Surviving The First Trimester

“Make sure you take care of yourself!”

I talk to my auntie pretty much every week and she’s always making sure that I am taking care of my self. No stress. Don’t get upset. Don’t watch scary movies. Talk to the baby. Play classical music. Get some exercise in. Like a drill mom.

I didn’t have much questions. Actually, I didn’t have any questions. My doctors looked at me like I was the “perfect patient.” No crazy questions. Only the basics. What can’t I eat anymore? What medicines should I leave alone for the next 8 or 9 months? Can I travel? Get on a plane? They would stare at me for minutes on end because I was a “good patient.” Whatever that malarky was.

Any symptoms?

Thank God, I did not experience morning sickness. No vomiting. However, I was extremely tired. No energy. Slept a lot. Missed work a lot because the idea of sitting at a desk for 8 hours getting yelled out was very tiring. It got to a point where I did not feel like me because I am always on the go. On my off days, I’m running errands, cooking, doing my hair, working on my blog. But I really had to take a step back and sit down. My husband likes to tell me, “hunbun you’re growing a human. Relax.” I felt weird knowing I can’t move like i normally can. For a couple weeks, I lost my appetite and it showed in my next appointment because I lost weight. And dehydrated.

In the last few weeks, body pain was inevitable. Things like doing basic chores or walking around the mall was too strenuous. I remember I was taking a few days off work and I wanted to do some extra cleaning and make dinner for hunbun. After I was done, my body felt like someone hit me with a ton of bricks! I was in so much pain! And I can hear my aunt tell me to sit down!

Scary Movies

I think giving up horror movies was depressing for me. Hear me out! I’ve been watching scary movies since I was a little girl and I watch them like regular shows. They don’t bother me. However, my sister and aunt explained to me that the baby feels everything that I feel, knows what I’m watching and the last thing I want my unborn baby to know about is evil spirits, and devil worshippers, serial kills, slasher movies, etc. She said, “you don’t want to pass this on to the baby.” After I have the baby then I can continue. So its really funny for me to try to watch stuff. Many of you may not agree, but they haven’t failed me yet in the wisdom catergory. So all the good horror movies coming out this summer will be on hold until this winter. Anyone ever told y’all this?

Mental Health

It took a while to grasp the fact that I am adding a new role to….me. Mommy. I felt depressed and paranoid. I set some really high expectations for myself if I ever decided to be a mom. The ultimate perfect mom. Never let your kid see you sweat. Have ambition. Be super educated. Have lots of money. Discernment need to be on point. Make sure baby has all that you didn’t get. Lots of wisdom, knowledge, summer camp, learn how to swim. Guys I made a mental checklist of things I wanted for the baby. Thinking of all this made me depressed! There isn’t a manual for being the child I am getting. I can try to be prepared all I want, but life never goes as planned. I would stress myself out about the amount of money I need to save, the debt I need to kill, go back to school, start this business that I was working on, just prepare to be the perfect mom. Sometimes, I still feel that way, but the only thing I can do is prepare for what I can and allow God and Hubby to help with the rest.

Cravings?

Before I found out I was pregnant, I increased my water intake to a half gallon a day. The more I drank, the thirstier I became. My silly self thought that was a side effect of drinking more water! Key lime pie for dessert at all times, okay!? I had to have it. Now, in my defense, I like the pie anyway, but every night? But then I started to think I was crazy because I wanted buffalo chicken tenders, fries with seasoned salt ( I DON’T LIKE SEASON SALT ON MY FRIES) and a wedge salad with all the fixings from Red Robin. I remember eating that for almost two weeks straight. But again, in my defense, if I like something, I will run it out until I’m sick of it. Sour candy was a must have and I would snack on those in church along with a big bottle of water. Mommy’s cooking was at the top of the list and salads were REQUIRED! As the weeks progressed, I find myself not having an appetite at all. I would barely eat. I hated blueberry muffins and those sausage biscuits w/cheese from McDonald’s. These were things I loved at one point. Things became too sweet or too salty and I would barely eat. Sometimes, an apple was all I wanted.

