40 Days Till 40 {#Mamis40to40}

With 40 more days until my birthday, I want to issue a challenge to friends near and far. I am not planning a big birthday bash (this is your hint to start planning a surprise party for me STAT, folks). But the thing about parties is that you never get the one-on-one time with all the people that come out to celebrate. 4th birthday

What I am proposing is simple: I'd like to see as many friends as possible in the next 40 days. It can be for coffee, for dinner, a Skype call, whatever. I want to see you, talk to you and catch up. During that time I want to ask you a few questions (that may or may not be recorded). Questions like: how did we meet? How long have you known me? What can you say about me (this is free where you will pledge your undying love and willingness to help me bury the body, if need be. Or you can tell me you love my shoe style, whatever floats your boat)? What's your birthday wish for me?


If you have pics of us that you want to share on social or comments, questions, concerns, well wishes, Instagram video, lotto numbers, etc feel free to use the #Mamis40to40 hashtag.

Deal? Who's in?

(PS: I'm deathly afraid that no one will respond to this but I'm learning that in order to receive, I need to be more vulnerable. Something I learned in my first 40 years. Pretty neat, eh?)

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39 (#FortyMinusOne)

Today I turn 39. I'm beyond elated to be here, at this age, in this time. 39

I try to take nothing for granted though I know that inevitably, I do. However, I am more conscious of it and so, I try my best not to. I'm doing what I can to stand in the moment and take it all in. I still live for this Mamihood I have created, though that circle includes so many more than just my kid.

Mami and Frog Princess in DC

I've attempted to record lessons learned in these 39 years. I'm sure I have missed some but here's a start.

In the last week I managed to meet up with Potus, present at a fantastic conference and generally gather a gaggle of blessings to my bosom in the midst of a crazy time.

Recently, it hasn't all been fabulous (we'll chat about that later). But ,today? Today I choose for it all to be just that. Because one of the things I've learned in these last 39 years is that I have the power to create. And today I am choosing to create awesomesauceness.

May you create peace and blessings today. And some rockin' cocktails! Oh and don't forget to buy me a birthday shot!

A look back at birthdays past:

Four Means More!

My frog princess is FOUR! FOUR, y'all! Do you know what that means? She's like a big girl. When did this happen and more importantly, why didn't I get the memo?! As is our tradition, Disney was on tap for her birthday.

The Big Day


We went with the Magic Kingdom as I wanted her to see princesses for real. We were in line to see Cinderella and Aurora and she whispered to me "Mami, there are princesses just like me!". Um YEAH!

Cinderella, Aurora, Belle and Merida were on tap for the day. Add in some rides and lunch and my child told me she was done around 2:30 p.m. so, no Snow White, Ariel, Tiana or Rapunzel on this trip. Thankfully, we just got annual passes and will be back!

The Royal Soiree

PrincessTurns4Her birthday party was set for Sunday and we went back to Amaya Papaya because, hello? It makes my life easier. I remember that first year when I pulled out my spreadsheet and did calculations for the party. Having our soirees there makes sense not just from a financial perspective but from a time perspective as well. I love being able to tell Yolonda what I want and then she just magically puts it all together for us. It's amazeballs, I tell ya! The kids had a great time and the adults had a blast watching all of the kids interact.

I had some stressful moments with not having the platters in place and an issue with the favors. But, Yolonda handled the favors situation for me beautifully which allowed me to relax a little. If you were at the party, though, you may have noticed I was out of sorts. Charge it to my OCD and not my heart, please.

The Yummies

I don't know if I told you this but, a few month ago the frog princess came to me and shared that she wanted cupcakes (specifically) for her birthday. I believe it was after she had one of the Gigi's Cupcakes that I brought back from a conference. Of course, the wonderful folks at Gigi's created some great looking and great tasting cupcakes that were not just a big hit with the kids but went great with the decorations. I want to go back and get the mini cupcakes for Mami (sshhh, don’t tell her!).

Cupcakes and Cake


All in all it was a great weekend. I was reminded of my own 4th birthday. A big bash that took place in the Dominican Republic. It’s the first party I remember and I certainly hope that the frog princess will remember hers. She is this completely amazing human being and every day I feel blessed and grateful that she calls me Mami. I look forward to all of what four will bring. More laughter, more games, more play, more learning and of course, more talking.

What's the first birthday that you can recall?


My Birthday Wish

We are well into my birthday month. First of all, I may not entirely be used to writing 2013 on things so how is it already March? Second of all, I want to share a secret with you. I have a birthday wish. One that probably won't come true. A very selfish one that I'm not even 100% comfortable sharing with you.  And before you ask, yes, I want the standard $1 million, spa day, weekend at the beach, etc. But also...I want a new wardrobe.

Crazy, right? Here's the thing: I've never had a closet that I've been happy with. I am turning 38 this month and I think it's time. I dislike shopping and many things end up in my closet because I needed something to wear and that something fit at the time. I have a few pieces that I love but seriously, there isn't much that I couldn't walk away from right this minute if I had replacement pieces. I have been pinning images away in my Mami Swagger board. Styles that I feel are me but that are not necessarily in my closet.

It's a wish because there's no way I can afford any of that business. It's a wish because I'd have to be Cinderella with fairy godstylists to keep me out of yoga pants. I love yoga pants, you know this. But I don't know what to don when I get out of them. And I know Yanira over at Manolos, Manicures and this Mom is sick of hearing about it. I know this because she blogged about me. She's trying to help me by giving me some awesome advice on what to have in my closet.

