Disney is for ALL Ages!

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Parker, Age 3 – July 2018

The travel bug is real, in my household. Sometimes more real than I’d like it to be, but that’s life when many of your closest friends live out-of-state!  My daughter has been traveling with me since the womb. During my pregnancy, I traveled up to 37 weeks, taking on places like Dubai, Costa Rica, Germany, and a ton of local travel! So, naturally she flies very well and is accustomed to the airport routine.

Last week, we conquered our 3rd American visit to Disney. We’ve done Disneyland – Anaheim, CA, when my daughter was 1. At 2, we did the four-day  Disney Dream Cruise to the Bahamas, and just yesterday we took on Disney World in Orlando, FL. The final two were less than 4 months apart. Each experience was completely different. The main difference was age, and her ability to enjoy it! Everything else was small nuances relating to activities available for toddlers.

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Accountant turned Corporate Mom!

Accountant turned Corporate Mom!

Parenting is one of the most important and rewarding jobs you can have! Raising a child is hard enough, on its own, but throw in wanting to be successful in your career as well!

I grew up in a single-parent household! Not because my dad was not present, but he passed just before I started kindergarten.  My mom raised my sister and I, alone.  If she dated, I never knew. I never saw her miss a beat, I never saw her put anyone or anything before us. Not a job, a man, a hobby…anything! My mom was, and still is, a hairstylist! I can vividly remember waking up on Saturday mornings and hearing her blasting gospel music, and talking even louder to her clients.  She did hair in our home, and often times, I’d go stand right beside her and just watch!  It came to a point where I’d even start doing hair myself, and when my mom had surgery on her hands (she had carpal tunnel), I’d even take some of her clients on.

One thing that my mom enforced was a great education, for my sister and I!  We went to public schools, but always attended the best schools, schools of choice! There were no free summers, in our household! Not one!  We did camps, college prep programs, and whatever else she could find for us!  I can remember my mom coming to my schools, and talking to my counselors about getting into special programs.  Often times they’d tell her “You’re about a year too soon”, or “Wait until high school”, and she’d apply anyway!  I was often times, involved in academics programs way before my time!

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The Beauty of Sacrifice

“Sacrifice is a part of life.  It’s supposed to be.  It’s not something to regret, it’s something to aspire to.”

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In a perfect world, we can get and do everything we want, sans making sacrifices! Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect and if you want to be successful at anything, something will be demanded of you!

My sacrifices alternate based on what’s a priority at the time, and typically it’s something like laundry has to get done on certain days of the week, or I’m sleeping less because I have to get through work.  I check my mail less, or we may have to eat out a night or two because work has to get done.

Sacrifice looks different for everyone.  However, I’d like to discuss overcoming the fear of sacrifice, and how it has changed my life.  I’ve talked about (in every post) how I recently left my corporate 9-5 to become a full-time entrepreneur, and I’d like to rewind to a year before I left.  Subconsciously, I was going to a day job and showing up everyday as if it was something I wanted to do forever.  I knew that I wasn’t interested in climbing the corporate ladder, and I knew for a while that I wanted to pursue J&F Advisors, full-time. However, I was just showing up, not making real plans, and playing it pretty safe.

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“YOU BETTER CHECK YO SELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YO SELF”

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How many times have you observed your child doing and/or saying something, and asked either aloud or to yourself, “Where did you get that from?” Perhaps, too many times to count.  I probably ask myself that three or more times a week. Ironically, a little voice in my head started to answer the question, saying, ‘She got it from you!’

Children make the best mimics, as every parent soon learns. It’s hard to admit, but the fact remains, kids get most of their habits and behaviors from what they see in their environment. And lets not forget our three-letterfriend… D.N.A. That stuff is amazing. I catch my daughter doing things EXACTLY like me, its like looking in a mirror. Something as simple as her sleeping position; I sleep on my side with the palm of my hand touching my cheek, and my knees bent towards my chest, (mad specific right J) well, she sleeps in the exact same position, literally.

From the moment I found out I was having a daughter; I felt a weight. Accountability. One of the many reasons I was hoping for a boy is to avoid the responsibility of raising a LADY. My plan to let my husband do the hard part of disciplining and teaching a man to be a man, completely failed, as soon as I heard the words “It’s a girl!”

