About Lexa

Eternal optimist, always wearing a smile. Must haves: sunshine, fitness (jogging, weight training, & CrossFit), reading, good food, writing, music, and fun with family and friends.

On The Road

Hello Sunshine!  Yes, that’s you!  :) 

I am full of joy, gratitude and feel so blessed. 

I give props to the chef at the Marriott Courtyard in Tennessee.  I ordered a basic omelet, three egg whites and one yolk and instructed the chef to add whatever vegetables were on hand, but the chef suprised me with this beautiful and delightful presentation!  So pretty!  :)  Of course, I have to mention the omelette is healthy too! Lol!

Obviously this Chef loves his job!  When you LOVE what you do and do what you LOVE, you shine!  This is another  reminder to stay on your grind to FIND YOUR PURPOSE and don’t stop until you get there.  Once you find your purpose, shift gears and get busy with it.. all day long!  

  

Yesterday after a long a** 15 hour road trip, I attended my cousin’s high school graduation from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Congratulations CJ!!   On to Murray State University!  Whoo hoo!!!

  
That’s CJ and my aunt Annie in the pic!  Love!

We could have flown; however, the long drive gave us the opportunity to talk without the distractions and to allow the conversations to flow and flow they did! :) 

I am writing this from the back seat of a big behind Expedition. I love to drive but it’s cool to be occasionally chauffeured. Lol! As a passenger, I have time to write and to enjoy the view.  You don’t get to enjoy this view from an airplane.

  
This morning we are on the road again but to visit a different cousin in Georgia. 

Before leaving Tennessee, we stopped to buy more lotto tickets. On our way too Tennesee, we won $15 in a scratchoff!  Maybe we’ll get even luckier with the powerball and the megamillio jackpots.

  

I stayed in the car to write but could not resist feeling the heat on my bare skin and to appreciate the bright morning sun, so I got out to stretch. I hear a shout…

                                                          “I like your outfit!      

I look up to see a beautiful and natural diva walking away from an 18 wheeler big rig.  Nice!!

  
She’s sportin a short and fierce fro.   I see she’s also wearing a headset and ask,

                                                         Me:   “Are you driving that?”

                                                         Her:  “Yup!” 
                                                         Me:  “That’s what’s up!!  You go girl! ”  High Five!!

Damnit!  Already I forgot her name!!!  I was so excited to see girl power in full effect!!   

She’s from Iowa, is in her mid 40’s and has wanted to drive a tractor trailer since she was 24 years old.  She allowed others to talk her out of driving but finally about a year ago decided to get her license. Hello!!!!  This is exactly what I’m talking about.  

                               Follow YOUR heart, follow YOUR dreams, and follow YOUR  passion(s) to the end!

   
 

Whatever your plans are for this holiday weekend, I hope you get to take the time to enjoy the beauty of the day. 

Have a fabulous day and enjoy the weeeknd.  :) 

This Is The Lifestyle

Positivity is like fitness… You don’t talk about it, you live it! :)
I could not resist this shirt. Lol!! 

Without Judgment Clarity Exists

There is eternal power and influence in motherhood.

-Julie B. Beck

Seeing the first image of our baby inside of our womb, the excitement of feeling the first kick inside our swollen bellies, the forever waited sound of the first breathe and cry at birth—all produces a plethora of emotions and fairytale like dreams.

Instant tears of joy and feelings of entitlement for our baby boy or baby girl—They will have our best and they will be the best at whatever they set out to do in life. We will always be there for them.

What is missing from the arrival of our bundle of joy is, a book of wisdom. Although you can find just about any book on any topic of how to do anything online and in stores, no single approach to parenting is a guarantee.

Every child and every mother is unique. We become mothers with an abundance of love and only our bag of history, experiences, and knowledge—the good and the bad.

Just as our moms raised us the best they could, we follow pursuit and plan to do the same, but better (or so we think).

It has taken me many years to step away from the idealism of how my mom should have raised me versus how I was raised.

Burying the judging gavel, allows me to see with clarity.

