship with the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Everything started for me at Happy Days Preschool (now the CDC) the base preschool. I went on to attend Frank Knox Elementary School (now DOD offices and classrooms) for Kindergarten and 5th grade. I learned to read in that building.

I was taught by my mom who was a teacher there for many years until they closed the school. I roller skated down the hallways and in cafeteria, played Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego in the library, and enjoyed the school carnival, science fairs and school performances in the gym. I made friends at Happy Days and Frank Knox that I still have today. I remember every nook and cranny of that building.  My Kindergarten room is now the pass office and every time I go in there I’m reminded of how my mom’s room was right down the hall, the wood paneling walls, the cardboard dress up people (you know the kind that you stick your face and hands through), and of the little courtyard where we played recess. We had a garden plot over by the laundry that both my aunt and uncle worked at. We shopped at the Commissary (now a grove of remembrance trees) and the Exchange (now an office building), played in the gym, and swam at the base pool. I saw my first rated R movie (Stripes) with my unsuspecting mom and during Christmas we would shop at the huge warehouse they called TOYLAND!

Vintage postcard of Frank Knox Elementary School

As I got older, the gym was the place to go and watch all the boys playing basketball or where I would pretend to get my workout on while watching the boys play basketball. One of my closet friends lived on the base and we shared many a sleep over giggling about New Kids on the Block and talking about boys. We had our proms at the Officer’s Club and Project Graduation at the Drill Hall. We’d go to the beach on the Chesapeake (water you couldn’t pay me to go in now) and there was that one time Crystal and I went canoeing. My boyfriend junior year lived on the base and I remember having dinner on his parents boat at the marina. When I came home from college on visits, we would go to the club on the base. The base club years were the BEST, 18 to get in. I didn’t need to drink, I just needed to dance. Everything was good until my ID expired.

Oh the memories. People, places, events to numerous to name them all. I didn’t come on this base again until I was hired in 2003, as a clothing engineer for Human Systems. Just coming off the best experience of my life (design school), I was ready to use my skills to make a difference. Wow, what a journey it has been. I made good friends and saw many of them move on. My eyes were opened up to a world that I never knew existed just over the fence. You see, my childhood home was just across the road from base property. I had my wedding reception at the Beach House and my son had quite a few birthday parties at the same theater I saw Stripes in. Like his mom and dad, he attended the CDC (Happy Days) until it was time for him to start Kindergarten. I’ve seen this base change a lot but I still have my memories. These past 13 years have shaped me into the woman that I am today but I realize that this base has always been a part of my story from the very beginning and as much as I complained I wouldn’t change a thing.  There was money and then no money, there was good management and bad management and REALLY BAD MICROMANAGEMENT. I’ll tell you what, my prayer life has certainly strengthened. There were times when stress was a meal that I eat from the minute I sat at my desk  until the end of the day. But there were also laughs. I’ll miss some of the people. I know that I’ve been truly blessed. My 13 years there have made me smarter, more confident, more skilled, more accepting, and more knowledgeable and what I’ve learned will only make me better for the next half of my life story.

So now I move on to a new group of people, a new set of challenges, a new mission, I know that I’m equipped to handle anything because I’ve worked in 4.6 and I’ve worked with PMA-202 (look up Jim Jones French Guyana) and I survived with my faith and hope intact. So I say for myself “Fair Winds and Following Seas”.








Out of the Bag Ideas|Destination Wedding Gift Totes

Morgan Pride

Another great use for a Pink Koala Design bag is to create the perfect welcome bags and wedding gift bags. Destination wedding gift bags are the perfect welcome to excite guests, show your appreciation for their attendance and prepare them for the fun ahead. Destination wedding gift bags can also be given to the bride and groom before they depart for the honeymoon. They can be catered to the couple or the destination. Whatever the case make it special and it will be appreciated.

Continue reading “Out of the Bag Ideas|Destination Wedding Gift Totes”

“We Are” 101|The REAL Love Your Spouse Challenge

The Real LYSC

Sometimes we are HONEST…Pardon the interruption.

Have you all heard about the Love Your Spouse Challenge going around Facebook? Post a loving picture of you and your spouse for seven days and challenge someone else to do the same. When I first saw that I had been challenged to share, my first thoughts were I don’t have any pictures that I even want to post. For a good part of our marriage I’ve been overweight and I haven’t wanted to take pictures.

Any pictures that get taken are usually of our son. Plus, I’m not usually on Facebook. Quite honestly, I really don’t like Facebook. I got my post up the first day but by Day 2 when I couldn’t get the photo to post on Facebook using my phone, I got frustrated so I missed that day. On Day 3, I decided to just post Day 2-7 all at one time. I found pictures from our recent trip out west and pictures from when we first got married. I had a nice little photo montage of captured “loving” moments.

