“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?


“We Are” 101|Activists

As I’ve become older, I’ve become more vocal about things. Having a child makes you want to fight for a lot more. Looking around and watching the news makes me want to get on a big bullhorn and just shout “Knock It Off!” I think that I if I’d grown up in the 60s, I would have been a part of the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement if I had lived in the 1800s.

Pollution, Gender Inequality, Racism, Sexism and on and on and on. We were not put on this planet to judge, we were put here to love. Jesus was faultless. He came here to heal bodies and souls. And we are to do the same as followers of Christ.

Do you know that there are hate groups that claim to be Christian and have cherry picked the Bible to suit their ideas.

The Golden Rule

Matthew 19:16-22

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

The Ten Commandments are plain and simple so that we can all understand. And regardless of your beliefs (it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not) if you looked at these words and followed them this world be infinitely better. At least the cheating and killing would cease. But sadly that’s not the way it is, so as true stewards of Christ we have to be the change that we want to see. We’ve got to start treating each other better. Treating each other the way we want to be treated.

Be the Change You Want to See

In being the change we want to see however does not mean putting others voices, values or opinions down because we don’t agree. We are all free to be who we are but we don’t have the right to put our hands on others or take their lives. If your change is rooted in hate and prejudice you are not following the Golden Rule unless you like others hating you. What do you have to do to become more active?

  1. Find out what motivates you, because this will ignite your passion to do something.
  2. Believe that you can make a difference. Think of all the people that did and all the wonderful changes to have happened in this world as a result.
  3. Do some research and see if there are organizations around you already doing the work that you want to do and join them or start your own.
  4. Looking at your strengths, figure out what you can do to help. Donate you time? Your money? Your skills? Choose how you want to help.
  5. Understand what you’re getting into and then choose where you want to  help and just start.

One of the reasons, I started We Are F.A.S.H.I.O.N was because I wanted to make a change in the lives of young minority girls. When I was in design school, I looked around me and what I didn’t see moved me to see a change in the environment that I was in. A more colorful diverse idea of design and fashion in all aspects of the industry. I also wanted to give kids a lifelong skill, help them through school, help them to grow as individuals and help them develop their passions. Among other things. It took me awhile to get started because I thought that I needed to be a big time person in fashion with connections, but all I really need was to start. And when I did the reward was instantaneous and amazing.

Here are some great children’s books to share with your kids to teach them about standing up for others and about being the change they want to see.

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Activists 2

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Activists 3

Be the Change You Want to See







“We Are” 101|Free to Be…You and Me

“I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it. – Kurt Vonnegut”

Hey all, this one is sweet and nostalgic.

While I flying back from vacation, I came across this amazing collection of song and poems called Free to Be..You and Me. The book entitled Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops is a nostalgic work about all the great things about the 70s and 80s. Well, one of those great things as Marlo Thomas’ Free to Be ….You and Me.

I immediately had to look for the album and when I found it I was really intrigued. According to Thomas, she and other celebrities at the time recorded a children’s album, as a project for Ms. Foundation for Women, created to fight the gender and racial stereotypes prevalent during that time and to try and get kids to see- whether they were a girl or a boy- that their dreams were limitless and achievable. That’s the message I send out through my mentoring and teaching with We Are F..A.S.H.I.O.N. We are free to be…awesome, fabulous, outstanding…you get the point.


These songs have a real 70s vibe but the messages are timeless and always poignant. Songs poems like Atalanta, a nod to feminism and choice and Housework, about sharing the responsibility between men and women of keeping a home are universal in Western culture.My personal favorites are My Dog is a Plumber and Parents are People. Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I should lose my personality and I can be a stay to home mom or a plumber.

You can find the album just by typing it in to a search engine and you can hear the great messages this group of performers provided during very challenging times, much like our own times. Free to Be…You and Me was followed up with a companion book and a TV special. The album celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in 2013. These songs and poems and the lessons they share are still relevant today and should be shared with the new generation. You can find the album on Amazon and on iTunes. I had to share a few of my favorites. What do you think?

You’ve got to check out this album and the book and the TV special. Free To Be…You and Me can also be adapted as a musical. Wouldn’t this be great as part of your local fine arts program.

This album was needed for the times following the 60s and it’s still relevant today. Through song, poetry, spoken word values such as individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity were celebrated. And they should still be today. We’re not called to agree with or even understand everything people do. Trying to dictate how others should be and how they should act leads to hate and prejudice. On my vacation to Vegas, I saw some things that were definitely not right for me. For me not for anyone else. It’s not my place to judge, it’s my calling to love.

Only God should judge.

Are we truly free to be you and me?

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“We Are” 101|Inventors

When I was looking for stories to share on National Sewing Machine Day, I came across a post about Stephanie Kwolek. The post called her A Great Woman In Sewing. I’d never heard of her but I certainly know a lot about the product she invented.

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I’ve worked with it for the past 13 years as a clothing engineer (designer) for a branch of the services. When I graduated from fashion design school, I’d heard the word Kevlar but really that’s about all. Over the years, I’ve come to know quite a bit about it and its uses, but I never knew that it was invented by a woman. And they say that we have no place or interest in STEM. You see, Kevlar was invented by Stephanie Kwolek.

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Her scientific contributions have made a huge impact on our world and it all started with a sewing machine.  Stephanie’s father was a scientist and her mother was a home seamstress. She passed on a love of textiles and fashion to Stephanie. Stephanie thought that she might pursue a career in fashion but she also loved science.

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She studied biology in college and that lead to her a career with DuPont. It was there that her two loves eventually combined and she invented a fiber that would influence the world in many ways. Her invention was almost not used but she convinced her fellow scientist and Kevlar was born.

Kevlar, five times as strong as steel and vastly more lightweight, is best known for its use as body armor–which is how I became acquainted with the textile. Kevlar is also used in hundreds of everyday items, from gloves to roads and even tires.

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One of the things that I emphasize with the girls I mentor in fashion is that it’s not all about sewing or designing pretty clothes. If you love something else, that can be combined with fashion. If you love to write be a fashion blogger or work for a magazine. If you love science, you can work for DuPont or WL Gore and invent performance wear. If you love sports, you can work for Nike. Because Kwolek  understood fabric and textiles as well as science it helped her contribute in a greater way. Today Kevlar is used even in fiber optic cables, and so Kwolek’s work makes it possible for me to communicate this very post to you.

Don’t count out women in science and don’t count out sewing and fashion as “froo froo” careers with no real contribution. I’m sure the men and women that use body armor everyday are thankful to Stephanie Kwolek.

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Take a look at some other women inventors.

Madam C.J. Walker

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Roxey Ann Caplin

Joy Mangano

Rachel Fuller Brown

We Girls Can Do Anything!

Stay classy!