Hubby + Mood Swings?

My husband is a trooper. He’s very supportive and he’s really on this journey with me. He downloaded this app that keeps track of baby growth, things to expect in pregnancy, and he’s looking forward to first time daddy classes. I don’t have mood swings, thank the Lord, but it all goes back to my mental state. I spent most of the first trimester sad and depressed and I kept to myself, so fussing was too much for me. I do remember crying! Before I stopped watching scary movies, I was watching the new Halloween movie on a “day off” and I remember crying because the people were getting killed! It was so funny to me because I was real invested in those people! I thought it was really funny. But all in all, and my husband can attest to it, but mood swings didn’t exist and even though I’m currently in my second trimester writing this, mood swings are not here and not welcomed.

Wardrobe?

It was still chilly in my first trimester, so leggings and over-sized sweaters was my wardrobe. And jeans until I can no longer button them. Now I understand why pregnant people don’t want to dress like much because, comfort is key. And that was me. Now that we’re entering warmer months, my wardrobe will definitely changing and I can bring out some maternity fashion. After all, this blog is part fashion.

Overall, the first trimester was very challenging for me. My body taught me to relax both mentally and physically. It also gave me time to really think about what I want for my little one and get in the mood of excitement. I’m getting the hang of it!

Great Expectations: We’re Pregnant!

“Shit.”

I’m going to be honest, I was bombarded with several feelings when that pregnancy test came back positive. Like, who gave the authority for “me” to be a mother? Does it look like I have the “mother gene?” How I look with a little mini human running after me, calling me “mommy?” In 10 years, I’ll be that 43 year old with a 10 year old! And then…

I told my husband. His response was better than mine, I’ll tell you. We suspected it a week early because my cycle is never late. He was too giddy and excited. He thought I was lying at first, calling the test a prank test. Like, who has the time and energy to prank that? He was so happy and at that moment I think he wanted to tell the whole world, but I said…no. I didn’t know how to feel just yet. So we video chat my best friend and her reaction, too, was better than mine! She cried! See? Where’s that mother gene, Marisa? My sister was super excited which was extra special because I’ve kept her in the loop from the time my cycle didn’t show up, to weird symptoms, and the test. She is forever my best friend and I love her.

When we told our parents, not only were they excited, but they wanted to tell all their friends and the rest of the family. Of course, I said no and I’ll come after you if you do. We were very strategic in who we told, we decided to keep it close quarters. Well, mostly me because I still could not wrap my head around this whole, “you’re gonna be a mommy!” I wasn’t ready for the whole world to know like everyone else was.

However, I’m excited that my brother’s daughter will have a cousin to play with and my mother-in-law gets to experience being a first time grandmommy, and my husband being a big kid…with our kid.

So why am I not on board like everyone else? Well, for one, I am responsible for another person’s life, at least for the next…ever. What they take with them in this cold world is determined by what I teach them. And husband of course. I won’t lie, my confidence went out the window when that test came back positive. I’m literally going to have to walk by faith and not by sight on this one, which of course is going to be exciting for God because he knows this is something I cannot control. I can plan til the crows sing and I still won’t be prepared for motherhood. I’ve been told its a “learn as you go” process and many mistakes will be made. Motherhood scares me.

As the weeks go by and the baby grows, God assures me that He will continue to walk with us through this thing called Parenthood and to get ready for a beautiful, happy and healthy baby. I just need to believe it.

But in all honesty…I’m super excited for the mere reason that there is someone that I will have to guide in their life, provide them tools to be an exceptional human being and I get to do it with my amazing husband!

Natural Hair Update: 2019 Plans

Happy 2019! We’re finally getting to the end of the first month of the year and I hope you have your goals and plans ready. I’m still working finalizing mine in a few days, but nevertheless, I hope you’ve gotten started at least! So, I was sitting at work looking at my Snapchat memories, and I noticed a photo a year from today I took, mainly focusing on my hair. I compared it to a snap I just took not minutes before and noticed some growth. I was impressed. The reason why I was impressed is because 2018 has been a very stressful year for me and I noticed my hair suffered from it. I had to trim very often, my hair was shedding more than usual, and my curls looked lifeless more days than I liked.