Then my husband pissed me off and I deleted the post. I decided to blog a replacement challenge. The REAL Love Your Spouse Challenge. The real challenge is not in these loving captured moments. The challenge is when your husband promises your child that he can go on a trip that the two of you have not discussed. When you tell your child that he can’t go because you miss hanging out with him and he loses his mind crying. And you look like the bad parent because Dad said he could go and Mom said no. And then your child sends you a text that says “You hurt my feelings very Bad” with 7 crying emoji faces after it. The REAL love is even though you want so badly to choke your husband for making you the bad guy once again when your child already thinks that you’re the harder parent BUT you don’t. Instead you keep your tears to yourself and wait for the anger to pass.

That love is rarely captured on camera because that’s messy and who wants to pull out a camera during those times. Marriage is messy and although you have those sweet moments when you can stick your head up from the trenches and capture that loving glance or heart felt embrace, let’s be real. Most of our pictures should show us giving our spouse the side eye or flicking them off behind their backs or they should have Qbert- like expletive bubbles in them. Because in those moments when you really just don’t want to be bothered with that person or like I said you want to choke them, you still love them. When you chose to stay and fight another day, that’s love. And you don’t capture those moments on film.

My love languages are Gifts and Acts of Service. That’s how I feel loved. My husband’s love languages are Quality Time and Physical Touch and our son is a combination of our love languages, with the exception of the Acts of Service. We have tons of pictures of us embracing our son but the real love is when I hold him in my arms and “sleep” upright so that he can breathe because when he lies down his nose clogs. I’ve got no pictures of those moments. I can think of so many other moments when I knew that my husband loved me because he did something for me that only a nurse would do and vice versa. I only have a snapshot in my mind of the cop at our car window warning my husband that he was going way too fast as we drove our son to the ER because he vomited blood after just having surgery on his tonsils. I guess I could have pulled out a camera but with current situations that might not have gone down well.

So I challenged myself to go through my pictures and find those images of REAL love. Messy love. Hard love. This is our love. Although I appreciate the challenge, haven’t we all been feed the “fairytale” of marriage that’s most often captured in these pictures popping up in the challenge? Don’t we owe it to those couples that haven’t made that commitment to show them what marriage is really like? Marriage is hard and if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t. But I did and I meant it. I love my husband. My favorite REAL love photo of him is from the day our son was born. You see that huge knot on his forehead? He got that because he walked into the edge of solid metal door that was obscured by a curtain because he was going to get the nurse so that she could do something to make me feel a little more comfortable during labor. He hit hard but he took it like a trooper and that’s love.

The Knot
The Knot

Stay real.





“We Are” 101|Sometimes..Scared

…..Sometimes Fearless!

How To Overcome Fear

I’m quitting my job in two months and I’m scared. I’ve just started menopause and I only turned 41 two months ago.  Inside my head, I’m screaming “what the hell are you doing”! You have a home, a family, bills. I’m quitting to become a teacher. At least I think that’s what I’ll do. That’s proven to be more complicated than I expected. Crazy thing though inside beneath the screaming is the quiet assurance that this season( my current job) of my life is over. There’s nothing left to do. Nothing left to accomplish here. I like to think of it as relationship that’s ending mutually. No one is bitter, both people just know that it’s time to move on.


I’m blogging but I’m so stubborn or whatever that I don’t want to follow any kind of set plan for my blog. I’m being called to teach, to mentor, to be role model, to act, to inspire and to serve but I don’t know how that’s supposed to play out. I have so many ideas and so many plans.

As long as I can remember I’ve had big dreams (Spiegel dreams), big ideas, and the gall to believe that I could have everything that I dreamed of. I have this blog and I have no idea what will come of it. I’ve got a lot of ideas but never enough time to execute them all. I’m busy and I have the tendency to take on too much. My son is 7 and I’m still trying to figure out how to follow my creative pursuits and be the mom that he needs me to be and that I want to be. And we’re exploring adopting another child or two. I’m a wife and an independent spirit so that brings it’s own daily challenges. You ever seen a bird with a broken wing trying to take flight or a bird that’s got its leg is caught up in a net or something. Some days that ‘s marriage for me. Some days I know why the caged bird sings. But as tough as I think that I am I can’t picture him not by my side and I know that I need him.

I’m not a quitter but I know when to  fold. Sometimes I make mistakes but I celebrate failure because I want to inspire my son to know that it’s okay to not be perfect and to make mistakes. I’m also pretty driven and committed to my goals. Like I said I’ve always had big dreams and I can’t turn it off. That’s passion. I’m committed to bringing my visions to pass, helping others see theirs and helping others discover why they are here.  Growing up there was a saying ” All I have to do is stay black and die” but there’s so much more than that to life. I want to discover why God made me black, a female, a mother, and so much more.

Although there’s this frantic voice screaming  “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!” there’s a smaller more steady voice that’s saying “it’s all gonna be okay”. That’s faith.

It’s time to find out why I’m here. Making the leap.

How do you overcome fear?