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.

The Gift Of Gratitude

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

-William Arthur Ward

My life is wonderful!!  It is NOT perfect either, but I am truly grateful for everything.  While I live in a beautiful home and have a few nice possessions; they are replaceable tangibles.  I am more appreciative and grateful for my loving husband, my cool and quirky children, my hard working and hilarious brother, my adventurous sister, my sharp-tongued mother, my loyal friends, my health and more!  I don’t take any of the loves in my life for granted, and as often as I can, I try to consistently communicate and share the gratefulness.

I’ve lived to enjoy age 50 and it’s nothing that I ever imagined.  I’m not old!  I’m wiser, more carefree, forgiving, fit and celebrating life.  I intend to make this next decade and new chapter even more colorful than the last.

My 2015 summer vacation has ended and I have experienced one of the best summers ever!!  So much fun that I slacked on my blogging. Lol!  It’s all good tho because I try to keep up a reasonable perspective on life. During the fall and winter, my schedule is less flexible, so in the summer, I unwind and indulge more into my wants.

Celebrating my 50th Birthday was the highlight of my summer.  I had good intentions of writing a post immediately after my birthday, but umm… as you can see, that didn’t happen.  :0)


At the end of my birthday weekend, my face should have broken and cracked to itty bitty pieces from grinning and laughing so hard.

August 2014, I proclaimed that I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday in a big way. “A big way” meant partying hard on a tropical island with an intimate group of family and friends. Hahaha! :0)

Little did I know that, for two years, hubby decided that he would surprise me with a 50th birthday bash. OMG!!

My three-day weekend of birthday festivities began with my bestie from high school driving up from Virginia to sweep me away to DC.

Since 1979, we’ve been friends. #loyalfriends

She hates driving bridges and, to get to me, she had to drive over several bridges. Thanks Diane!!

When I arrived at the hotel; her daughter; my God-daughter and flower girl in my wedding (27 years ago) was waiting for me in the hotel room.

hotel room

The room was decorated with balloons, ribbons, along with a delicious box of chocolates. I was surprised and I felt very special. :o)

Before heading out to dinner, I was surprised again but this time with Champagne & chocolate covered strawberries!!   We laughed, toasted to the evening, enjoyed the strawberries and left for dinner.

pure luxurytruffles in box

champ and strawberries


We dined, “Where the Birthday Magic happens,” OYA Washington, DC.  Oh my goodness!  The atmosphere and decor, the food and service and the overall vibe was so me.  Lol!

FullSizeRender (9)

27 years ago, I never imagined that I'd be celebrating my 50th birthday with my beautiful flower girl. Who knew!!

27 years ago, I never imagined that I’d be celebrating my 50th birthday with my beautiful flower girl. She is wise beyond her years on earth. I love her as much as I love my daughter.  She rocks!

After cocktails and dinner, the waitress served me a mini banana bread cake that was to die for. You can see in the picture a lovely birthday greeting spelled out in dark chocolate. Yummy!
desert plateB'day cake

Hailing a cab in DC on a Friday night was interesting.  I am so used to the convenience of jumping in my car and driving to wherever I need to go, but the cab scene is a different world.  I learned real quick..don’t be afraid to step off the curb and into the street to snag a cab!  Lol!!

Next stop…


Cool place, great vibe!

This eclectic three-story bar/lounge doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the venue kept us entertained throughout the night with a live Blue’s band and several DJ’s… the perfect setting to dance the night away.

The lead singer of the band, a 49-year-old loc wearing woman from Brooklyn, NY was cooler than cool!  What better way than to celebrate my 50th with a cool ass 49-year-old diva from New York! Her raspy soulful voice made my night.  I could have listened to her sing all night long.  Heeeey!!

Lead singer

Revised Rockstar

The music and dancing worked up our appetites.  My friend insisted that I have a chili dog at DC’s famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Well past midnight, the line to order snaked through the restaurant like it was a lunch-time crowd.  I think I was the only one phased by the AM rush. Lol!!  I wolfed down a chili turkey dog and french fries.

Saturday’s Festivities

I was serenaded and embarrassed beyond words during breakfast at Chic & Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis Maryland!

Chick and Ruths

Me and the owner of Chick & Ruth's

Me and the owner of Chick & Ruth’s

Before we ate, employees, including the owner came to “see” me because they didn’t believe that I was 50! The owner also performed a cool magic trick for us. Lol!  “Black don’t crack” felt like the theme of the hour.  The owner told the entire restaurant over the PA system that it was my 50th Birthday and they sang happy birthday to “the girl with the nice tan!”  Hahaha!

My God-daughter raved about their crab dip– I know why… that dip will make you slap somebody!!!   Lord Geez…..   They bake bread fresh on the premises and we sopped up the crab dip with the hot bread like we hadn’t eaten in days!!!  When my ginormous crab omelet was served, I couldn’t finish it.  None of us finished our meal…   Great restaurant… loads of fun.  Another eatery where folks line up and eagerly wait to eat.

After lunch/brunch we got on the road to drive to my home, where I found a crowd walking down that driveway singing, “Happy Birthday” to the tune of  Steve Wonder’s Birthday song blasting from the DJ’s station in the backyard.