Regardless, I kept protecting, nursing, leaving the heat alone, instead of the alternative; cutting my hair off. And I must say, I’m very pleased with my progress! I also noticed, that my hair shrinks soooooo bad! But you know, the more shrinkage, the more healthy. So let’s talk about the changes that happened to my hair this past year. So many events lead to stress. Stress led me to mostly a sedentary and depressing mindset that it was hard to focus. I learned my anemia played a role because I wasn’t taking my iron pills, plus I wasn’t exercising. Remember, sedentary. I was a zombie for the better half of 2018.

I didn’t stay there long and I’ve been making small strides to get back on the horse. In such a small amount of time I noticed, small strides really helped me and I’m bringing them with me.

Rice Water//I used rice water ONCE and I immediately saw a difference. My hair was softer, and there was minimal shedding. I wanted to try because i saw mixed reviews, but I can honestly say, its something I’m going to add to my regimen this year.

More protective styles// I stand by this. This works. Less manipulation promotes growth, with the RIGHT protective style and the RIGHT technique. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk about protective styling.

WIGS//You know?? I’ve NEVER tried a wig before. My mother in law kinda haste me when I told her I wanted to try them, but she doesn’t understand people who have beautiful hair wears them. Because I’m staying away from heat, I’ve been wanting to try a short straight bob, so stay tuned.

Professional trims//I normally do my own, but the last time I “trimmed” my hair, one side was longer than the other. There’s something invigorating when a professional cuts your hair.

More Protein Treatments//I can count on one hand how many times I’ve done last year and I realized I haven’t done enough. Most people can go every 6 months, but my hair desires it once every 3 months.

Workout Regimen/Iron Pills/////YEP! Hubby has already started helping me with a workout regimen to keep me consistent and motivated. Not only for the health of my hair but my body as well. We’ve learned that my body hates me if she doesn’t move. It will stiff like its no tomorrow and become sore. When I work out, the blood will flow and the oxygen levels will increase!

So comparing my regimen from last year, I’m pretty much doing the same, but I’m committing myself to including a healthier lifestyle including rice water and more protein treatments! I decided to do this instead of chopping it off like I normally do, since I know how to take care of my hair. So if you’re going through some tough time with your hair, lets add a new, different regimen to shake things up!

Spring Twists in the Fall

So a few months ago, I was strolling through Instagram and saw these videos and posts on “spring twists” and how they remind me of a natural version of kinky twists back during my high school days. However, the twists look identical to your natural hair when in mini twists, with hair that looks like natural hair. I thought, this is cute! When I first went natural, I lived in mini twists and although it was a great protective style, I wanted a fuller look. So, me being the detective that I am, I’m gonna research before I ask, because beauty and fashion gurus tend to posts the things they love or use and links if they’re really nice. For some reason, this chick didn’t. It was like, you can either buy the hair from me or pay me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for charging what your worth, but there are people in this world that can do their own hair. As someone whose been doing their own hair for over 20 years, I started hunting! I looked on Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram hashtags only to find that this hair can be purchased not only from hair boutiques, but from Amazon. Yes! Amazon. I know Amazon can be a hit and miss with hair but I read reviews and saw photos and videos enough for me to purchase it.

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As you can see, this brand has a 4.5 star rating! It comes in several colors and you can get yours right here. I purchased the 3 pack spring twist crochet hair in the color T1B27. And I ordered two packs. The brand is Beyond Beauty and they are $23.50 for each 3 pack. I bought two to be on the safe side.

Deets on the hair: 

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This is my first time buying from this brand and on amazon and this won’t be the last. I love this hair. It comes twisted so you can either crochet or do singles. I wanted to try color so I opted for an ombre effect, which I love. The hair is so springy and soft and can be easily separated. It has minimal shedding and doesn’t frizz or get tangled if you use water or hair products.

This hair blends perfectly with mine and IT DOES NOT ITCH! I normally soak all my hair in Apple Cider Vinegar/ water/ shampoo, but I didn’t have to for this and I have a sensitive scalp.