I see myself in her, which took over 25 years to happen.

I am an extension of my mother and I represent book two of Lena.

That little seed of kindness inside of her has blossomed within me and for that I am grateful.

That mighty strength of hers, which moves the heavens and the earth, has not fully matured within in me; I yearn for it, but patiently wait, as the growth is ongoing.

We are fiery women. Like an out of control woods fire, Mom’s flame skips around readily. I have the flame too, but work hard to suppress it. Occasionally the beast escapes. When the fire kindles, I am Lena’s lookalike.

Mother’s love for fashion and style (when she was younger) was evident in her old pics– Hmm… I got that from her too!  Lol!

She loves to win…so do I. :)

While I may not like or agree with everything about the process of how I have become the woman I am today,

I very much like who I am and give homage, praise and thanks to my mother for creating me.

To all the moms, mother’s-to-be, fill in moms, Nanas, mom-moms and everything else, Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for all that you do!!! :)

Motherhood quotes that make me smile: :) 

“A mother is a mother from the moment her baby is first placed in her arms until eternity. It didn’t matter if her child were three, thirteen, or thirty.”
Sarah Strohmeyer, Kindred Spirits

“…moms, even good ones, sometimes lose it a little so as not to lose it all.”
Susan Squire

“A mother who would stop at nothing for her child is dangerous woman when crossed.”
Solange nicole

“I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA.”
Jodi Picoult, House Rules

“Half the time your kids end up hating you for at least 5 of their teenage years[.] And don’t ever expect anything so mundane as a thank you”
Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm 

14 Principles To Less Stress

Two weeks ago was Stress Awareness Day.  I had good intentions of posting but daily life took over and until today, the post remained a draft.

Since mom says I sugar coat everything,  I am just going to say it, stress is a real mother****** !

Former heavyweight boxing champ, Mike Tyson was known for delivering speedy and powerful punches that resulted in his opponents on their back floored and confused wondering what the hell happened.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Well honey, stress will do the same thing, except slower. Been there done that; trust me, you don’t wanna go there.

Experiencing subtle chest pain, random heart palpitations, and/or loss of sleep are just a few indicators that you may be experiencing stress.

Just because you’re not experiencing more of the common systems, doesn’t mean that your body is not experiencing stress.

The American Institute of Stress (AIS) published a list of 50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress.Your body is speaking to you; listen to your body. Avoid the  mistake I made 22 years ago.

At 27 years old, throughout my work week, I experienced more than half of the symptoms. Too busy trying to be supermom, super wife, attending night classes, and managing a front office at a hotel, I ignored every damn symptom.  I thought my daily adrenaline rush was normal.

“Normal” it was not. Living short on patience and cursing folks out at the drop of a hat isn’t normal and neither is it okay.

I was young!  Chile please!  Who has heart attacks and strokes at 27?  Not me!! That mess wasn’t on my radar.  I was slim, managed to run and practiced Tang Soo Do!

I was oblivious and numb to what I felt. I did not understand why I felt the way I did.  As far as I was concerned, my daily adrenaline rush and fast paced day where, I cursed at least one person, by the days end was my norm.

If you don’t recognize the symptoms and figure out how to slow down, eventually your body will stop you dead in your tracks. it doesn’t matter how well you eat or how much you exercise, stress is stress and will slowly and methodically break the body down.


To reduce your stress, try these 14 tips:

  1. Use a calendar – If you don’t already record important dates on a calendar, start this immediately.  I like to use my smart phone, it works better than a date book. It has reminders. Add every event, doctor appointments, nail appointments, kids games, practice etc…  By doing this, you will have a clear picture of your real availability.
  2. Learn to say No! – You don’t have to attend every party or event you are invited to.  Look at your calendar and realistically decide if the event fits into your day. Ask yourself, How long is going to take me to get there? Do I need a baby sitter?  Do I have a class or work?  If it doesn’t fit, politely decline. If the person gets upset with you, perhaps it is time to evaluate your relationship with them, which brings me to my next point.
  3. Assess relationships – Evaluate the people in your life, including family. Think about how you feel when you are around them. Ask yourself, Are they positive influences?  Do they bring positive or negative energy your way? What are they doing with their life? Are they happy? When you are around them, do they make you feel good or bad?                                                                                                        
  4. Do the dirty work – With respect to rule #3, if you recognize that a person or people in your life are bringing you down, man up and do what has to be done. Phase them out of daily life. To end the relation, you don’t have to have a knock down-drag out fight. Just stop calling them, don’t invite them over and stop hanging out with them.  I’m serious!! Life is a journey of peaks and valleys.  No one is exempt from the highs and lows in life; however, people who are always negative–Debbie Downers and Negative Neds– Using an oversized lifelike straw, they suck the life and energy right out of you. Quick!!  Run!!!  Let them go!  They won’t understand.  Eventually they may ask.  If they do, tell them the truth, but be nice about it.  “I just couldn’t take your energy.”
  5. Effectively plan each week – Periodization is a concept used in strength training, that trainers use to help clients reach their fitness goals. Over simplified it is planning in phases for long-term performance. To accomplish your personal or professional goals, you can take the same approach.  Write a plan and strategically work towards it. Before your week begins, look closely at your schedule. Some days your schedule will be tighter than others; plan for these days. Example:  During football season, our schedule is regimented, so I plan our family meals. On Sunday, I cook larger family meals so there are a couple of days of leftovers. I buy the large size take out styrofoam plates from BJ’s or Sam’s Club, so when necessary, he can eat on the run. No plates, no dishes, no take out, no wasting money, and best of all, healthier meals!  Planning ahead like this, keeps you ahead of your game and avoids putting you in the stressful reaction mode.
  6. Mind YOUR business!  – Don’t make everybody’s problems your problems. We’ve all been there.  You know a family member or friend who just ain’t living right and they always have drama going on.  “She needs to do this!”  “She ought to be doing that!”  “If it were me….”   Stop it!!!  It ain’t none of your business, stay in YOUR lane. Nobody designated you as the official problem solver. Deal with and fix your own ish!
  7. Mind YOUR money! – An inability to manage your money can be a huge stress. It’s a basic concept.  Live within your means and avoid trying to impress others with your ish!  Grown and mature folks don’t give a damn about what kind of car you drive, designer handbags, expensive shoes, or where you live.  My car is 9 years old. The flaps on my running boards came off, she doesn’t have heated seats, but she has heat and air.   The ride is decent, but she’s PAID OFF!  So when a driver of a luxury car pulls up to me, I celebrate their pleasure and mine.  :)  When the time is right, I’ll have my “dream” car, but for now, I’m minding my money.  As my friend says, “All that glitters ain’t gold!”                                                                                 
  8. Stop putting out other folks fires! – Recognize that their emergency is not YOUR emergency.  Lol! I used this philosophy all the time. The lack of planning on someone else’s part does not have to be your problem.  I am all for helping others, but for some people, their emergencies are more OFTEN than NOT. Sympathize, empathize and everything else, but it’s their problem to solve not yours. The time and energy you spend bailing them out will ultimately mess up your day and you may end up feeling stressed.
  9. Make time for you – Care for yourself first. What are your interests? Do you have a hobby or want to go back to school?  Whatever your interest, do it!  Even if it means your kid has to take one less activity, do it. Life is too short and too uncertain to put your life on hold until your child finishes school.  Tomorrow isn’t promised is a cliché but its meaning is bona fide. Your family will benefit from your happiness.
  10. Meditate – The mind, body and spirit improves with meditation.  You don’t need an hour or even 30 minutes…  Start by finding 15 minutes in your day.  Once it becomes routine for you, you’ll figure out the best time and where you can meditate for longer (if you chose).   The Rest & Relax Guided Meditation App is my favorite. At $1.99 it’s worth it.  You pick your music, desired length of time and the session is guided. It’s a great application that can help you get started.
  11. Eat well – You are going to feel exactly how you eat. Eat crap and you’re going to feel like crap-there is no getting around it. If you listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel, you will understand what I am saying.  Regardless of your fitness goals, try to eat a balanced diet. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy grains, and water daily into your diet. Minimize or avoid excessive sugary drinks and food, alcohol, packaged foods, fried food, and fast food.  Destroying your body with poor nutrition will eventually lead to illness such high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.
  12. Exercise – You don’t have to be a fitness junkie like me, but incorporating exercise 3-4 days per week can have an positive impact on your quality of life.  Walking, weight training, yoga, running, CrossFit, aerobics, Zumba… just move.  To keep fitness interesting and fun, add a variety of workouts to your program. Find a gym or trainer that is right for you and an informed one that can help you meet your fitness goals and STICK WITH IT. Your heart is a muscle. When you exercise, your heart benefits and will function more efficiently.
  13. Sleep – The body  needs REST.  Going to bed late every night is counter productive to healthy living. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis, and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life.                                                   
  14. Get annual physicals  – No matter how well you feel or look, get your annual check ups.  For ladies, that means, OBGYN’s, Mammograms, a general practitioner, and an eye exam. That’s a lot right?  Men have it easier. Lol!  Prevention is key. You might feel well, but something still could be wrong. There are many diseases such as breast and uterine cancer, that are silent and don’t exhibit symptoms, so keeping up with annual doctor visits can save lives.