...just getting out of my car...

…just getting out of my car…

Lol!  The moment was priceless and I will never forget it.  It’s the first and only party I’ve ever had!

Too see who was out in the crowd, I climbed atop my car!  Yes, climbed atop my car and danced to the singing and the DJ’s music Lol!!

Turnin' it up!! Lol!

Turnin’ it up!! Lol!

This (me dancing on my car) is what authentic living is all about.  Being true to who you are and not caring what others think.  :)

viewing the crowd

The bartender walked down the driveway and handed me a cocktail…. sitting atop the carI sat and sipped in amazement.

My God-daughter took this shot of me standing on the sunroof from inside my car.

My God-daughter took this shot of me standing on the sunroof from inside my car.

my homies

These two are also besties for life! They saw and talked with me daily but kept the secret well. Who has three genuine ride or die chicks in their life? Me and for that I am blessed. Love them all!

Leftover crumbs were the only proof that I had a cake!

Leftover crumbs were the only proof that I had a cake!

This is what 50 looks and feels like! Absolutely fabulous!

This is what 50 looks and feels like! Absolutely fabulous!

My AWESOME husband!! I love this man so much!! He loves me unconditionally and has taught me how to do the same. :)

My AWESOME husband!! I love this man so much!! He loves me unconditionally and has taught me how to do the same. :)

Since I never had a birthday party and emphatically said that I did not want a party, Big Daddy Cain, was determined to make the party happen anyway.  And boy did he do it right…. just the way I would have planned it for myself.  No stuffy formal party, just a good old time with good music, delightful food and lots of fun.


Some of the catered grill food. Amazing!

A friend a some kids are shooting me with water guns.

A friend and some kids are shooting me with water guns.

My 81-year old mom.

My 81-year old mom.

My God-mother and 70+ year old aunt. Another one of the nine sisters. :)

My God-mother and 70+ year old aunt. Another one of the nine sisters. :)

My 70+ year old aunt came out to celebrate. Lover her! One of my mom's nine sisters.

My 70+ year old aunt came out to celebrate. Lover her! One of my mom’s nine sisters.

My wonderful brother and I. I am so proud of Lou.

My wonderful brother!  I am so proud of Lou.

Ms. Doris Hopkins and her staff at Miss Dee's Cookie Bar did an outstanding job on the food.

Ms. Doris Hopkins and her staff at Miss Dee’s Cookie Bar did an outstanding job on the food.

50 Even after the official partied ended, a few of us continued to celebrate.

The next day, (Sunday) the party continued with a few of the same friends. Lol!

The next morning/afternoon, we're still toasting to my birthday and to friendship. Lol!

The next morning/afternoon, we’re still toasting to my birthday and to friendship. Lol!

A once in a lifetime shot of me doing shots of tequila with my mother.

A once in a lifetime moment of me doing shots of tequila with my mother and a few friends.

Nothing beats having good people in your life who accepts you for who you are. The  number of friends that you have is not important, it is the quality and authenticity of the relationships that matters most.  I cherish my family and closely knit circle of friends.  You guys are the best and thank you again for a lifetime of memories.


Taking It All In Stride

Life is a song-sing it.  Life is a game–play it.

Life is a challenge–meeet it.  Life is dream–realize it.  

Life is a sacrifice–offer it.  Life is love–enjoy it. 

                                                          — Sai Baba


According to our plans, we should have been out of New Jersey five hours ago. Instead as I’m writing this, we’re about 5 miles from the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  

4:30 yesterday afternoon, we went to pick up the rental car.

…it didn’t happen.

“We are expecting your car around 8 p.m., we’ll call you when it arrives.” 

Seven-thirty the phone rings.  Yay!! The car is ready!!  :0) 


“Your car won’t be availalbe until tomorrow at noon.  The person who rented it was suppose to return the car today, but they did not bring it back.”

At 8 p.m., we start a new search for a similar vehicle but with a different company.  

….found one in Philadelphia.  We’re set! 

We leave the house close to 4 a.m., pick up my cuz and head an hour away to philly.

Around 6 a.m., we arrive at car rental agency.

“I’m sorry, the vehicle you requested is no longer available.” :o(

They  show us another vehicle, which is the same size of what we drove up in.  Well that ain’t gonna work.

….get back in the car and drive about 45 minutes away to Vineland, NJ.  We’re back tracking now.  Lol!!

…pull up at rental car agency at 7 a.m., but they don’t open until 8 a.m., but we spot a handful of cars and only ONE shiny and new SUV (Tahoe)  in the parking lot.  Finally!  Light at the end of the tunnel.

An agent from the original company (who screwed up our reservation)  supposedly called, faxed, and reserved a a large SUV that we requested.

To kill time, we drive to Walmart.

…7:45 a.m., we greet the regional manager, store manager, and two other workers.

“I’m sorry, ALL of the vehicles in the parking lot are already reserved.”

WTH!!!  Is this some kind of joke?  Are we on some kind of hidden camera show?  


Once again, we explain the culminating mishaps…

He has a minivan available.  We’re all looking like, we don’t want no damn minivan!