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Nurturing a daughter in the environment that is 2018,(that’s a whole other topic, we’ll have to discuss in another blog post) is without a doubt difficult. I remember very clearly being a teenage girl and a young adult… I just knew I had life figured out; and this was before Nicki got Minaj became a prototype, and ‘influencer’ became a job title, and I still managed to give my mother a run for her money. It wasn’t until I had a kid at twenty-six, that I started to realize how selfish and inexperienced about life I truly was. Which brings me to the point of this post… “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!”

Having a daughter was the biggest, most significant, and monumental self-revelation I could have ever experienced. She makes me look at my insides… the parts that matter most. I quickly realized that whatever I want her to be, I must first be a reflection of that myself. As much as we would like for our kids to do as we say, and not as we do, it just doesn’t work that way. Figuring out that my baby really just wants to be like her mom was the biggest wake up call of my life. I had to check myself, and I mean quickly… I encourage all parents, Moms AND yes Dads too, to be the first reference for your child. They learn most of what they know from you, and although having a human shadow can be exhausting and downright difficult… think of how rewarding it will be to watch your child become the best parts of you.

Now, don’t get it twisted for one second, by no means have I become a perfect person for the sake of being a parent. I still curse too much, scroll Instagraminstead of reading a book, and have to tell my baby, “No, you can’t have what’s in Mommy’s cup, its adult juice!” probably much too often; however the awareness that someone is always watching me, that I’m her personal superhero… has changed my life. I’m a better wife, a better friend, and a better daughter. I give more, take less; talk less, listen more; eat more spinach, and less ice cream;smile more and complain less… all because of my sweet baby girl. Since I’ve already given you sound advice from the icon Ice Cube, I’ll leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  J

Peace and Love

-Chardonnay

No Excuses: Go Get It!

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If God calls you to do something, His grace is greater than the call!

When it comes to jobs, I am probably one of the most fearless women there are. Simply put, when something no longer suited me or fit into the plans that I had for myself, I left! I’d venture to say I started to think this way after being fired, but I’ve pretty much always had this attitude.

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Mom Friends… How Many of Us Have Them?

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Mothers LOVE to see other pregnant women.  Possibly because it’s nostalgic, or maybe we are more like “Thank God it’s them and not me!”  Either way, something about revealing your pregnancy makes other moms flock to you and offer up their resources and experiences. In fact, I get some of the best advice from mothers that I’ve connected with on social media!

Connecting with like-minded moms, that you mesh with, and can share with is not an easy feat, but it is essential in managing the ebbs and flow of motherhood.  It’s comparable to going to high school for the first time, and trying to make friends with people who look at you like the “newcomer”.  However, once you get in and find your grove, its super fun.

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Manifesting the Experiences You Want: A Tribute to My Grandmother

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My daughter, Parker Savanna!

Today is my daughter’s 3rd Birthday!  It is also the 5th anniversary of my Maternal Grandmother’s passing. As bizarre as it sounds, I prayed for it to happen this way!  I was given a mid-July due date, and I immediately began to pray for my daughter to come on July 3rd or 13th, my grandmother’s death and burial date, respectively.  I wanted to replace a sad/solemn day with a celebration of life; the life of my daughter.

The language you speak to yourself, and over yourself, greatly influences your day-to-day actions, and energy!

I learned of my pregnancy, two months shy of my 30th birthday. I was not married and, as mentioned in Starting with WHY…, and I was very concerned about how having a child would affect my career.  I knew that I wanted to go through with my pregnancy, but needed to find comfort in my decision, for myself.  About a week into knowing, I began to jot down things that were important to me in motherhood and during my pregnancy.  I told myself to forget the noise, ALL NOISE, and to enjoy a beautiful and healthy experience.  If you ever notice, people never share the good aspects of pregnancy.  You hear the horror stories about morning sickness, long labor and unbearable contractions. It’s really unavoidable!  So, I stayed away from mom blogs, negative people and energy, and literally travel the world up until a week before I delivered my daughter. I had a beautiful pregnancy from start to finish.  No sickness, weight gain, or discomfort. It was truly a peaceful and transformative stage in my life.

My work life, really just one manager, attempted to take away that peace, on a daily basis! Like asking me to dog sit (his two big dogs) for him, at like 7 months, while he traveled overseas for work. Ummm it was a NO and that “NO” really affected my time at that employer.  This was the same manager who told me “You’re not married” when I told him I was pregnant.  He would treat me like pregnancy was a handicap, bypassing me for several opportunities and saying somewhat offensive things.  He also called me, about 6 weeks into maternity leave, and told me that I needed to return to work the following Monday, when I had already cleared for 12 weeks.  I didn’t and in spite of his efforts to be the biggest nuisance, I pressed forward.
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