More than 8 Miles of Peace

Less than a week ago, I went to Michigan to visit him. It was the most fun that I had experienced in an exceptionally long, long time. I needed that…my soul needed that and he nurtured my being. We took turns cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner during my visit and whoever cooked, the other washed the dishes. And as I dutifully took note of this each time, I was thankful and genuinely moved. This is how a partnership, relationship, or marriage should work—a team.

My second night there, he made drinks for us and we watched Kevin Hart’s Seriously Funny stand-up. He knows that the Lemon Drop martini is one of my favorite drinks so unbeknownst to me he had been perfecting his own recipe especially for me.  He had this cute glass that he poured my drink into from the shaker and I was thoroughly impressed. The Netflix comedy night was his idea which was a great one, but Katt Williams was not cutting it for me unfortunately. While he found mountains of reasons to laugh during It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’, I was just not feeling it…at…all. After trying other Katt Williams stand-ups, we gave up. Here comes Kevin Hart to the rescue.  HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot how funny this stand-up was! We both laughed and for the first time in an exceedingly lengthy time frame, I laughed until it felt good and hurt at the same time. I desperately needed that.

Click here if you want to see some hilarious clips of Seriously Funny

The glass before the Lemon Drop
The Lemon Drop

Outside of that, on morning I awoke to breakfast in bed and it was yum! It looked so good that I took two pictures of it so that you could see what I had to eat from two different angles. Delectable!!! Oh and yeah, that’s kiwi for breakfast!  #JeanswithPockets

Breakfast in Bed 1
Breakfast in Bed 2

I experienced Mongolian food for the first time at BD’s Mongolian Grill in Dearborn, MI.  I must say, my food tasted good, but his food was off the chain. It’s an art form getting all the food you can get into a bowl and not have it topple over. I got an A on my first try! New Orleans baby! That’s how we do no matter where we are! Ha!

BD's Mongolian Grill

We also got to experience Inyo Restaurant and Lounge in Ferndale, MI.  The inside of the building was extremely pleasing to the eyes. There were not a lot of people present and the lights were low to create that ambiance feel that makes you often times drink more than you should, sit closer than normal to the person of the opposite sex that you are with and think about the latter part of well-known adage “a lady in the streets”.  The staff members are friendly. Jeff and Olivia are the best with the latter being the bartender. If you ever happen to visit the Detroit or Ferndale area, you may want to check them out. She makes bomb drinks! My favorite that night: pomegranate vodka with Red Bull.

My visit to Michigan was a paragon of perfection. I would not Butterfly Effect anything about my visit other than the fact that I had to leave and go back to reality. I truly enjoyed myself, even when we just sat around and did nothing, but watch tv.

BTW—Did I tell you that I finally watched the first season of The Walking Dead? He and I both sat around that day and just watched the entire season. Next time, will be season two and may The Avengers if he doesn’t go and see it without me…although I wouldn’t blame if he did. It’s Marvel…that’s a get out of jail free card lol.

Cheers to good times! #TeamofWe

–Ms. KeepingItReal

God's Gift

“Transformation is my f…

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.”
― Jason Mraz

Mr. A to Z lol! Got to love this quote. 🙂

The BluePrint 101

1. Someone who listens and is not judgmental

2. Gives great advice

3. Takes  the time out to ask how my day is

4. Pushes me to be a better woman

5. Supportive of my dreams and goals

6. Washes the dishes when I cook

7. Gives amazing back massages

8. Goes to church with me

9. Reads the Bible

10.  Makes me laugh

11. Understands that it is important to show me that you love me

12. Says the words “I love you”

13. Is spontaneous

14. Likes to try new things—becoming cultured

15. Can make breakfast at like 3 in the morning—my own personal iHop

16. Someone who says how he feels and feels comfortable expressing himself to me

17. Rubs my feet after a long day

18. Humble

19. Respects women, especially his mother

20. Takes care of home and makes sure that I never want for anything

21. Someone who doesn’t take me for granted

22. Makes sure that I always feel comfortable

23. Introduces me when I meet someone that I never met before

24. Always has my back even when I am wrong—when I’m wrong tell me behind closed doors

25. Helps me to grow and challenges me

26. Pushes me to be more positive

27. When I set a goal, he holds me accountable whether I like it or not

28. Accepts when I disagree with him

29. Doesn’t make me feel inadequate or give me a reason to feel insecure

30. Answers my questions honestly and straight up

31. Understands that I am on the road to success and I need someone who will help me to keep standing upright when times get hard during school

32. Loves my curly natural hair as much as I do

33. Appreciates poetry and art

34. Understands what it means to be a man…you do not have to have the best job, but you have to be able to take care of home

35. Makes me feel safe. I can know without a shadow of a doubt that he would do whatever he had to in order to protect me.