We walk out to the van.  It has two rows of seats–but there are 5 of us. One look at the small rear comparment confirmed it was too small and would never fit our luggage.  Ugh!  

I instruct the manger to follow me to our vehicle and I pop the trunk.  Lol!!  He looks at our bags, eyes widen, and he realizes we need a larger vehicle and promises to figure something out.

We’re pissed off, disappointed (again), exasperated, tired of looking for a vehicle and just want to get on the road.

Back inside the office, the manager quietly speaks to the regional manager… we anticipation, we helplessly wait.

“We have a 2015 Expedition that a representative is driving over.  We just have to clean it up and it should be ready for you in 15 minutes.”

Finally!!!!  :0)   

 Because of our situatiton, the manager (Tom) decided to honor the rate of the original agency. Tom also waived the fee for filling the vehicle.  His nickname is “Terrific Tom.”

So last night, initially I was angry with the agency and wanted to give them a down home cussin out.. because this is the second time they messed up our reservations.

But after blowing off my frustration, I felt like it wasn’t meant for us to be on the road as we planned.

After this morning’s circus, I’m CONVINCED that God had a plan to delay our road trip.  No matter what we tried to do to leave early, the road blocks kept coming–one after another.

I couldn’t even get mad.  I only knew that it was time to go with the flow.

God and the universe’s energy guides us.  Sometimes we listen; other times we don’t.  

We secured a car at the time it was okay for us go.  We just cleared the Harbor Tunnell with 653 miles to go.  We’re all in a good place, no tension, relaxed, talking, laughing, and enjoying an easy breezy ride.  :) There is no way we would allow a series of hiccups to destroy the blessing and joy of our family trip.

This morning, we sang the song, met the challenge, played the game, made the sacrafice, and we’re still loving life.


Regardless of the challenges we face in life, it is important to remember that life is a journey. The highs lows, the peaks and  the valleys are part of the journey, and can make us stronger and wiser.   The choice is ours; which do you choose?

Life is good.  Stay fit, be blessed, and enjoy every day.  

Make it a good one!

Happily Hitched For 27 Years!

Twenty-seven years ago, the statistics were stacked against our marital endeavors.  In fact, according to a 1988 report, the year we married,

43% of marriages [will] end in divorce.

Well guess what baby? We. Are. Still. Married.   Barring any dumb ass mid-life crises on either of our parts and God’s will and grace, we are on track to celebrate the BIG 30! I guess we blew the statisticians’ numbers out the window. :0) Heeeeey!

I feel like someone held down the fast forward button in our life as the years have passed seemingly quickly.

Although both of our parents had “successful” marriages that lived up to the vow of “..till death do us part; however, my parents’ marriage was far from what any marriage counselor would identify as functional.  I have no doubts they loved each other dearly, but damn it, they had a funky way of showing it. Oh, the memories! Lol!

After five years of good friendship, we married. In total we’ve been buddies for 32 years and still do mostly everything together.

At 23 years old, I tenderly recited traditional wedding vows, excluding the “obey” part, but I had no idea of what it meant.

Tanya, will you have this man to be your lawful wedded husband, to live together after God s ordinance in the Holy Estate of Matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others keep you only unto him as long as you both shall live?
I Tanya take thee, James to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish forever, according to God s Holy Ordinance, and thereto I give thee my pledge.

Two kids later, the death of parents, several careers for me, selling and buying homes, few lows and many highs, I understand the full scope of our vows.

If you’re lucky, with age comes wisdom and I’ve learned many lessons. The last two anniversaries, I shared 25 & 26 lessons I learned from marriage. They’re well worth the read, check them out below:

Celebrating 26 Years of Marital Lessons

25 Years Going Strong

Like any relationship, marriage has its ups and downs. Thank God we’ve shared more ups than downs.

Does he get on my damn nerves sometimes? Yup! Do I get oh his nerves sometimes? Heck yeah!

When you get down to the nitty-gritty, it is the basic principles that make a marriage work.

We fight (though rarely) clean… NEVER do we engage in name calling… always in private… never in front of anyone, including our children.  Respect is at the top of the list… we give it so we can receive it.

Would I marry Big Daddy again?  Absolutely!!! Lol! :0)  Here are 27 reasons why I’d marry hubby again:

  1. He loves me for who I am
  2. He is kind
  3. He gets along well with my mom (better than me)
  4. He doesn’t anger easily
  5. His sense of humor
  6. He dances with me, even when he doesn’t feel like it :0)
  7. He dances with me but HATES dancing
  8. He smiles a lot (like me)
  9. He is a great father
  10. He spoils our kids
  11. He spoils me
  12. He LOVES his career
  13. Makes a good bed
  14. He cleans a house well
  15. He supported me through school
  16. He encourages me
  17. He respects me
  18. He respects women
  19. He is ALWAYS there for me
  20. I can ALWAYS count on him
  21. He is consistent
  22. He treated his mother VERY well
  23. He was a good son (to both parents)
  24. He provides WELL for his family
  25. He is selfless
  26. He embraced my crazy (handful) of friends
  27. He is forgiving

Happy 27th Anniversary Sweets!! 


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