But if I close my eyes and think of the person I feel like inside, at 38, living this crazy dream of helping others leave their mark in the world, being a mami and generally attempting to be awesome, these are some of the things that I see in my dream closet:


And of course, there are more. I have no idea how I would classify my style. I know that I don't follow seasonal trends. I wear what I think looks good and I definitely like to wear what feels good. With me being in an office now, I want to get my style back because it all goes towards my well-being. When I look good in the mirror, I feel great. You guys know how that works. Also, I'm my own boss and I want to look the part.

Anywho, I wanted to share my dream with you. I love Pinterest because it's like a lotto ticket. It allows you to dream of the possibilities if only for a little while. The possibilities that I could be a well-dressed, ass-kicking mamipreneur if only I had a budget (read: Mami's broke).

But even if I did have the money, I wouldn't know where to start. I hate shopping. I guess I'd start by calling Jai, giving her one of my credit cards and letting her shop and ship to me. That would be EVERYTHING! Can you imagine?

So that's my secret wish. Organization in my closet, things that match, things that will fit right and that will make me feel good when I look in the mirror. Clothes. It feels very selfish. Like I should be turning 19 and not 38. But, a girl can dream can't she?

Oh and I would like to start working out too. Because clothes can only make you feel good for so long.

Do you have a secret wish for your birthday or otherwise?

Something to Remember Me By


I have so much that I want to share with you. So much that I want to make sure I tell you. But I know that as time goes by, it doesn't matter what I say to you. You will record what you see, what you feel. This blog started off as a way for me to document My Mamihood and you are the sole reason for that. I pray I am able to show you the nuances of life but just in case that doesn't happen, I plan on leaving a users manual. Today is my birthday. You sleep soundly in my bed and when you wake, you will most likely shower me with hug and kisses. Not because it's my birthday but because God saw fit to give me a loving and compassionate child that wakes up like this on most days.

I want you to have something to remember me by. Some words of knowledge, some glimpse of what things were like. I guess this is the beginning of that. I turn 37 today. That may seem real old to you but trust me when I tell you, you'll get here before you know it (you won't believe me but, that's okay).

  1. I want you to, first and foremost, remember that you are loved beyond measure. You can brighten my day in a heartbeat
  2. I want you to know that it pays off to do the right thing. Even when it feels like everyone else is doing wrong and advancing. At least twice a week I tell you the word of the day is "patience". Remember that when you're having one of those days
  3. Know that success is not measured by what's in your bank account. It's one of those accounts that only the heart can give you a balance sheet which reminds me...
  4. Always trust your heart. Even when you are being told not to. Even at your age you have a discernment about you that I know will only flourish with time and faith
  5. Don't get too mad with me when I do something to help someone out and get nothing in return. Or worst yet, get a tad bit of disdain. I don't do it for them. Always listen to that voice inside of you that leads you to reach out a hand. On more than one occasion, someone else will do the same for you
  6. Know that you were put on this earth to do beautiful things. Do not get caught up in the drama that your ego will surely lead you to
  7. Read all that you can (start with Coelho and go from there)
  8. As long as we're talking about reading, keep a bible close by. You'd be surprise at all of the good advice you'll find
  9. Listen to good music
  10. Know a good glass of wine (when you're old enough to drink) and always have enough money to buy it yourself but, don't be too hard on someone who wants to buy one for you
  11. Love. Fully. Entirely. Leave it all on the mat. You will be hurt but let me tell you , there's nothing like the feeling of loving with no restraints, putting it all out there, that you gave it your all. Because the love you give never disappears. Even if that person seems to absorb it and give nothing in return. It's like a boomerang
  12. Laugh! Do you know that when you laugh now, everyone laughs with you? Even when I'm on the phone and you catch yourself giggling to get my attention. Don't ever lose your laughter
  13. Be bold. Take chances. Take risks (but don't let me see it because you might give me a heart attack). Meet life where it greets you, ok, baby girl?
  14. Don't be scared. If you hold still for a minute, you'll know just where you are being led
  15. Did I mention how much I love you? My love for you is immeasurable. Uncontainable and true. You are more than just my heart. Our souls are threaded together in a way that can only come from my womb nurturing the parts that became the whole you
  16. God is good and this you already know
  17. As you walk on your path you will encounter people that are jealous and poisonous. Don't get too close. Just know that there are a lot more people on your path willing to lend you a hand. Again, stay open even if sometimes you get hurt
  18. Don't forget to skip every once in a while. As you get older, you'll notice that when you skip, you actually create a time/space continuum that sends you back to your childhood and it brings a little joy to your heart that you can only feel, not explain
  19. Don't forget that everything is a miracle (just like Einstein said). That butterfly that you ask to sit still for a picture. That flower that you talk into growing a little more. The fact that someone survived when no one thought they would. They are all miracles as long as you understand that, so are you
  20. Don't be dishonest. It might be a good thing in the short run when you are trying to get out of explaining yourself or you are trying hard to conceal something from someone you love because you don't wish to hurt them. Truth might hurt, baby girl but, lies leave a scar that you can't apologize away
  21. Know that everything happens for a reason. And even when you are having a hard day, there is a lesson there that will allow you to grow and blossom into something beyond what even you can imagine

So, that's the start of my list, I guess. When you wake, I think I'll take you to the botanical garden and we can enjoy a lovely day together among the flowers that will never do you justice and the birds that only sing because they cannot pronounce your name.

We have had some hard times but, we continue to be blessed enough to know that life could be different. It helps us appreciate where we are at. I don't think I could be happier with life right about now. And that's something for you to remember me by...

*Cafe Moms loved this post and picked it up for their Mother's Day round up. YAY! Thank you!!!!!