36. Understands that separately we are nothing, but together we are everything…unstoppable…and immovable force…team of we

37. Allows me the time to cry when I need to. I’m not a man. I handle and process things differently.

38. Understands that I am his better half and that he can depend on me when he needs to. By the same token, he knows that I am not trying to emasculate him, but only help when I do something for him that he did not ask me to do. If that’s something that he doesn’t want me to do then he needs to say so and not expect me to be a mind reader.

39. Loves that I love high heels

40. Appreciates that I’m not one of those women who always wears make-up, but accepts that there is nothing wrong with wearing it sometimes.

41. Gentle

42. Kind

43. Lovable

To be continued…

Southwest Friendly Faces

On Sunday, April, 15, 2012, I woke up to an email from Southwest Airlines. I was supposed to be heading back to St. Louis from Detroit on flight 1276. My flight was to depart from DTW at 7:05 PM and arrive at 7:50 PM, but the email advised that my flight was to be delayed. The new scheduled departure time was now 8:35 PM with an arrival time of 9:10 PM. I looked at the email and reread it several times not quite understanding something about it. I mean I understood that the flight was delayed and I would be leaving later, but I think I could not wrap my mind around it because Southwest had never ever delayed a flight I was going to be on.

Unlike other people I know, I am a loyal Southwest customer. To someone who typically flies Delta or any other airline the concept of not being able to pick your seat ahead of time is bothersome at best. For me though, I like the idea of only having to pay an extra $10 to check in early or I can just wait until 24 hours right before my flight and then check in online. The earlier you check in that determines what letter (A-C) and number (1-60) that you are on your ticket. You board accordingly and choose whatever seat it is that you want to sit on. You can check two bags for free and are allowed two carry-on bags. The plane is also brightly colored and while this may not matter to some, I have always thought that search and rescue workers would be able to find the plane if it went down, but that is my theory.

While I’m at the airport with all my bags checked and waiting for the plane to board, I am talking to my aunt. I’m catching her up with my plans in terms of when I would be arriving home and she was catching me up with what is going on back there on the home front. When I see the plane pull up, I get off of the phone and get ready to board…A21. It was at that moment that I looked at the time on my phone. It was not even 8 o’clock…my flight did not leave until 8:35. We started boarding the plane. As I passed by the middle rows near the exit doors, I paused not sure if I should sit there or not…but that pause was nothing more than a fleeting thought and I took my typical seat at the back of the plane…far enough from the bathrooms, but close enough to an exit if I needed it. I always take the window seat though. If there was an emergency, I would have to run over two other people on my row before I even hit the aisle and then headed for an exit door…not very smart, but I do it every time.

I sat in my seat and buckled my seat belt and began to people watch. The flight attendant came on over the intercom and stated where our destination was to be and how long it would take to get there. I glanced to my left and saw that the plane was pulling away from the departure gate…and then I looked up. People were still walking from the front of the plane to whatever seat it was that they wanted to sit in while carrying their bags. The bags still needed to be placed in the overhead bin storage containers and the flight attendant was still clamoring it seemed about the general stuff. I looked to my right and realized that for the first time ever, I had an entire row on an airplane to myself. The other two seats were empty and so before I turned my phone off, I sent this post to FaceBook.


We took off down the runway and soared up into the sky. Eventually, the intricate details of the Detroit metro city area was nothing more than tiny specks that then became non-existent once we were reaching the altitude needed to cruise into the city of St. Louis. The clouds were beautiful as always…fluffy white…the kind that I always wish I could touch when I am flying just to see if they feel like anything at all. After a while, it seemed that we are flying above the fluffy white clouds into clouds that are more thinly stretched and not as thought-provoking. I sat back and enjoyed the duration of the flight as the flight attendants like to instruct all passengers to do.

I drank my Sprite Zero and ate my peanuts which were pretty decent. It wasn’t long after that I began to see the plane descending enough where I could make out buildings, etc on the ground below. I was thinking to myself “about time” when a few minutes later, I noticed that the plane was begin to ascend again into the sky. I looked around and right at that moment the flight attendant came on the intercom and stated that the fasten seat belt light is on that everyone should remain in their seats and not form a line at the bathroom. Then came the real…the pilot came over the intercom and started by saying, “This is your pilot.” He proceeded to state that air traffic controllers were not allowing the plane we were on or any other planes land at Lambert International due to inclement weather conditions. He was advised to fly out about 80 miles and so he advised that they were just circling around out there at the moment as a result. I was like seriously? What if the plane runs out of fuel?! He said that there were other planes out there as well and I was like you mean to tell me that there are other planes out here circling as well at night in the sky waiting to land… o_O

I just began to pray that everything would be okay and settled back into my seat of just waiting. Everything was going okay and we were just flying. And then we ran into turbulence. Now I’ve flown before and while I am not a fan of turbulence, I know that it’s the nature of flying and it does not bother me much. But the turbulence got worse. It was nothing like what I was accustomed to and that’s when it happened.