I’ve been told that I smile a lot and I do!  :)   That’s because I live a simple life.  The less complicated, the better. My life isn’t perfect, but I live by the 14 principles, which sometimes requires tough decisions, but I do what I have to do, to maintain happiness and balance in my life.

Do you have other tips that you use to deal with stress?  I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and make it a fabulous day!  :)

Begin Each Day Like This

 

Photo courtesy of my friend JH.  Thank you! 


What we do is not as important as how we do it. The attitude, the energy, and the flavor that we infuse our actions will determine the scope and magnitude of the results.  

We are enroute to B’Dazzle’s Saturday morning tutoring.  While it is early and I would appreciate sleeping in, I am immersed in gratitude for the gift and blessing of life. I woke up this morning, not everyone did. 

When you get up in the morning, before getting out of bed, take a deep breath and slowly exhale.  

Give sincere thanks for another day. 

Smile. 

Regardless of what lies ahead of you, commit to giving it your all.  Find the sunshine in as many moments as possible. 

Smile.

Don’t be discouraged by happenings that you cannot control. 

Smile. 

Go about your day with a positive attitude and keep forgiveness in your heart. 

Smile. 

Practice random acts of kindness. 

Smile. 

Most of all, “Be the kind of person that you want to meet.”

Make it a fabulous day!  Smooches!  :). 

Children Model OUR Behavior

Mom, can I make an omelet when we get home?

The time is just around 3 O’clock  Sunday afternoon.  This kid loves eggs.  Oh my goodness! To further persuade me, he goes on to say,

There’s protein in the egg.  I need my protein after my workout…

LMAO!!  How on earth can I say no to that?  Hahaha!

Omelet and tobasco

Here’s what’s left of his 3-egg omelet.  That red stuff is Tabasco Sauce, which he’s been eating since he was around 6!

On the weekend, B’Dazzle participates in a rigorous football conditioning camp. I like the program because the coaches push him beyond his limits. Like me, he doesn’t always realize his full athletic potential.

The camp is an intense hour of various drills sprinting, running ladders, crawling, pushing sleds, wrapping, and more.  I like it because there is no slacking, horse-play, or performing half-ass. Before the boys walk in the door, the bar is raised and they know exactly what type of performance is expected of them. Makes for a great work ethic.

In an hour’s time, the boys burn an enormous amount of calories! It is important to their growth and development that after practice, they fuel up and replace the calories burned. While my son is young with an active metabolism, I still stress, to him and to hubby, that he eats “good”  food instead of filling up on empty, high fat, and sugared calories. Even though I cringe, an occasional slurpee isn’t going to kill him.  I hope not! Lol!  Okay so you know, I had to sneak a peek!! Continue reading