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I was able to use half of one bundle for the back because I separated the hair into two or three sections. When I realized that I would have more than enough and possibly leftover for another round, I use the whole pieces and realized that I only use an extra pack and three pieces from the 3rd pack. I decided to cut pieces in half to frame my face for a layer effect. I am very pleased with this hair and I hope you try it to. You can easily get away with just one pack. I will say, they are rather pricey (about $8/bundle) but it is worth every penny! You can also use this hair on your children!

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A Newlywed’s View on Marriage

If I could tell my younger self that I would be happily married at 32, I’m sure my younger self would roundhouse kick me like this:

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I would never believe it. Not only that, but being married to someone younger than me? Who would have thought? So where do I start? How’s married life, Marisa? What are the pros and cons? What’s the tea? Well, what’s your tea about marriage? Let’s start off by me saying that my husband is an angel on earth. He is unlike any man I’ve ever encountered and is the most kindhearted person I’ve ever met. I say that a lot, but its true. 😎

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The sum of our marriage 😄

So…

Marriage is a lifelong journey, that’s not for the faint or weak hearted. Although I’ve embarked on 6 months, I’ve learned the true meaning of patience and grace, lol. Trust me, I’m still learning. And I’m ready to go another 6 months and so on! Talk to any married couple. They’ll say its hard work, but rewarding. Our favorite married couples happens to be my Bishop Barry Mitchell and his wife First Lady Janice, my uncle Bill and aunt Joan, our friends Pastor Theo and First Lady Patrice, my sister-in-law Kaycie and my big brother Jonathan and a plethora of other couples. We love taking advice from couples who give sound wisdom who doesn’t take sides. With that being said, there are sacrifices that we make for each other, a whole set of other feelings to consider, and someone who we can take on the world with, with God by our side. Yes, we’re a couple who believes and loves on JESUS and He is REQUIRED not only in our marriage but in our daily lives.

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You know, I left home at 18, became completely domesticated and independent that I spend the next few years with this attitude that I didn’t need anyone, not even God. That’s how arrogant I was. I went though life and it completely changed me. I had to take care of myself, fend for myself because no one else would. I became tough and I looked at people like, “get over your feelings and keep moving.” I had no sympathy or empathy. Throughout that I learned quite a bit about finances, how to survive, how to live on my own, pay bills, etc. I was the epitome of self-sufficient. Sometimes, that can be a flaw too. If you’re like me, and you meet your future husband, its not his job to break that wall you build up. Its God’s job. And yours. “Well, that’s how I am and whoever marry me will have to put up with me.” LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! If you think like that, you will NEVER be married. Throw that arrogance away. Throw that mentality that you don’t need anyone. Get rid of the anti-sympathy. When you’re married, you’re no longer alone. I’m learning that.

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I would not let Benjamin do anything. Take out the trash? I was doing that way before I met him. Putting the groceries in the house? I use to carry 20 bags of groceries up 6 flight of stairs. Pump gas? Move boxes? ANYTHING! I can do and therefore I didn’t need him. That puts a dent in your man’s confidence. To feel like you’re not needed? Then why get married? I had to learn to step back and let Benjamin take the lead. I didn’t have to do these things by myself! But as an independent woman, yes it can be difficult to relinquish control a little bit and give it to your husband. But the amount of weight that is lifted is like no other.

What about this whole wives submit to your husband?

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

Guys, read that scripture. Our husbands should love US like Christ loved the church so much that he died for the church. Which means, Benjamin has to be good and ready to take a bullet for me. That’s a lot of love first of all. Submission, if you don’t understand, is yielding your will to your husband’s will. For example,  I may want seafood for dinner but hubby wants steak, so we’re gonna go to Longhorn. But because my husband LOVES me so much, he’s gonna say, “babe, let’s get seafood!”

Benjamin is the head of the household. He is the leader and provider and I am his helpmate. For me, this is very challenging for someone who is use to complete control and makes the decisions. But I will tell you, it is refreshing for someone who you trust to make decisions that’s best for the both of you. Now that’s not to say that Benjamin doesn’t ask me my opinion because he does but I enjoy letting him take over.