The plane began to dip on the right wing side as the pilot attempted to keep the plane steady and level while flying. The winds were strong and the force of the weather and gravity challenging the pilot’s ability to keep us above ground in the sky was nothing short of a dare. The plane rocked and the sky was grey—not just dark as in the nighttime sky. The clouds were grey. I looked out the window and saw the blinking lights on the plane which sometimes were not visible due to the clouds I assume. I honestly don’t remember why because my mind was all over the place. There was a man to the right in the next row of seats on the other aisle. He had his head firmly planted against the headrest of the seat and he had his kung fu grip on the armrests. The lady behind him was originally playing some card game on what appeared to be an e-reader of some sort, but that game had been abruptly ended. I looked around the plane and saw that the lights were flickering throughout the cabin. We were still flying and the turbulence was there still. The time seemed like an eternity and then the plane dropped…not a nose dive…just a flat drop. You could hear people screaming and the flight attendants at the back of the plane looked scared. They strapped themselves into the seats as well. The pilot got control of the plane and ascended a bit, but the turbulence was getting the better of him at times. I began to cry. I kept saying over and over “Oh my God. Oh my God.”

I was crying when I began saying my prayers. I asked God that that He keep all of us safe on the plane and more so to have mercy on everyone’s souls on the plane. I asked God to give me peace and to calm my spirit because let’s face it, if the plane goes down, there is nothing I can do. I then asked that God give my loved ones peace should I perish on this plane. “Amen.” Then I thought about my mom, him and Pam. I wondered what they would do…how they would cope and eventually move on when I was no longer here…

But the pilot got clearance to land at the airport sometime between the first announcements and when we landed on the runway. The flight attendant came on when the plane landed advising that it was still not safe for passengers to get up so we were to remain seated. When the plane pulled up to the departure gate, the flight attendant then came over the intercom and breathed a sigh of relief and then she said, “We made it!!” Everyone on the plane clapped. I did as well and thanked God for His grace. As I got off of the plane, I looked ahead. I waited until I was almost the last person to get off of the plane because I wanted to thank the pilot. The flight attendant was there, but not him. I looked and the cockpit door was open. I could see him in there, but I wasn’t able to thank him.

A guy got off of the plane and when we were outside he told me that he had cried on the plane. He, too, had an entire row on the plane to himself. He thought it was going to be the end. It was the first time ever that I thought to myself that I wished someone was sitting next to me on the plane so that I would have had someone’s hand to hold. I wished him luck in life…just in case we never cross paths ever again.

Dear Pilot of flight 1276 from DTW to STL,

You did a hell of a job flying the plane and landing us safely and gently on the runway. I appreciate that you came over the intercom calm so as not to raise alarm. The funny thing is that in the sky, anything can give us cause for alarm. 🙂 I kept thinking that when I got off of the plane I was going to thank you for doing a wonderful job. I know that it was your expertise matched with that of God’s.

Thank you.

–Ms. KeepingItReal

4.10.12 Bittersweet

1. Life is short. Maximize each moment. If it won’t matter a year from now, two months from now a minute from now—let it go. Easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.

2. Never think that anyone owes you anything, including the world. The world was here first.

3. Accept people for who they are—either you can deal with it or you can’t. Simple. As my mama always says, a leopard cannot change its spots.

4. Remember that everything is a test and someone is always watching.

5. Know thyself.

6. Appreciate the trials and tribulations that come with life. As the old adage goes, what doesn’t break you only makes you stronger. When life gives you lemons they say make lemonade. I say when life gives me lemons, “Is that all you got? I eat watermelons for lunch.” This too shall pass.

7. Trust your instincts. They will never fail you.

8. Take ownership for your actions. No one can make you do something. Either you want to—or you don’t.

9. Don’t wait for New Year’s to come to make a list of resolutions. Change now. What are you waiting for?

10. Lastly, remember to stop and be thankful. Everything that you have experienced up to this very moment has made you the person that you are today. You may not be defined by those things, but they have played an integral part in the molding of your mind, how you feel, and how you carry yourself. There is always room from growth and when there isn’t…well you know…you’re eternally resting.

–Ms. KeepingItReal

Shell Shock…. o_O

So I was wondering if my little brother made it to Italy today which he did because I got a message from him. Praise the Lord, thank you Jesus for that.

However…with that came a reality check of sorts…


My brother is a man now and as much as I want to protect him from everything, I can’t. I’m the big sister and I have always been the one to come in and protect my siblings from harm or clean up any messes. While I am in no way speaking anything negative into existence in his life, I am somber about where he will be going…

Dear Lord,

Only you know what path his future holds. I just ask that you help me to accept it so that I can continue to be supportive of him. I ask that you place hedges of protection around him and keep him safe from all danger seen and unseen and all evil seen and unseen. I ask that you have mercy on his soul and forgive him for any sins and transgressions that he may pass–both those that he is aware of as well as those that he is unaware of. I ask that your will be done. I know that you not a man that you should lie and you didn’t bring him this far to abandon him now. I ask you that continue to keep him safe in the palm of your hand.

In Jesus’ name.