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Control your tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)

We women, especially us black women , we are very sharp-tongue, vocal women. We say what we mean and mean what we say and sometimes the tone can go left-field. Our tone can be callous and harsh if we’re not careful. When we get upset, we say any and everything to our man, no matter hurtful it is. We may bring up the past, or break his confidence or just make him feel the lowest of the low. Men are very sensitive creatures. They may not act like it, but they are and we know how to hurt them. Therefore, we must be careful to their feelings. So when I’m angry, I stay quiet to refrain from saying something I may regret. I learn to speak life into my husband, speak positivity into our marriage.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 11-12 (KJV)

I’m just gonna leave that right there guys. I learned to be a peacemaker in our home and marriage. I bring out his strengths, I pray to God to learn how I can help Benjamin where he’s weak, I don’t bring up his insecurities in his face and if I see a need, I fill it. After all, Benjamin is my #1 after my relationship with God. God is my super #1 because without him, I can’t be the wife I’m supposed to be.

I may have mentioned this in my wedding day post, but when I met Benjamin, I knew he was younger than me. We’re six years apart. There are some areas when I’m more experienced than he is and vice verse but one thing about my husband, is he’s willing to learn. Everything. And sometimes that can be challenging because the things he is trying to learn, I already know and sometimes in my mind I’m like…..”why can’t you get it.” But patience goes a long way and being with my husband has taught me to be more patient, kind and graceful. I learned to give him the benefit of the doubt and I make sure to acknowledge him for his great work.

We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

You ever got in an argument and someone did something to you and the first thing they say is “I didn’t mean it?” And then you say, “but you did it!” Yeah, that. “Honey, I was trying to get to the laundry but I couldn’t get to it.” For me, I had to take a step back and not judge Benjamin one-sided because if I intended to do something and I didn’t, would it be fair for him to be angry at me? Satan is always looking for ways to convince you that your spouse is terrible. But guess what? There’s this thing called grace that you have to give and to learn to let it go. After all, God gives us grace everyday, even when we don’t deserve it. Who am I that I don’t extend the same to my husband?

So…are they any cons?

Nope! There are no cons…just changes and challenges. Marriage is what you make it. If you want a peaceful and happy marriage, then you work towards it. Marriage is 100/100. You put your all into it. We stood before God, family, friends and a couple of people we don’t like and made promises to each other. Know that your spouse isn’t perfect, neither are you. And that’s okay! Some days they will disappoint you, upset you, do something you don’t like, but you make sure you know that communication is key. Talk about everything in a respectful manner. Have you seen the Red Table Talk with Will Smith? He and Jada mentions how important it is to be respectful and loving with your spouse and if you can’t at that moment, take a minute alone to get your act together. Your spouse doesn’t deserve your “wrath”.

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I look like a creeper, lol

Please understand that marriage is not perfect. Don’t marry a person thinking it’s going to be lollipops and candy canes and that it’s going to be sunny everyday. You’re going to struggle. Life will throw some stinking curve balls at you. You may be broke, your lights might cut off, your car may break down, you may have to live off ramen noodles for a couple of weeks. Guys, I knew Benjamin was really the one for me when we spent one evening on our honeymoon eating ramen noodles and hot dogs at the dinner table and we just talked nonstop. 😅😅

A wise human being told us, and I think it was our bishop, that it’s us versus the problem. You guys versus the devil. You and him versus them. Your spouse is above all, EXCEPT your relationship with God, okay? Know that your spouse comes before your mommy, ya daddy, ya siblings, ya friends, etc. If you have kids, even your kids. We learned that in counseling from a couple who has kids. Think of marriage as one of those big promises that you made to God that you can’t take back, until you die. Keep your marriage tight-knit, seek WISE counsel, and never invite strangers into your marriage, and that includes family. Never display your issues for the world and keep God smack dab in the middle!

After all, what do I know? I’m just a newlywed.🤭

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